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Karsyn's Kickass Jocoserious, Kooky, Jannock book blog

Monday, January 6, 2020

Joining Bout of Books - on my other Blog




Joining Bout of Books 27.

I'll be posting about it on my other blog though - as I'm trying to build that blog up (it's my pen name) for my someday-published books. :)

Come visit me there for my updates, and leave your blogs if you are reading!


Koriana Brackson

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Bunch of Mini Reviews





The Book:



The Blurb:

The job: infiltrate a militia amassing illegal firearms in an isolated forest community. FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick is the ideal candidate. She knows Oregon. She’s near the compound. And having been raised among survivalists, Mercy understands the mind-set of fanatics. Lay low, follow rules, do nothing to sound an alarm, and relinquish all contact with the outside world. She’s ready to blend in.

As Mercy disappears into the winter hills, something just as foreboding emerges. Mercy’s fiancĂ©, Eagle’s Nest police chief Truman Daly, is faced with a puzzling series of murders—three men dumped in random locations after execution-style shootings.

Now, for Mercy, trapped in a culture where suspicion is second nature, and betrayal is punishable to the extreme, there is no way out. No way to call for help. And as plans for a catastrophic terrorist event escalate, there may be no way to stop them. Even if Mercy dies trying.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed June 18, 2019
359 page ebook

I love Kendra Elliot, she one of those authors you go to when you want to read something you know will be good and keep your attention. I found Kendra with her first book several years ago and I've read all she's written. She never disappoints to be enjoyable.

That said, the Mercy books aren't my favorites. I enjoy them, but I don't love them. Mercy isn't my favorite character, though she did grow on me and I do really like her.

In this one, Mercy infiltrated a cult, and while a good read - it was on the predictable side. These books are safe, without any chances being taken, so I figured all but one thing out really early on. But predictable isn't always bad, it can be good.

I was surprised to see that this was the last of the Mercy books and I think it's a good time to end them. It wrapped up satisfactorily and was a worth wile series to read all around. Recommended for Romantic Suspense fans who want good solid writing with likable characters.

Setting = A
Plot = B
Conflict = B
Characters = A-
Theme = B


The Rating:

3 1/2 stars




The Book:



The Blurb:

A recent abduction becomes an unexpected link to a decades-long spree of unspeakable crimes.

Eight-year-old Brooklyn Mercer has gone missing. And as accustomed as FBI agents Eliza Sterling and Brandon Eddison are to such harrowing cases, this one has struck a nerve. It marks the anniversary of the disappearance of Eddison’s own little sister. Disturbing, too, is the girl’s resemblance to Eliza—so uncanny they could be mother and daughter.
With Eddison’s unsettled past rising again with rage and pain, Eliza is determined to solve this case at any cost. But the closer she looks, the more reluctant she is to divulge to her increasingly shaken partner what she finds. Brooklyn isn’t the only girl of her exact description to go missing. She’s just the latest in a frightening pattern going back decades in cities throughout the entire country.

In a race against time, Eliza’s determined to bring Brooklyn home and somehow find the link to the cold case that has haunted Eddison—and the entire Crimes Against Children team—since its inception.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed July 7, 2019
317 page ebook

The Butterfly Garden was an amazing book, and if you didn't know that it ended up being a series, you are behind the times. :) TBG was great and, honestly, should have stayed a stand-alone. The follow-up books are good, but not great, and no where near the level of awesomeness of the first.

If The Butterfly Garden was rated a 9 on a 1-10 scale (easier to show the differences than a 1-5 scale) I would rate the 2nd, 3rd and 4th books in this way:

Roses of May --- 5
The Summer Children - 6
The Vanishing Season - 8


But for a standard GR rating, I rated this book a 4.5, and rated it down to a 4.

Would have been 5 stars but it was REALLY slow starting off, didn't really get going until about 30% into it, and then it still had slow moments. It was sluggish at parts and just kept going on. But the end made up for it. Really emotional stuff in the last part, it was hard to read at times but good. I hate crying for books and cried like three times at the end of this one.

I didn't realize it was wrapping up the series, and it was a perfect way to do so. The ending was really good how everything came full circle, really really well done.

Though the others lack the magic of the first, they are worth the read, and enjoyable series that stands up to similar police procedurals.


