Book Review- Midnight Caller by N.J. Cole

Book Description

Rebecca Summers enjoys pleasing herself with the curtains open. When a mysterious stranger calls to tell her that he is watching, fantasy becomes reality as she begins to perform for him. Following his instructions over the phone while he watches from afar, she finds herself craving more.

Oliver Durant has always been drawn to humans to exert the dominance and control his kind needs to feel alive. While secretly observing her and calling nightly, he can’t seem to get enough of Rebecca, whom he refers to as butterfly. His urges with her are stronger than the need to dominate, as he is driven to possess her in every way.

Both of their worlds are turned upside down when they finally meet and she agrees to enter into a Dominant/submissive relationship with her Midnight Caller

My Thoughts

Let´s keep this short and painless.

A slight waste of my time.

It´s really disappointing because I expected something completely different when I started reading `Midnight Caller` by author N.J. Cole. I expected a BDSM romance. A well written story that would knock me out of my panties. Well, I sure did get knocked out of my underwear- just not in a good way.

Some scenes were okay- even sexy as hell. But one tiny, little piece of info was NOT included in the book description and that killed the story for me. midnight caller

The moment I found out the Hero was an alien, I actually voiced a „ WTF?“ louder then I intended too. I don´t know about all the other readers who read Midnight Caller, but I wasn´t too extatic reading about an alien dominating. That was, in my opinion, far from sexy. If I wanted to read a sci-fi BDSM romance, I would have looked for one. But I didn´t, so why did I end up reading this book? Because someone forgot to mention the sci-fi part.

I see aliens as creatures who kidnap people at an unholy hour and experiment on them. OR….I just imagine Ridley Scott´s movie, Alien. Remember that scary piece of lump from outer space who used people as hosts or killed them, because…..that´s what aliens do? THAT`S how I see an alien. They don´t screw like Gods. So, no matter how hot the sexy scenes were…..I had such a hard time getting into the mindset I was supposed to go in. I cannot, for all that´s pink and fluffy, wrap my head around that one.

The characters, Rebecca and Oliver did´t do anything for me. Sure, I realized that what they had was supposed to be fantabulous and all, but I felt no connection to either of them, nor did I feel a connection between those characters. I blame it on the alien issue.

I can see why alot of readers loved this book. It WAS hot. It WAS unique. And it WAS out of this world. It was just too out-of-this-world for me. At the end….I didn´t like the whole thing.

If Oliver was a human this story would have been a tad better, but not much .

There is a second book available but I think I´ll pass.

Note to myself: For the future- double check if the book has aliens in it before buying.

Would I re-read this book? Uuhm, nope.

Would I recommend this book? I´m not sure. I´m leaning towards „no“.

 

The Cover- 2 stars ( The cover is too dark ((both old and new)). It´s not really eye- catchy either.)

The Story- 2 stars ( I can´t deal with aliens. That´s just too far away from anything I like.)

The Characters – 2 stars ( Where to start? Where to end? Totally 2 dimentional. Unlikable.)

My emotional state after finishing this read- Fed up.

I´m giving `Midnight Caller` by N.J. Cole 2 out of 5 stars.

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You can purchase this book on Amazon.com by clicking here.

Book Review- Lord Blackwood´s Virgin by Vivienne Wilmont

Book Description

  A sacrificial virgin upon the altar of a demon cult. A handsome lord to rescue her. A wedding. An eager bridegroom. An innocent bride. 

Lord Blackwood embarks into matrimony with his virginal bride in great anticipation. He knows one thing is true. Before the night is over his lovely obsession will be a virgin no more. 

The WEDDING NIGHT DIARIES are a series of fan-fiction inspired short stories giving the reader a “behind-the-keyhole” account of the wedding night adventures of some famous couples you may already know, but if you don’t you’ll soon know a lot more about them than you ever imagined. *snickering* 

***CONTENT RATING*** 
This book is intended for mature readers 18 years and older due to language and scenes of an intimate nature. *more snickering* 

My Thoughts

I´ve read quite a few Raine Miller books years back and this is by far my least favorite from the author’s collection.Lord Blackwoods virgin

Before I begin with my thoughts I´d like to add that this book was a gift from a friend who swore on all that´s pink and fluffy that this novella was absolutely worth a read.

I also have to admit that after reading the description I couldn´t help but notice the questionable „snickerings“. Who snickers in their descriptions? For me- that´s a bit unprofessional, even for a writer who has other great works published. Or, the „snickerings“ are apart of some insider joke. Who knows. I think it´s odd.

I´m glad I didn´t buy this book.

A historical setting with little story, little depth and a whole lot of sex. 104 pages worth of smoochy smoochy and poking the one-eyed snake underneath a skirt.

Don´t get me wrong- I´m all for good sex in romance novels. Throw in a good amount of sex, if you feel the need to. But add the sex to the story. Not the other way around. Because, if you take the sex out of this little pocket-book you´d have nothing left to read.

viv
Thick as a newspaper. Enough sex for 3 books.

Raine Miller likes to add hot and steamy scenes in her stories but this one just took the cake. I feel like my time has been robbed. Nothing enjoyable for me. Cheeky, totally off the charts sex that was clearly written for readers who don´t want a story to interrupt their horniness.