Setting = A
Plot = A
Conflict = B
Characters = B+
Theme = A


The Rating:

4.5 stars





The Book:



The Blurb:

Nature abhors a straight line. The natural world is a place of curves and softened edges, of gentle mists and welcoming spirals. Nature remembers deviation; nature does not forgive.

For Harlowe Upton-Jones, life has never been a straight line. Shipped off to live with her paternal grandparents after a mysterious cult killed her mother and father, she has grown up chasing the question behind the curve, becoming part of a tight-knit teen detective agency. But “teen” is a limited time offer, and when her friends start looking for adult professions, it’s up to Harlowe to find them one last case so that they can go out in a blaze of glory.

Welcome to Spindrift House.

The stories and legends surrounding the decrepit property are countless and contradictory, but one thing is clear: there are people willing to pay a great deal to determine the legal ownership of the house. When Harlowe and her friends agree to investigate the mystery behind the manor, they do so on the assumption that they’ll be going down in history as the ones who determined who built Spindrift House—and why. The house has secrets. They have the skills. They have a plan. They have everything they need to solve the mystery.

Everything they need except for time. Because Spindrift House keeps its secrets for a reason, and it has no intention of letting them go.

Nature abhors a straight line.

Here’s where the story bends.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed July 20, 2019
125 page ebook

Mira is always good for a creepy and engaging read. Though short, this book was quite enjoyable. The characters were engaging and memorable and though I guessed some aspects of the story, it didn't dull the enjoyment of it. It's really hard to say more without spoiling the book. I'm not a big horror fan but I enjoyed it so it wasn't too much.

Setting = A
Plot = B
Conflict = B
Characters = B
Theme = A


The Rating:

5 stars






The Book:



The Blurb:

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed 7/11/19
480 page ebook

I had a really hard time deciding what to rate this. I have odd feelings about this book. I really really wanted to love the story and there was some I liked, but more than I didn't.

I liked the story, the characters were alright, and some parts were good. I was really creeped out by her instant attraction (ugh, cliche much?) to someone who was one of the people she supposedly feared her whole life. While he was a good dude, and a much better character than her, it was too fast of an acceptance and turn around of everything. Yes Omnistellar is evil, yay for her finally figuring it out, but she'd still have doubts, rather than just flipping a switch on a lifetime of beliefs.

I dunno, just most of the book sat wrong with me. Rated down because I don't think I care to read more.


Setting = A
Plot = C
Conflict = D
Characters = D-
Theme = A


The Rating:

3 stars






The Book:



The Blurb:

Once Alex Verus was a diviner trying to live quietly under the radar. Now he's a member of the Light Council who's found success, friends...and love. But it's come with a price--the Council is investigating him, and if they find out the truth, he'll lose everything.

Meanwhile, Alex's old master, Richard Drakh, is waging a war against the Council, and he's preparing a move that will bring Alex and the life mage, Anne, under his control. Caught between Richard and the Council, Alex's time is running out. To protect those he cares for, Alex will have to become something different. Something darker...

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed 10/5/19
336 page ebook

It's hard to give reviews for books so late into the series, because no one is likely to get the 10th book if they haven't already read the first 9. And if they read the first 9, then they are invested in Alex Verus, and they are going to read 10 no matter what I say. So.

But if you are looking for a good Urban Fantasy, then I recommend this series. It's like the Dresden Files, though in my opinion, I actually like Verus more, though I've only read the first 3 Dresden. Verus is a Mage in London who straddles the line between the light and the dark mages, each wanting him and him not picking sides which creates a lot of problems. In this one, his hand is forced and he must make some changes.

As always it was enjoyable, and it's read by Gildart Jackson, who is one of my Top 5 Narrators, so I always enjoy the audiobook of this series.


Setting = A
Plot = B
Conflict = B
Characters = A
Theme = B


The Rating:

4 stars






The Book:



The Blurb:

He believes in science, but only magic can help his mom.

Twelve-year-old Finn is used to people in his family disappearing. His twin sister, Faith, drowned when they were three years old. A few months ago, his mom abandoned him and his dad with no explanation. Finn clings to the concrete facts in his physics books—and to his best friend, Gabi—to ward off his sadness. But then his grandmother tells him a secret: the women in their family are Travelers, able to move back and forth in time. Finn's mom is trapped somewhere in the timeline, and she's left Finn a portal to find her. But to succeed, he'll have to put his trust in something bigger than logic.

The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed 8/21/19
352 page ebook

This book was soooooo cute. I love time travel books, so I was really interested in it when it came up in NetGally. I enjoy engaging Middle Grade books, which this was.

Finn was a great character, very likable from start. The time travel was interesting and unique, not a method seen a lot, which was nice. The book was predictable but maybe not so much for the intended audience. Still, great characters and a cute story made this a great book to read.


Setting = A
Plot = A
Conflict = B+
Characters = A
Theme = A


The Rating:

5 stars






The Book:



The Blurb:

When a body washes up on the state park beach, Deputy Tessa Black’s experience as a former Seattle detective tells her that the death was not an accident. All evidence points to another murder on the remote island.

The victim is a local contractor with a shockingly long list of enemies. The more locals Tessa interviews, the more people she suspects—from the bitter ex-wife and estranged current wife to disgruntled former clients and employees. They all have different reasons to want him dead.

As Tessa’s investigation heats up, arson and a vicious assault convince her the killer is desperate to hide his crime—and that she’d better solve the case before he claims another victim.

====================

When the town drunk ends up dead in a hit-and-run, FBI special agent Cate Wilde expects that solving the case will be cut and dried. But evidence quickly surfaces that the victim was involved with another crime. A crime that has gone cold for twenty years. A crime of personal importance to Cate.

Cate’s best friend, Samantha, went missing at fourteen, leaving behind nothing except a jacket and an island full of unanswered questions. Samantha’s disappearance has haunted Cate for more than half her life, and she might finally be able to find some closure.

But not everything is as it seems. As Cate unravels what happened on that fateful day, she’ll discover that the community of Widow’s Island is full of secrets. Betrayed by someone she thought she knew, Cate will need to piece together the truth…before someone else gets hurt.


The Review:

Received from NetGalley
Completed 10/26/19 & 10/27/19
97 & 86 page novellas

First off, I always LOVE their covers. They are so awesome how they make one image between the two. I discovered Kendra Elliot years ago around the time her first book came out and I've read everything she's written since. I'm actually not a fan of Melinda Leigh. I read her books because they go hand in hand with Kendra's, but I never enjoy them as much. I especially don't like her MCs of the Rogue River series, but I like Kendra's.

With the Widow's Island series, I enjoy both MCs and while I still don't enjoy Melinda's stories quite as much they are good. Within the two, the Bred in the Bone was my favorite. The story was really gripping and surprising, and I'm not often surprised. These books can't be read on their own. I mean there is a standing story, but the rest would be missed and there's a lot of background. I recommend these for romantic suspense readers, they are quite enjoyable


Setting = A & A
Plot = B & A
Conflict = B & A
Characters = B & A
Theme = A & A


The Rating:

3 stars & 4 stars


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Joining Dewey's - but not here



That time of the year again! Once again, too quick that it comes around. How is it almost November?
You know - I left that same line above that I wrote in April, only changed the month. How is it the year goes too fast?!

I believe this is my 14th Dewey's, I think. I really need to find out which I'm on. It's been a lot.

I went all 24 hours every time, which I loved, until April. Then, I was doing Camp NaNoWriMo, and I wanted to write rather than read so I made sure to sleep. I don't like reverse so I slept some then too.

Planning to do the full 24 hours this time, but don't know if I will or not. We'll see. :)

I'll be posting about it on my other blog though - as I'm trying to build that blog up (it's my pen name) for my someday-published books. :)

Come visit me there for my updates, and leave your blogs if you are reading!


Koriana Brackson

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Bout of Books Day 1 wrap-up - On my other blog


Bout of Books


I won't bombard this blog with links to check out my other one, just this reminder and one at the end for the week wrap-up.

I am participating in Bout of Books, I'm just doing it on a different blog. I recently started writing and the new blog is under my pen name, so I can hopefully build up a bit of a base before deciding what to do with my book(s). So, I'm over there to, hopefully, gain some followers. :)

Come check out my Day 1 on there. I'm also, reluctantly on Twitter, and I'm already following many of you, some of whom I've intereacted with before and I recognize. It's still me - Karsyn @ KaKiJoKoJa - even if you don't know the new name. :)

Come check out my wrap-up there:

Bout of Books 26 - Day 1 Wrap-up







Friday, August 9, 2019

I'm - reluctantly - on Twitter now



In further efforts to start getting my aspiring author social media built up - I've joined Twitter. Yes, I'm late to the party. I've always hated Twitter and still do really. But I know it's a good way to get followers. I've only been there 24 hours and have a few already. I love my blogs and will continue here, and over at Koriana Brackson - but in the meantime I'm finally doing the Twitter thing.