Would I reread this book? No. As a matter of fact… I gave it back to my friend with a small note that said:

„I love you. But please, never gift me a book ever again.“

Would I recommend this book? No.

The Cover – 5 stars ( For a Historical….a truly beautiful image. I usually think all Historical book covers are tacky but this one is just down right beautiful.)

The Story – 1 star ( 90% sex, 10% story. )

The Characters – 1 star ( What´s there to say about characters who do nothing productive besides have sex? Were they relatable? Loving, caring? Well, I can say there wasn´t any rape involved * SNICKERS * I can´t applaud the act itself because…. they had sex. No one gives me a round of applause for having sex. * SNICKERS * )

My emotional state after finishing this read – A big NOPE.

I´m giving `Lord Blackwood´s Virgin` by Vivienne Wilmont ( a.k.a Raine Miller ) 1 out of 5 stars.

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Shall anyone still feel the need to buy this booklet… feel free to  click here .

Why Book Reviews Aren´t What They Should Be

I think it’s safe to say that alot of people know what book reviews are, so no use to give a deeper explanation for that term.

But what is a review for?

Well, to keep this simple- reviews are there for indecisive people who search for a good book to read( and to help authors with sales ).Or, sometimes not help them ( depending on the reviews content). Either way- reviews are important. ( read 5 Reasons Why Book Reviews Are Important )

But, did you know reviews can also be corrupt? Oh, yes. Quite so.

There are 2 major types of reviews.

1 )reviews

2 ) do-me-a-favor-reviews / help-me-climb-the-ladder-to-success-reviews

Confusing? It shouldn’t be. An author usually has a goal, and that is to make a living off of writing and that’s perfectly fine. If it were up to me I’d wish everyone the success they want. Unfortunately, the road to that success can be a rocky one. There’s so much to do to get „out there”. Writing a book and hoping for a miracle to happen doesn’t cut it anymore.

 Writing a book and hoping for a miracle to happen doesn't cut it anymore

Authors/ writers depend on one major thing- positive feedback. The more positive feedback they get the better their chances are for more exposure. Word can spread really fast and that helps loads.

(Uugh…this is boring……* head against table * )

I like to say I’m a skilled book ninja. I have my eyes and ears all over the place, especially in the indie-author community. When blogging I keep an eye on all sorts of stuff, such as: new book releases, blog tours, author streetteams, yada yada yada, AND reviews. Yes. I read reviews, too. And due to my ninja observation skills I know who’s besties with who and who’s fan #1. If you take a closer look I’m sure you’ll notice, too. 

Can anyone remember the shitstorm Amazon caused with their taking down reviews from certain books? Yes. That was a thing and it pissed so many people off. I would know. I witnessed it, first hand. Amazon never took any of my reviews down ( Thank God ) but they did with other bloggers and fans. And guess what? Bravo! It was about time. Not that I´m pointing fingers at anyone in particular. I´m sure many deleted Amazon reviews were wrongly accused of diabolical review-washing. But the majority? Serves them right. 

I’m positive that won’t win me any plus points. But I don’t really care. When I hunt for books I’m just an ordinary reader. And when I notice someone is just doing an author a favor my blood pressure rises. How am I to trust these people who devote their lives to these authors? Their judgement is clouded in so many ways that their reviews aren’t trustworthy anymore.

Sure, I’m all for supporting my favorite authors. But stay realistic. Stay professional.

I’ve seen people befriend authors ( mainly through Facebook ) and get really REALLY tight with them ( again…that’s fine. Anything that floats their boats). And then I’ve seen those authors publish book after book after book and each book got the same LOVE as the ones before, by the same people. An author can write 12 books ( each with different stories ) in a year and still, they’d get 12 outstanding reviews from the same blogs who are oh-so-tight with them. Something is totally fishy there. There is no way a person will LOVE everything an author writes. No-ho! 

It’s impossible. There always a slower book in-between great books. A story that, in truth, deserved 3 stars because it was, in fact, slower, or a bit more softer, or just not someone´s cup of tea. Any normal thinking person would rate the slower book with 3 stars ( or less) because that’s how they actually felt about the story, no matter how much they loved the authors other books. But, nooooooo.Some bloggers / fans feel so much loyalty towards an author that they feel compelled to give the slower book 5 stars.

Why does that happen? Do readers/ bloggers think their friendship will go down the drain if they’re honest? Or does it have anything to do with stupidity? I. Don’t. Know! You tell me. But something is definitely not right there.

I’m not sure if that can be considered as healthy behavior.

Would you like to know what helps me pick a book? I skip all the 5 star reviews and jumped right to the 3 or fewer ones. I’m not saying that all high rated reviews are full of shit, but can you blame me for doubting them? Reading a 3 star review will not convince me NOT to buy a book because tastes are different. It’s as simple as that.

I know I shouldn’t waste my time breaking my little head over the review matter, because it’s really not worth it. Reviews are… subjective. I’ve wasted so much energy trying to figure out why bloggers aren’t fully honest with their thoughts regarding a book * sigh *. But you’ve got to see my point of view, here- I want to read a book and the only way not to dive blind into a story is to read reviews and see how others judged a book. And people who do authors those stupid favors ( because they want recognition or what not) aren’t helping me, or any other book nerd out there.

That’s basically why I was happy about the Amazon clean-out.

The book universe is sometimes a dark place. Bloggers doing authors favors because they’re afraid to jeopardize their friendship is not okay. 

There was a time, way back in the early blogging days, when bloggers helped authors get reviews by doing so called blog tours for their favorite writers. Blog tours are nothing other than a virtual book promotion where often free copies of a story were/are offered. The only thing wrong with those blog tours were / are… a reviewer CANNOT publish a review with less than 3 stars, depsite what their true thoughts of said book were/are. Anything to avoid a bad review. So, a reviewer either lies or they don´t review at all and risk a potential shout out from the blog tour hosts. I call that…. corrupt. And wrong.
Another observation I made:
Authors releasing new books and bluntly asking for 5 star reviews. Because a 4 star review isn´t going to make sales. * holding breath * The same authors then wonder why hardly any people leave reviews.  That screams desperate.

This is also the main reason why I believe honesty is the best policy. State your real opinions instead of doing favors. 

And for the authors who are hungry for fame….. The big shot writers often have alot of negative reviews along with the 5 stars. That´s definitely something to think about.

It´s amazing to watch authors and their devoted fans go to such extremes. But it´s less amazing when you spot the lie.

I feel cheated on. Ripped off.

REVIEW- After Series (book #1-#5) by Anna Todd

Collective Review

After ( After #1 )
After We Collided ( After #2 )
After We Fell ( After #3 )
After Ever Happy ( After #4 )
Before ( After #5 )

 

It´s taken me years to come up with reasonable words that sum up my feelings towards the `After` series by Anna Todd. Because, the ugly truth is – I couldn´t come up with anything better than swear words to describe my emotions.

Now, before I begin with my actual review I´d like to mention that before I started this series I was oblivious to everything that was associated with this story. All I knew was that the story was originally published on the online writing platform, Wattpad.

That was it. I never heard of Anna Todd nor have I heard of the sensation this story was supposed to be. It was by accident that I found the „After“ series.

Later on ( after finishing the fourth book ) I was informed that `After` is a fan fiction romance and that Harry Styles, from the band 1 Direction, was the inspiration for the male protagonist.

I didn´t know who Harry Style was and I had absolutely no clue who 1 Direction ( or 1D) were. After a quick google check I wasn´t any smarter. I figured it didn´t matter. Nothing could have changed my opinion towards the story, or should I say – nothing could have made me think better or worse of what I forced myself to finish.

 

Staring with book #1, After… I have to admit that I liked it alot. I´m not a huge fan of college romances but I liked how the story started and how it ended.

A well protected wallflower falls for rude, mysterious bad boy. after

What´s unique about this story is that the main characters, Tessa and Hardin, are polar opposites who shouldn´t even be near each other. Two extreme youngsters who can´t seem to stay away from one another. The story has mean – as – shit college students, lots of pre-adult drama and a bet that could break whatever the hell these 2 characters have for each other. The key word is: could. There wouldn´t be more books if the bet had ripped the characters apart for good. There´s alot going on and there´s tension. An entertaining story with so much potential.

Like I said- I liked book #1. I just wish I could say the same for the rest of the books.

 

With `After We Collided`, book #2, Tessa and Hardins story continues. After a relationship hiccup the couple tries to sort themselves and have a steady relationship. Little do they know how hard it is to be together, especially when one is a complete harm to society.

I self diagnosed the Hero, Hardin, in this book. In book one I truly bought the bad boy act but since his behavior didn´t really improve I began to think he had more than just a few screws missing.After 2

A few things come to my mind when I think of Hardin: alcoholic, abusive, antisocial personality disorder and bastard. Because he is all those things covered by a pretty face of a college student. It´s plain to see that he has / had issues. In book #1 a reader gets to accompany the main characters and live the ups and downs, back and forth with them. In book #2…. nothing changes. Tessa and Hardin are two „kids“ stuck in an awkward nightmare relationship where both have no bloody clue as to how things work. A reader does get to meet the sub characters a little more, which is good. But the rest? Screw ups after screw ups, heartbreak and tears…. it was time to see some happiness happen for these characters. 671 pages full of „Why the hell isn´t she leaving him??“

My final thoughts on `After We Collided`: After reading such an intense story with such intense characters in book #1 I hoped there would be some character development in book #2. There was none. But… there was more emotional abuse. So much that I felt the need to open a bottle of wine afterwards just so I could digest the catastrophe I read.

`After We Fell`, book #3. An 834 page long book. The book is just as thick as the bricks we used to build our house with. 834 pages of repetitive emotional abuse. After 3 Tessa and Hardin continue their abusive / back and forth relationship. But this time it´s painful for a reader to witness the mind fucking going on between the main characters and how they pulled other family members into their world of fuck ups. Family and friends of Tessa and Hardin also suffer under the hands of Hardin. He´s a ticking time bomb. He has anger issues. He´s afraid of losing the one thing he can emotionally torture. Hardin claims he loves Tessa but still breaks a piece of her every time he fucks up.

I couldn´t believe I sat through another book that had NO character development, what-so-ever. I got the picture: Hardin wasn´t healthy in any way, on any level. Hardin´s behavior took it´s toll on Tessa and I was so waiting for her to wake up and smell the roses. She needed to get rid of him. Actually, that needed to happen during book #1. After I finished book #3 I opened another bottle of wine.

The new relationship status from Hardin and Tessa: An apocalyptic catastrophe.

`After Ever Happy`, book #4, was the book that finally cracked my calm. I was fuming. I shook my head through 512 pages because there was nothing else I was able to do. Tessa and Hardin- they had ANOTHER life/relationship challenge. Another one. Or, let´s say… they had a few more and those challenges were such a waste of my time because 80% of those challenges were recaps of the ones from the previous books. After 4

My hopes for a character development were shot to the moon after book #3 but I still had a tiny bit of hope that there would be some sort of a happy ever after ( because the title does hint it ). A reader does get a sloppy version of a happy ever after. You get approximately 450 pages of emotional disaster with the main characters and then it´s fast forward from then on.

BAM –  you see the characters do this.

BAM – you see the characters do that.

BAM – BAM – BAM – BAM – BAM.

There´s no time for a reader to process all the info shoved in our faces.

The pace of the ending can be compared to the recent season 7 of Game of Thrones. We got 6 seasons of drawn out info and a super speedy season 7.

(NOTE: I love Game of Thrones and would normally never compare the genius of a story to the After series, except when referring to the pace. I´m probably going to go to hell for even mentioning GoT in this review. )

Anyways- the finale ending of the After series… A full-blown disappointment. So disappointed that I returned book #4. I don´t want to have a book like that on my kindle.

My overall feelings towards this series: A big fat NOPE.

It´s unnecessarily complicated, the Hero is abusive, the relationship Hardin and Tessa have is over the top unhealthy. What they have is a twisted sense of reality. There´s nothing remotely romantic about 2 young adults acting the way they did. The story was a train wreck I should have looked away from.

 

But wait… there´s one more. Yupp. I kid you not. There´s a 5th book in the series.

`Before` ( After #5 ) and it´s the story of Hardin´s life before he permanently ruined Tessa´s life.After 5

I didn´t even try to read it. Why would I? A reader can make their own picture of Hardin´s past and readers definitely find out the true reason behind his abusive behavior in book 3 & 4. I´m really not interested in further details. My guess is that the author wrote this book for her dedicated fans, which is fine. Only I´m not interested in spending another dime on this story and I´m not interested in spending more hours on reading about a glorified prick.

 

So, there we have it. Not everything with the words `sensation`printed on it is actually a sensation. The only thing sensational about the After series is that so many people loved it.

 

Would I reread this series? Nope. Not now. Not ever again.

Would I recommend this series? No.

The Covers – 4 stars ( The covers have nothing to do with the story. They´re all actually pretty to look at )

The Story – 1 star ( No. Either I´m too old to appreciate the kind of twisted romance After is or I´m a different kind of romance reader. Either way- No. )

The Characters – 1 star ( The world doesn´t have enough wine to help me get over these kids)

My emotional state after finishing this read – I feel like I need to upgrade from wine to vodka.

 

I´m giving the whole `After`series by Anna Todd 1 out of 5 stars. 

Review- Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Book Description

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off. 

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear. 

My Thoughts

I have so much love for this book, it´s not even normal.

A young adult novel about a girl dealing with OCD. This was a book I needed to read.

`Every Last Word` by Tamara Ireland Stone. Every Last Word

Now, before I begin with my thoughts I´d like to get something off of my chest: I do NOT suffer from OCD nor any other mental illness. My thoughts below may make me seem as an uneducated person on the „mental illness“ topic and that´s fine. I´m not an expert in that field. And I don´t have to be to enjoy the story.

“If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.”

I wasn´t smiling. How could I when I was reading about a girl who was basically perfect on the outside, living the perfect life, who had perfect ( bitches from hell, actually) friends but was a wreck from the inside. That, alone, is horrific, in my opinion.

Samantha ( female protagonist ) was one of the best written characters I have ever come across. I loved how twisted her mind worked, how much she struggled with her life and her surroundings. Not that I´m happy when people suffer ( Seriously, I´m not. I usually suffer with them in some other form ). What I´m trying to say, without sounding like an idiot, is how fascinated I was about how real Samantha and her problems felt.

I, myself, don´t struggle with any kind of mental illness so I have no clue if the author did her homework well on the topic or not. What I do know is how terrifying Samantha´s OCDs were and that I wish for no one to suffer as bad as this fictional character did.

With that being said- Samantha is introduced to the world of poetry and finds her place amongst a young group of social outcasts and her focus slowly shifts, especially with AJ.

And this is the great thing about this story- It´s not your every day-lovey dovey – full on heartbreak young adult romance. There is romance, but the story is more about Sam and the world Sam lives in and the changes she makes and goes through as a person who suffers from a mental illness.

Yes, the story was a tad predictable. I saw the endgame pretty quick but that didn´t stop me from reading further. I was interested in Samantha´s development because she was such an intense character.

A beautiful story that sends out a very important message. A great story that has left it´s mark on my heart.

Would I reread this book? Yes, I definitely would.

Would I recommend this book? Without a doubt, I would.

The Cover – 5 stars ( The cover was what caught my attention. Simple. Perfect. Even the title doesn´t give away anything, which I love.)

The Story – 5 stars ( Very entertaining. Very interesting. Totally fascinating. I was in love. )

The Characters – 5 stars ( From the Mean Girls club to the Poet´s Corner gang, Sam and AJ… all outstanding characters. Not all lovable but all very strong and well-developed. Exactly how I like it)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Just super satisfied.

I´m giving `Every Last Word` by Tamara Ireland Stone 5 out of 5 stars

Amazon.com

Amazon.de

Amazon.co.uk

Review: Her Twisted Pleasures ( The Twisted Mosaic #1) by Amelia James

Book Description

His hand came off my neck, and he wrapped his arms around me, crushing me against him. I grabbed his hair and forced his mouth to mine, feeding the darkness possessing us…. Submission, yes! Not giving up control but having it taken from me. This… this was why I needed Alex. Will was too nice; he would never abuse me like this. But Alex…mmm…Alex had no such qualms. “What have you done to me?”

Talia indulges her sexual pleasures, turning her life into a twisted mess. Sleeping with Alex is dangerous and reckless. She craves that excitement. Loving Will is comforting and safe. She needs that stability. Why can’t she get everything she wants from one man? 

Will has everything under control. Watching his girlfriend flirt with his best friend fuels his lust for her. He loves Talia; he trusts Alex. It’s all good as long as he makes the rules. 

Alex doesn’t give a damn about rules. He knows how to play with fire without getting burned. It’s just sex with Talia. No emotions means no attachments. That’s one rule he won’t break.

Sometimes dirty little secrets are more dirty than secret…

My Thoughts

The book description was tempting and when I started reading `Her Twisted Pleasures` ( The Twisted Mosaic #1 ) by Amelia James, I thought I was reading the wrong book. Sex here….sex there….sex EVERYWHERE! * dramatically falling backwards on sofa * A little less sex and a lot more story would have done this book wonders.

 

I think it´s safe to say that this book wasn´t for me. Like- at all.

Don´t get me wrong- I really appreciate sex scenes in romance novels. Only the sex in this book was too much for me. I needed more depth, more story, more everything in order to not view this read as a porn. I knew damn well what I was getting myself into. I knew there would be sex. I knew about the BDSM, the dom / sub that was in this book. But I didn´t know there was no actually story behind the sex.

It seemed like the balance between dialogue, narrative and action in this book was completely out of proportion, making it difficult to pick out the actual story.

`Her Twisted Pleasures` was supposed to be a love triangle. I didn´t notice one. For me it looked like nothing of the sort happened. It was just sex between 3 people who knew each other.

I was confused, 2 from the 3 main characters were emotionally confused… Everything was just an uncontrolled mess that never should have happened.

And then, after countless screwings without a wink of emotions, the moment of truth happened. All three characters were gathered in the same room! Sadly, that one scene where something monumental should have happened didn´t do much for me either because.. nothing happened.

This book ends on a cliffhanger. One I didn´t care much for because I was not interested in dealing with more sex.

Let´s just put it this way- I didn´t like this one. It was complicated, confusing, twisted and even dull.

I expected more, especially after reading the tons of supportive reviews left on Goodreads and Amazon.com.

Would I reread this book?  Nope.

Would I recommend this book? Not really. Anyone looking for a book with depth and purpose will not find what they´re looking for in this book. If anyone is looking for sex from start to finish then this might be a book for them.

The Cover – 3 stars ( It´s okay. I´m not going crazy over it nor do I hate it.)

The Characters – 1 star ( A generous star, mind you. All 3 main characters were not to my liking, especially the Heroine. )

The Story – 1 stars ( Nope. As much as I enjoy reading about sex, it was too much for my taste. The sex overshadowed everything else.)

My emotional state after finishing this read– Disappointed, to say the least.

I´m giving `Her Twisted Pleasures` ( The Twisted Mosaic #1 ) by Amelia James 1 out of 5 stars.

Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing: Part One

To self publish or not to self publish.

That´s something I never had to ask myself because I´m not a writer, but many others have undoubtedly asked themselves if they should dive into self publishing or not.

Writers from all literature corners have, at some point, thought of the idea of publishing their own work, whether through traditional publishing or through self-publishing.

Both routes are fully acceptable these days, but before any writer choses a path to take they should definitely have a closer look at the pro´s and con´s of both traditional publishing and self publishing. Let´s do a quick breakdown to show the differences between the two and include pros and cons for both traditional publishing and self publishing:

Pros for Traditional Publishing

  • Marketing
  • Reach a wide audience, more exposure
  • Publishing houses often offer a financial advance
  • Publishing houses take care of edits, covers, etc.

Cons for Traditional Publishing

  • A writer hardly ( if at all, depending on the publisher) has a say ( in all areas)
  • Marketing runs at a snail’s pace
  • Royalty rates suck
  • It´s hard to get out of a contract

So basically, a writer´s hands are bound.

 

Pros for Self Publishing

  • You call the shots. You´re your own boss.
  • Publication is almost instantly
  • Royalty rates are higher
  • No rejections ( other than maybe from readers)

Cons for Self Publishing

  • No professional book polish ( no editing, no suitable cover image)
  • You have to do major self marketing
  • Potential for publishing a shitty book
  • Literally, anyone can self publish

It all comes down to having all the freedom in the world but also investing an outrageous amount of time doing self promotion because.. since you´re your own boss you have to do every stinking thing yourself.

If I was in a writer´s position I would definitely go with the traditional route. But that´s just me. Since I´m not a writer it´s not important what I would do, right?

A simple fact is: It´s hard getting a deal with a publishing house and it´s easy as hell to self publish.

Doing business with hundreds of self published writers did reveal an awful lot, but what the years of observation have shown was that many self published authors struggle.

And the struggle is real.

Some authors don´t know how to market themselves or they find it extremely difficult.

Why is that?

Well, for one… most writers who go into self publishing and want to make a name for themselves know that they´re going to have to deal with marketing but they don´t know how hard it is.

Imagine you wrote a book and you set your mind of self publishing. Great. But what steps need to be done?

Is your book edited? If not, it should be. You don´t want to sell crap and no one wants to spend money on crap. A harsh truth alot of self published author´s don´t want to hear.

Is the book cover image eye-catchy and is the quality of the image good? If not, you might want to invest some money and get something that´ll make a reader want to buy your book. Many readers judge a book by it´s cover. ( read my article on book covers )

Once your book is properly looked over and the cover ( incl. the quality) is ready you still need readers.

Do you have fans? Without fans you have little to no sales. And without fans you have no one but yourself and maybe your mother to spread the word about your book.

Your book can be a genius piece of written art or a possible world-wide bestseller but that´s worth crap if you don´t have any readers.

You need a plan. A large one.

From what I´ve been able to learn was that self published authors NEED to interact with people. There´s no way around it. Writers must use the tools they´re given and start interacting with all sorts of people in order to get the marketing ball rolling.

Social media is the best place for that. Millions of book lovers hang around Facebook, Twitter & Co. and are dying to get their hands on a new book. Befriending authors is also a step in the right direction because other, more accomplished self published authors have the know-how and can help with fulfilling a dream of becoming a known writer. Contacting book blogs is another way. Us foot folk know how to spread the word in an effective way.

It sounds so easy. But then again- everything seems easy in theory. Contacting strangers is not always easy. It´s acutally awkward.

„Hey, we don´t know each other but I have a book and ( after a full-blown social media investigation) I know you like to read… So, do you wanna read my book?“

Yes. That´s awkward but with a little more tact there is a high chance of gaining potential readers that way.

When a writer has to do their own marketing that means nothing other than having to sell their own product. In this case, it´s their book. Selling a product involves having to interact with people.

A nightmare for introverts or moody artists.

Another thing most self published authors forget is that self marketing never stops. It´s a constant, never-ending cycle. Once the self marketing slows down or stops then that´s it. Everything else stops too.

It also doesn´t stop at the interacting, either. There´s a whole lot more to self marketing than a writer´s eye can meet. Writers need to become creative and find ways to keep the ball rolling. This can be done with simple posts of teasers from their book or maybe a graphic quote or possibly through another author promoting a new writer. Something that engages other people. There are ways to make self marketing fun and slightly easier but the key is: interaction.

It also can´t hurt to mention how much time self published writers need to invest on self marketing. Yes. Many writers would appreciate a day with more than 24 hours.

The reality of self publishing is completely different from what people might think. It´s not just going on some self publishing platform and uploading a story with over 60.000 words and calling it a day.

Of course, writers who chose the traditional path and get taken under the wings of a publishing house have it bit easier. They don´t have to worry about self marketing because that´s included in their package. All the fun( insert sarcasm) with having to deal with emotional stress, interacting with strangers and working on spreading the word falls in the hands of competent people who know how to work the book mill. It might not always be what the writer had planned but it´s one less thing to worry about.

Self publishing is hard work and we´ve only just scratched the surface of how hard and frustrating self publishing can really be. The only advice I can give to writers who are unsure of which publishing path to take is: Collect as much info as possible and weigh your options. See what works best.

Because if we´re honest- not everyone is capable of marketing themselves or their work. Not everyone is a social bunny. But if a writer wants to self publish then there´s no way around having to do some self marketing. But when someone is good at marketing themselves then self publishing can be a joy and fun all around.

Coming next: Self Published Authors, Part Two: Book Pricing

Review: Breaking Gravity ( Fall Back Series #2) by Autumn Grey

Book Description

I’ve always followed my dreams with ruthless determination.
My life was going well. Success was at my fingertips.
Until it wasn’t.
All it took was three seconds to send my world crashing down around me, 
ripping my dreams to shreds.
Then I meet her, with her large hazel eyes that slay me at first glance.
And everything starts to make sense again.
I try to keep my distance.
To remind myself I am her mentor.
That we can’t be more, 
but every time I push away, I’m pulled deeper into her.
The line between student and teacher is blurring. 
One kiss. 
One taste. 
They’re all it would take to cross the line.

My Thoughts

This student / teacher romance definitely earned a place on my sacred bookshelf.

`Breaking Gravity` ( Fall Back Series #2 ) started out in a devastating light and ended with a beautiful warmth.Breaking Gravity

Nathaniel Rowe´s life will never be the same. Once a well-known professional cellist, now a damaged and crippled has-been who suffers from chronic pain and medication abuse. It took one unfortunate event to change his life and make Nathaniel a walking mess. With his career over and the love of his life gone there´s hardly anything left to live for. Until…

Nathaniel takes up a job as a temporary music professor at Rushmore college and becomes fascinated with a red-haired beauty, Elon… who also happens to be one of his students.

Now, I´m not a huge fan of student/teacher romances because they somehow always end the same way. A story about a forbidden by law love is bound to end in a catastrophe. It´s kind of like watching a train wreck happening in slow motion. You know it´s gonna be ugly. You know the outcome.. Everything starts out as a one time thing. A secret. Then the secret turns into an affair. Soon, a best friend finds out and then others become suspicious. The secretive couple gets exposed. One loses a job. The other gets kicked out of school, yada yada yada.

For some reason, `Breaking Gravity` wasn´t entirely like that. So, the student / teacher story wasn´t new…. but the flair the story gave off was refreshing. Both main characters have dealt with unimaginable pain in their pasts and yet both weren´t completely unwilling to move forward, despite knowing about the consequences of their actions. They had something to look forward to: seeing each other.

I was rooting for the main characters. It took me a lot of will power not to get out the pompoms and cheer for Nate and Elon. I actually wanted the characters to get exposed as quick as possible because they fit so beautifully together.

What I loved most about the story was the fact that the author approached different real life issues, such as: death, abuse and addiction. The author´s ability to let her characters suffer from these issues was wild. It made her characters feel more authentic / realist and relatable. And it made them 100% lovable.

Do Nate and Elon live happily ever after? Or will life force them apart?

Read it and find out for yourself. I can say, without a doubt, that this is my favorite student / teacher romance.

`Breaking Gravity` is a warming, beautiful, swoon worthy, hot and full of hope romance that´ll stick to a reader like glue for weeks after reading.

Would I recommend this book? Yes!

Would I reread this book? I already have…* smile *

The Cover – 5 stars ( I have been gushing over this cover weeks before I even bought the book. Such a beautiful and unique image. There was no way I was not going to have this book.)

The Story – 4 stars ( Student / Teacher romances don´t usually float my boat but this story did.)

The Characters – 5 stars ( Nate was the perfect Hero. Ruined, moody, passionate, hot. Every woman needs a Nate in their lives. Elon was an equally perfect character. Loving, clever, guarded, witty. What more can I ask for? Nothing.)

My emotional state after finishing this read? Totally, utterly, 100% happy and satisfied.

I´m giving `Breaking Gravity` by author Autumn Grey 4 out of 5 stars.

Instagram Book Box Feature

°•○BOOK BOX FEATURE○•° This came in the mail today and I couldn't wait to share this beauty with you guys. 'Breaking Gravity' by the wonderful @autumngreyauthor. This is one of those covers you can admire all night long *dreamy sigh* So mesmerising. If you don't hear or see anything from me then I'm either swooning or reading. Have a fab day and don't forget to share the 📚🖤 . . . . . #bookpic #bookaholic #addictedtoreading #addictedtobooks #bookaddict #booknerd #bookwhore #bookjunkie #bookninja #libraryofinstagram #igreads #igbooks #bookstagram #instaread #iaminlove #booklove #books #paperback #bookphotography #pages #author #outdoor #booksbooksbooks #bibliophile #beautifulcovers #coverpic #prettybooks #📚 #germany #bücherwurm

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This book can be purchased at Amazon.com

Latest Instagram Features from Morgana´s Book Box

It´s time for a few honorable Instagram Book Box Feature mentions!

I proudly present my recent works. Lots of love, sweat, energy, yelling at the dog, telling my kids not to run on the road, fighting with wind, rain and heat were invested in creating these pics. Have a look…. 🙂

Happy Saturday, everyone!🌸 My neighbor caught me examining her flowers today from my kitchen window and invited me to pick a few, even offered me the whole bush as it annoys her😂. So- a purple 💜BOOK BOX FEATURE💜 it is today. Let's give it up for one of my favorite books by @pccastauthor – 'Devine By Mistake' (Partholon #1). Such a beautiful story worth losing yourself in. Okay, chichas… gotta run. Hope you all have a lovely day. Don't forget to share the 📖💜! . . . . #bookstagram #libraryofinstagram #love #fantasy #paranormal #read #book #paperback #series #pccast #partholon #bookworm #bookpic #bookphotography #purple #flowers #bookishfeatures #feature #saturdaynight #germany #bookjunkie #ilovebooksmorethanpeople #bookstagrammer #bookblogger #instablog #instablog #readingissexy #magical #📚

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*waves enthusiastically* Hey all you lovely people! How's it going? Enjoying the heat?☉ I've been hiding in the shade reading one 📖 after another and contemplated on buying a sombrero ( I burn poorly while tanning. Life's such a bitch) Anyways… while hiding i managed to get a ☆☆BOOK BOX FEATURE☆☆ done. ' Verführt' (Colours of Love) by Kathryn Taylor. All in all a nice read. Keeo sharing the 📚💓 . . . . #romance #lovestory #love #books #bücher #lesen #read #leseratte #bücherwurm #suckerforromance #igreads #libraryofinstagram #ilovebooks #bookstagram #bookworm #booknerd #bookwhore #bookjunkie #bookninja #bookcover #📚 #liebe #androidphotography #s7 #bookphotography #bookpic #bookfeature #germany #read

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Happy Monday! 🤓What to do with your kids and their friend when they're bored as hell? You force all 3 to sit and pose for a book box pic😂 Yes. I was deeply hated before/during/after this pic. Was it worth it? Definitely! I'm in love. ( btw- left and center are mine ) Hope you all enjoy your day and don't forget to share the 📚💜! . . . . . #instakids #childrensbooks #kidsandbooks #mygirls #bookbuddies #bookstagram #bookbesties #bookfriends #readingbooks #androidphotography #bookworm #books #booklove #paperback #bookstagrammers #instabooks #igreads #bookphotography #fortheloveofreading #outdoors #kinder #mädchen #lesenmachtglücklich #buchliebe #bookgram #lesenmachtschlau #germany #📚 #lesen #monday

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What do you think?

Feel free to find and stalk me on Instagram under Morgana´s Book Box and leave a like and comment! If not, then I might cry a round or two then I´ll get over it.

Hope you all have a lovely day! Don´t forget to share the book love!

Book Review- The Unrequited by Saffron A. Kent

Book Description

Layla Robinson is not crazy. She is suffering from unrequited love. But it’s time to move on. No more stalking, no more obsessive calling. 

What she needs is a distraction. The blue-eyed guy she keeps seeing around campus could be a great one—only he is the new poetry professor—the married poetry professor.

Thomas Abrams is a stereotypical artist—rude, arrogant, and broody—but his glares and taunts don’t scare Layla. She might be bad at poetry, but she is good at reading between the lines. Beneath his prickly façade, Thomas is lonely, and Layla wants to know why. Obsessively.

Sometimes you do get what you want. Sometimes you end up in the storage room of a bar with your professor and you kiss him. Sometimes he kisses you back like the world is ending and he will never get to kiss you again. He kisses you until you forget the years of unrequited love; you forget all the rules, and you dare to reach for something that is not yours.

My Thoughts

I had high hopes for `The Unrequited` by Saffron A. Kent. After one look at that cover I had a feeling the book was going to be an epic read.The Unrequitted

Let´s just say this story didn´t do it for me as much as I hoped it would.

`The Unrequited`- A student / teacher, stalker / teacher story that seemed more questionable than anything else. Did I like it? Not so much.

The opening scene starts off with Layla visiting her therapist / guidance counselor, which is a super interesting scene and a fabulous character introduction. A reader gets a colorful POV from Layla, a lonely and special individual who mourns the loss of her stepbrother / best friend / love of her life and can´t seem to function without him. Layla has an unhealthy obsession for Caleb and without him…her life spirals out of control. The weird thing is- ( BEWARE! SPOILER AHEAD ) he´s not dead. He just moved away.

Not too shabby, right?

Layla, one day, stumbles upon a mysterious, hot guy ( a.k.a The Blue Eyed Smoker ) and follows him across campus and into his class. Yupp. He´s a professor and teaches poetry. Something Layla has no effin´ clue about, yet she finds herself a seat and makes herself comfy.

Okay. So, this is where the story went slightly downhill for me and I fully blame it on both main characters.

As mentioned above – Layla is this lost soul who doesn´t really know what to do with herself because of the one guy she can´t have. Her life looks peachy on the outside but from the inside- she´s an emotional mess. It´s like a thick rain cloud constantly follows her. And, her favorite pastime activity is stalking.

Thomas, the professor, the blue-eyed smoker, the successful published poet- just as depressing only he acts like a glorified dick. BUT, he has his reasons. There´s an explanation for everything. * sigh *

The two together couldn´t have been more different and still, they found a way to be together.

I´m going to be frank, here.

Layla was nuts. Thomas was nuts. The way he treated her was unbelievable and Layla let everything happen to her. Without a word she played the doormat for the professor and it wasn´t pretty reading about it. That doesn´t really put them both in a nice light, if you ask me. But there was a reason for the way he treated Layla. And there was a reason for why Layla let Thomas act the way he did.

But after I was a little over halfway through the story, I didn´t really care if there was a specific reason for their actions anymore. Who in their right mind would treat another person as poorly as the Hero did? For me, he wasn´t worth it. I would have left his class and flipped him off on the way out. Thomas´ mood went up and down, in and out. He wasn´t good with speaking words but boy, did he know how to put someone in their place. I was super close to DNFing the story.

I set the book aside and took a break for a few days. I didn´t want to completely give up but I needed some time away from the crazy. After a few days I reentered Layla and Thomas´ world with a more open mind and finished the story.

I think the main reason why this book didn´t do it for me was me. I´m someone who loves to relate to characters. I love to imagine myself in their position. But with these figures I couldn´t do it. Their actions weren´t anything shocking, to be honest, but I don´t stalk, nor can I imagine myself doing so. I don´t let anyone talk to me in a degrading way and have sex with them afterwards, so their actions weren´t really something to be excited about.

Aside from my dislikes, there were a few things that, indeed, brought me joy.

The writing was impeccable. There was a great reading flow and a perfect balance between action, narrative and dialogue.

The end was really good. I liked how things turned out for the characters, despite me not fully liking them.

Would I recommend this book? Yes and no. I´m not sure to whom I´d recommend this book to. It does come with a warning that this story is for ages 18+ and also deals with sensitive topics, e.g. cheating.

Would I reread this book? Probably not.

The Cover – 5 stars ( It´s a beautiful cover image with eye-catching colors.)

The Characters – 2 stars ( They weren´t for me. )

The Story – 3 stars ( In general, not a bad idea. Just not my cup of tea. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Indifferent.

I´m giving `The Unrequited` by author Saffron A. Kent 3 out of 5 stars

Purchase the book here.