I'll follow back any followers - especially anyone doing Bout of Books - or other read-a-thons, as well as any other aspiring authors / new authors / writers.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Joining Bout of Books - but not here




I have a new blog. Specifically, it's my 'aspiring author' blog. If you've followed any of my Camp NaNoWriMo posts, then you know about that already. If you haven't, feel free to check out my April Camp NaNo Wrap-up and my July Camp NaNo Wrap-up.

I'll still post here occasionally but am going to focus on posting on that blog until I can grow a following. If you'd like to follow my Bout of Books progress - please visit me there. If you want to follow further book(s) progress, please follow me there as well, that blog will continue to grow. Click on the link below.




Koriana Brackson

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Camp NaNoWriMo - July Wrap-Up


My 2nd Camp NaNoWriMo is Complete


I know, it's been a while since I posted. I'd thought / planned to do as I did for Camp in April - write nearly daily, post about my updates. But, that didn't happen.

The reason being that I didn't write much in the start of the month. There were external forces that made me just not in the mood to write and for a while, I didn't think I'd write at all. It sucked, but for me, I don't stress if I don't meet goals. Though things turned around for me the start of the month was abysmal - I only wrote a total of SIX days in the first TWENTY!! Yeah, awful. So at Day 20 - which in April was the day I MET my goal of 50k words - I had only written 9,932 words. Not good.

But I really kicked things into gear, those last 11 days, and ended up making my goal! I really still can't believe it! Yes, I wrote 40,068 words in 11 days. Whoa! :D

That's not to say I didn't do other things, because in the days of not writing, sometimes I did work on other things of my books. I finally firmed up my cover (love it), I drew out my fictional town, so I know the basic layout. I named some roads in the town, though I still need business names. I named characters that previously didn't have names, I worked on the backstory of my main characters and how they interconnect to their large group of friends, and I started thinking about a blog (for my actual pen name) so I can eventually start promoting, if/when I decide to do anything with these books. So things did still happen a lot, even when I wasn't writing.

I didn't write as much in April, but a LOT got done and I still met my goal of 50k in the month. I also officially finished the first book, wrapping up the couple things that were giving me issues in it. My Husband read it - the only one to do so - and liked it. Actually liked what I did, thought I did well. His praise meant everything.


What's next?

My main novel STILL needs editing. I only edited the first 3 chapters (let me know if you'd like to read them, they are available for critique) so the rest (20 or so chapters) need big big edits. I think I over edit myself so I'm hoping to find a Critique Partner or two to take a look at the first book.

The 2nd, what I focused on with this NaNo is about 70% complete, so eventually I need to round it out, complete some chapters and pull it all together.

NaNoWriMo is in November and I've already had ideas for the 3rd book. :) So I plan to be back to writing more. We'll see what I can get done with the first two, between now and then.



For Camp NaNoWriMo I am challenging myself to write 50,000 words.



Camp NaNoWriMo Progress

Total for NaNo: 50,306 / 50,000 words
Story Novel Total: 47,049 words

  • Day 01: 2,875 words written
  • Day 02: 1,321 words written
  • Day 03: 261 words written
  • Day 04: Did NOT Write
  • Day 05: Did NOT Write
  • Day 06: 1,281 word written
  • Day 07: Did NOT Write
  • Day 08: Did NOT Write
  • Day 09: Did NOT Write
  • Day 10: Did NOT Write
  • Day 11: Did NOT Write
  • Day 12: Did NOT Write
  • Day 13: Did NOT Write
  • Day 14: Did NOT Write
  • Day 15: Did NOT Write
  • Day 16: 3,548 words written
  • Day 17: Did NOT Write
  • Day 18: 646 words written
  • Day 19: Did NOT Write
  • Day 20: Did NOT Write
  • Day 21: 1,518 words written
  • Day 22: 1,086 words written
  • Day 23: 2,528 words written
  • Day 24: 8,060 words written
  • Day 25: 3,526 words written
  • Day 26: 4,566 words written
  • Day 27: 2,825 words written
  • Day 28: 2,284 words written
  • Day 29: 3,193 words written
  • Day 30: 6,214 words written
  • Day 31: 4,538 words written



For anyone interested, my story is EROTIC ROMANCE featuring the following themes: F/F sex, FFM threesomes, BDSM & Polyamory. What I'll do with the story when it's done, I'm not sure.

I'd love to hear from anyone else doing Camp NaNo, now or if you have previously. Thank you for any interest you take in my accountability here.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 2



A slower day, but still got in a good chunk of writing. I'm not as worried about getting over my daily target goal every day this month because I know from April if I just write, and if the ideas keep coming to me, then getting out the words is easy. It's the ideas that are hard for me.

Today, I also played games and read, so all my favorite things on the same day, that's a pretty good day. :)


For anyone interested, my story is EROTIC Romance featuring the following themes: F/F sex, FFM threesomes, BDSM & Polyamory. I am still looking for Beta Readers for the first, especially anyone who wouldn't mind reading it unedited, as I think that I over-edit myself, trying to polish it TOO much. If interested, please message me.

For July's Camp NaNoWriMo I am challenging myself to write 50,000 words.

Camp NaNoWriMo Progress

Total for NaNo: 4,196 / 50,000 words
Story Total: 9,507 words

  • Day 1: 2,875 words written
  • Day 2: 1,321 words written



I'd love to hear from anyone else doing Camp NaNo, now or if you have previously. Thank you for any interest you take in my accountability here.



Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Camp NaNaWriMo for July - Day 1



In April, I participated in my first ever Camp NaNoWriMo. I challenged myself to 50k words, and the month was a HUGE success. Interested in seeing how I did? Check out my Wrap-Up Post I wrote, detailing the month.

Though that project isn't completed (I'm stuck on a few parts) I decided to jump right back into Camp again this month.

This time round, I'm writing the sequel to the first story. In April, I wrote about 5k words on the sequel, but hadn't written anymore since then, leaving it for now. Instead I did some editing of the first, and just took some time to do other things, like read and play video games.

For July, I'm aiming for 50k again. We'll see if I have it in me. I'm a Pantser, not a Plotter, so I only have basic ideas in mind, it's taking shape as I write.

For anyone interested, my story is EROTIC Romance featuring the following themes: F/F sex, FFM threesomes, BDSM & Polyamory. I am still looking for Beta Readers for the first, especially anyone who wouldn't mind reading it unedited, as I think that I over-edit myself, trying to polish it TOO much. If interested, please message me.

For July's Camp NaNoWriMo I am challenging myself to write 50,000 words.

Camp NaNoWriMo Progress

Total for NaNo: 2,875 / 50,000 words
Story Total: 8,186 words

  • Day 1: 2,875 words written



I'd love to hear from anyone else doing Camp NaNo, now or if you have previously. Thank you for any interest you take in my accountability here.



Monday, May 20, 2019

Bout of Books 25 - Wrap Up





Another good Bout of Books!! I completed my loose goal of 14 books, finishing 15 on the week. Would have been more, if I hadn't been sucked into a game, but Rage 2 is soooooooooo much fun. :) The books were good too and it was a good time of reading. Now, I can game more and get back to writing too.

How did you do? Leave me a link and I'll come visit your wrap-up!


I visited every blog (sorry Twitter people, I don't do Twitter) listed before mine so far, and will visit every blog posting today. But I can't comment on blogs that just have the "google account" sign in to comment. I'm not sure why, probably one of my privacy settings, but it won't let me. I wish I could, I love commenting on all the blogs. :/



Bout of Book 25 Stats

  • I completed 15 books
  • I read 2,607 pages
  • I read 4 books on my Kindle
  • I listened to 11 books as audiobooks
  • I read 6 Novels, 6 Novellas & 3 Short stories
  • I read for approximately 31 hours 40 minutes (9 hrs 20 min on Kindle, 22 hrs 20 min on Audio)


Sunday

Night Time Audio listening time/pages: -----
Day Time Audio listening time/pages: 1 hr 15 min / 71 pages
Kindle reading time / pages: 1 hr 10 min / 140 pages
Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 15
Current Book: Big City Magic
Pages Read Today: 211
Total Pages Read: 2,607
Time Read Today: 2 hrs 25 min
Total Time Read: 31 hrs 40 min



COMPLETED BOOKS:







Started, but did not complete: