Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Brief History of Longing by Jea Hawkins


GENRE: LGBTQ, Coming of Age

Unrequited love sucks but can lead to better things. This book does a great job of taking you on the rollercoaster ride that is loving your best friend and watching them live a party life. The main character Gwen, turns this into a successful comic book that seems to touch a wide audience. Her success though keeps her in a rut that she must break out of at the end. This story is something almost anybody to related to on some level.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Hangover (The Vincenti Series #3) by Emma Nichols


GENRE: Lesbian Romance

Although this book had Lauren and Anna in it it focused mainly on Anna's best friend Eva. It was a good direction to take to keep the story fresh. When you have a series the more charaters you can intertwine the longer the life of the series. Especially if the characters are as stron as the ones Nichols creates. Hoping to see more in this series.

Remember Us (The Vincenti Series #2) by Emma Nichols


GENRE: Lesbian Romance

This is the second book in the series. Lauren is back in Corsica trying to regain her memory while Anna tries to deal with the fact that she has been forgotten. The story picks up where the last left off nicely. There is more complexity to the characters and that leads to more complexity in the plot. We also get to know a little more about characters that were minor in the first book. A quick read that I recommend but read the first book before this one or you will be confused.

Finding You (The Vincenti Series #1) by Emma Nichols


GENRE: Lesbian, Romance

The description of the book makes it seem like your typical romance but I can assure youit is so much better than that. Nichols takes what seems like a "plot in a box" and makes it her own with engaging characters and settings. It was an enjoyable read. So much so I had to get the next book.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Chaos Comes(After the EMP #4) by Harley Tate


GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Action/Adventure

This is a continuation of the After the EMP series. This is a more of a companion trilogy since it mirroers the timeline of events in Darkness Begins. The characters are connected since Colt is the air marshall on the flight that Madison's dad was the pilot.

It is a tale of survival and finding allies in unexpected places. Colt finds his in a street child named Dani. This is just the beginning of their story. It is a well written, entertaining book with engaging characters and plot

Ship Ablaze:The Tragedy of the Steamboat General Slocum by Edward T. O'Donnell


GENRE: History, Disaster

This was a good book about alittle known tragedy. The General Slocum was a steamer that traveled on the rivers that surrounded New York City. Often these ships were used by groups for excursions to the shore or picnic areas up river. On June 15, 1904 a German church group had booked passage. It was mainly women and children.

As the book title suggest the worst thing that could happen on a ship did when it caught on fire. The early 1900's were still a time of corruption and profit over safety. This helped lead to the deaths of over 1,000 people.

The story in this book is a timely warning to us as safety laws are rolled back for profits. It was a well written and researched tale. We need to heed the warnings of our past so as not to repeat them with larger tragedies.

Empires Fall (MidKnight Blue #2) by Sherryl D. Hancock

36572722GENRE: Crime, Romance, Action

Hancock continues the saga of Midnight and the F.O.R.S. gang as they try to take down one of the biggest cartel men. As usual the characters are deep and the plot flows with ease. You begin to see the fatal flaws of our hero's. I loved that we learned more about Joe Sinclair. Hancock creates a family within her chracters and sometimes you just want to reach into the book and smack some sense into them but I guess that is what makes them such strong personalities on paper. Not everyone can develop a person with words but Sherryl D. Hancock soes it with ease. I look forward to more of her books.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Building Empires ( MidKnight Blue #1) by Sherryl D. Hancock

36535686GENRE: Crime, Action, Romance

This book is a spin off of another series that Sherryl D. Hancock writes but slightly different in that the primary characters are not lesbians. That said you will see some of those characters in this book because all is intertwined in the world Hancock creates.

This is the in depth introduction to Midnight Chevalier. As always Hancock does a fantatstic job creating characters and Midnight does not disappoint as the tough, no nonsense female protagonist. There is more violence in this book but that is indicitive of the life Midnight lives. It is also what you would expect from this character and her motley crew of unlikely heros.

I love everything Hancock writes because she focuses on allowing the character drive the story and her characters are amazingly developed. I have already recommended the MidKnight Blue series to friends who love crime stories and romance and action andjust good writing. Pretty much anyone who likes to read.

From the Wreckage by Michele G. Miller

32717145GENRE: Coming of Age, YA
Michele G. Miller tells the story of a teenage girl who's life has been turned upside down by a tornado. Jules loses a lot but she also learns alot about herself. This book is almost written in the form of introspection. The main character, Jules, is the narrator as she makes her senior year video.  It is from this unique perspective we hear the story.

I liked the different form of flashback. The plot was scattered in some places but I feel that was on purpose because that was how Jules was feeling at the time. Miller takes us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions throughout the novel. She starts with the innocence of being young then uses the tornado to throw it all in turmoil. It was almost like the tornado was a metephor for the trials of growing up but put in a physical form that can be understood.

 This would be a coming of age novel but with a forceful punch. Death is a hard lesson but so is out growing what you know and are comfortable with. Losing your first love and friends is a traumatic experience no matter how it happens.

A sequel to this book has been written and I hope to read it soon. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys coming of age books or YA literature.

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

35818578GENRE: Coming of Age, Lesbian

I love being a rebel and reading books that have been banned before. This book showed a lesbian relationship in a positive light which is what earned it the ban.

Nancy Garden did a magnificent job of capturing the angst of first love. This in itself can be hard but add to the mix it being love that is scorned by society and you have a new level of coming of age story. This book was originally published in 1992 which can be picked up from some of the descriptions, none the less, the basis of the story is still relevant today. This story will make you cheer, cry, and want to hit someone with anger. It is a fantastic book.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Smallest thing by Lisa Manterfield


GENRE: YA, Coming of Age

Emmott just wants to escape her small town. She has plans even. Then suddenly people start getting sick and dying. No one is allowed to leave. It is more than rebellousness now, it is life or death.

The character of Emmott in the beginning you just want to slap she is so negative and self centered. As the story, and the plauge, goes on you see her grow. The emotions this book evoke are real. The fact that it is adapted and modernized from a true story make it stronger. I just wish I knew that fact in the beginning.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli


GENRE: Coming of Age

The point of view and the perspective of this story was spot on. I really likes the characters of Simon and Blue. Keeping the suspense until the end who Blue was was great. There were points in this book I laughed out loud. Others just made me feel uncomfortable for the charcters, which is a good thing. This is a romance with innocence.

After The EMP (The Darkness Trilogy) by Harley Tate


GENRE: Post Apocalyptic

What would you do if the sun just ended life as you knew it? This is the saga of one family's struggle to survive and find each other. Tate created believable charcters and kept the pace very fast. Also reseach was done for this to use a CME rather than a typical EMP. It was a really fast read and I am looking forward to the next trilogy.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Necessary Sacrifice by Noelle Winter


GENRE: Murder Mystery, Lesbian Romance

Noelle Winter develops a great murder mystery and entwines a lesbian romance within it. The two main protagonists are both doing their best to aviod any feelings what-so-ever by burying themselves in their work. The passion for their work, though, leads them to cross paths as they work together to solve a series of horrific crimes. An enjoyable, fast paced read.

Taking Flight by Siera Maley


GENRE: Coming of Age, Lesbian Romance

This is a coming of age book and like most of this genre you begin by not really liking the main charcter, in this case Lauren. She seems spoiled and just very unlikable. As the story progresses you get to see Lauren evolve and become more of her true self without the defensive walls.

This is a very character driven book and does deal with some (sadly) typical issues of LGBTQ young people. Maley does a great job of making you feel what the characters feel and taking you along for the ride.

Of All The Girls by Michele L. Rodriguez


GENRE: Coming of Age, Lesbian Romance

Not your typical lesbian romance but that is what makes it so good. Rivera shows the complexity of relationships of all kinds as well as feelings. Maybe not this exact situation but I think we can all relate to having those conflicted feeling that the charcters feel throughout the story. I wouldlike to see a sequel to this book because I want to know what happens.

Getting Out ( The EMP Book 1) by Ryan Westfield


GENRE: Post-Apocalyptic

Getting Out shows how normal people would deal with a life changing, worldwide even such as an EMP. I use normal loosely because most people probably do not even know what an EMP is but that is just the way it is. None of the characters are hard core "preppers" but they all know how to survive. It was a fast read with a few glitches but nothing that would ruin the story.

Into the Hurricane by Neil Connolly


GENRE: Action, Coming of Age, YA

This was a very goodcoming of age novel that pitted two teenagers not only againsttheir own anger, guilt and depression but also a hurricane. These two strangers reluctantly at first team up to help each other and in the process find themselves again.

Connelly did a good job of setting the scene and showing us what was inside the characters minds. As a reader you got to see them evolve and grow. It created fairly complex characters. It was a quick and enjoyable read.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Saint's Rise (Ignifer Cycle, Book 1) By Michael John Grist


GENRE: Science Fiction/Fantasy, Action/Adventure

Michael John Grist is a magnificent story teller. He creates fantastic worlds and weaves them with adventure and intrigue. Science fiction and fantasy fans should not miss out on this book. It would make a really good video game as well. Classic good versus evil.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Gray Skies (WeHo #8) by Sherryl D. Hancock


GENRE: Lesbian Romance

This is a story of love lost and love found, with a few twists. As usual Hancock knocks it out of the park with the characters. She introduces us to new one but just adds them to the mix of the older characters. This is what keeps people coming back to her books. Hoping more people discover them because this is a writer that needs to be noticed.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Anika Takes The Long Way Home Up Soul Mountain By Eliza Andrews


GENRE: Lesbian Romance

This is a follow up to To Loved & Lost and it is awesome. Anika was the best friend to Alexis Woods and helped her pull it together and find love. Now years later she has made mistakes of her own and is in a no mans land in life and love. Time for her to find her own way home.

Eliza Andrews was one of the first lesbian authors I read and I loved the style. She does not shy away from the heard issues that are common in all relationships annd life. She used humor and every day language to make her charachter human and relatable. I hope to read more from her in the future.

The Summer I Wasn't Me by Jessica Verdi


GENRE: LGBTQ, Coming of Age

This book reminded me, in the beginning at least, of the movie But I'm A Cheerleader.  Just this book wasn't a comedy. After Lexi's dad dies her mom finds out she is gay and sends her to a de gayifying program. Lexi goes along hoping not to lose her mom even if she has to lose herself.

This book made me mad. I enjoyed it but the fact that this REALLY does happen to kids is horrible. The growth we see Lexi have throughout the book is incredible. Unfortunately she has to go through so much emotional pain and self hating to get there.

I would recommend this book not only to any LGBTQ person but alsothose family that may not be so accepting.

Granite Mountain by Brendan McDonough


GENRE: Non-Fiction, Memoir

This book has been made into a movie. It is a true account from the one survivor and I recommend you read the book because I hate what Hollywood does to stories like this. These are real people not characters to over dramatize. Getting off my soapbox.

The book told what it really is like to be a wildland fire fighter and the brotherhood that exisits. The author Brendan McDonough had overcame alot to become a fire fighter. You get to see that these hero's have their own demons but still give their all.

I remember hearing about this tragedy when it happened and being very angry. Why were they there protecting property? Were lives worth that? Who dropped the ball with the weather reporting and communication? After reading this book I realize that alot of decisions were made by many people. I still feel this tragic accident could have been prevented but honor the men who died doing what they loved.

Vendetta (WeHo #7) by Sherryl D. Hancock


GENRE: Lesbian Romance

This book you get to know even more characters. The way all the characters are connected isn't too far fetched if you know the six degrees of separation rule. This applies greatly in any lesbian community.

I think this was one of my favorites because of loved the relationship between Lyric and Cody. No, this is not the romantic relationship but I think that is what makes it all the more compelling. It shows a different side of the characters.

I love that Cody is determined to save people the way she was saved. She is the perfect flawed hero that every book needs. When she gives she gives her all.

Water Under the Bridge (WeHo #6) by Sherryl D. Hancock


GENRE: Lesbian Romance

It is so awesome that Hancock brought Shenin and Tyler back into the narrative. The problem is they are again living apart due to jobs. The relationship issues that are brought up in this book makes the characters even more real. As always I love this series. Hancock makes me have all the feels through her characters.

Jet Blue (WeHo #5) by Sherryl D. Hancock

34226682GENRE: Lesbian Romance

This book in the WeHo series was awesome as usual but had a little twist. Instead of a relationship developing throughout the book the main character Jet has to choose between two women. Also, one of them is still living in hostile territory in the Middle East and Jet just can not forget her.

The characters are, as usual, well developed. Jet is a bit of a player throughout most of the book but this is how she deals with her trauma from war. I really like how the whole gang comes together to help in this book.

After Series Books 0-3 by Scott Nicholson

28183040GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Survival
I love postapocalyptic fiction. The After series starts with an EMP wiping out the grid but also adds a bit of a zombie like twist. Nicholson does a good job of mixing the two conflicts of an EMP and Zapheads flawlessly.  The chracters are likeable and he keeps you on your seat wondering what will happen next. That is why you get the box set.

The Desert and The Blade by S.M. Stirling


GENRE: Science Fiction, Action/Adventure

This series is one that I always come back to. It is like meeting old friends. I have watched Stirling create this world since the original plane crash and now I am entranced by the adventures of the grandchildren of the original characters. The story keeps evolving. Although sometimes it gets a bit too supernatural for me the story and the characters keep me hooked!

Marking Time (WeHo #4) by Sherryl D. Hancock

34030356GENRE: Lesbian Romance
We are introduced to a new couple and watch how their relationship develops. At the same time we get reaquainted with the rest of the crew from previous books. Hancock is a master at devloping new characters and weaving their relationships into a story. This relationship was a little different since neither chracter was decidedly "butch", in fact the aggressor was the "femme". Interesting twist.

Turning Tables (WeHo #3) by Sherryl D. Hancock

33838445GENRE: Lesbian Romance
I love this series! Hancock creates characters that you want to hang out with and it keeps you wanting more. As more and more characters are introduced and previous ones are included in the stories it is like the "L" Word of blue collar. Of course there is no annoying Jenny though.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Break In The Storm (WeHo Book #2) by Sherryl D. Hancock

35127293 GENRE: Lesbian Romance
This is actually the third book in the WeHo series. In this installment Hancock introduces us to two new characters. As always they are develop and complex. Hancock is a master of creating realistic characters. 
The theme of the work required for relationships is present as always. It is nice to read lesbian books that are not all about sex. This series is a must read for anyone who enjoyed The 'L' Word.

Monday, October 9, 2017

When Angels Fall (WeHo Book #1) by Sherryl D. Hancock

33545822GENRE: Lesbian Romance

This is a book I found by a happy accident on Kindle. It was the first I read by Sherryl Hancock and it got me hooked. She does an amazing job at creating characters that you really get to know. The plot flows incredibly well and is definately character driven. The love story has it's ups and downs that are directly related to the flaws and strength of the characters. I would highly recommend this whole series.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

When Love Wins (WeHo Book 0) by Sherryl D. Hancock

33547899GENRE: Lesbian Romance, Military
I stumbled upon this series through Kindle Unlimited. I managed to read all the author had out in the series in less than a week. Needless to say I really liked it.
Hancock creates characters that you really like and want to get to know. Not all authors can do this and the extent in which she managed this feat is incredible. It makes you wish you could meet and hang out with these incredible people. 
In this first book(Book 0) you get to meet two of these incredible characters, Shenin and Taylor. They meet in the Air Force during the time of "Don't ask, Don't tell." They are best friends but more develops. They have to fight the murky world of being career military and being your true self.
The way this issue is approached was flawless. In fact Hancock understands the military because she also broached the subject of fraternization between officer and enlisted. It was those little things that make this story genuine and a must read.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Jolt by Kris Bryant

20702686GENRE: Lesbian Romance
This was an enjoyable book. The storyline was cute and easy to follow. The characters were developed. Bethany as the narrator lends a quirky and awkward take on the story. The whole idea of love finding you no matter how hard you try to avoid it is always a good one. Especially when the relationship begins as a friendship. Good showing for a first book by Bryant.

The Lies (Zombie Ocean #8) by Michael John Grist

36096834GENRE: Post Apocalyptic
Grist continues his saga of the downfall of mankind. The plot lines clear up and then get all twisted again, in a good way, throughout this series. In THE LIES the characters evolve and become even more complex than they were before, especially Lara, Amo, and Anna. All three characters find out more about the world, themselves, and the force that controls them.
This book seems to be getting closer to an ending of the saga. It is almost like the three main characters all know what they need to do now. Looking forward to seeing what changes occure in book nine.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Searching For Forever by Emily Smith

20702892GENRE: Romance, Lesbian
The setting of a hospital emergency room is believable and leads me to think the author knows the environment. The characters were not shallow but not deeply developed it was almost to predictable. The dynamics of their relationship has the quirk of the attration being there but both fighting that for different reasons. 
Overall it was an enjoyable book. A nice quick read with some potential cold shower moments.

What Stands In A Storm by Kim Cross

22609348GENRE: NonFiction, Disaster
I remember hearing about the horrible tornados that struck Tuscaloosa. Who in SEC country didn't hear about it and feel pain even if the Tide were your rivals. 
What I didn't realize was how wide spread the tornado outbreak was in Alabama. Kim Cross does a magnificent job using investigative reporting and research skills to recreate the horrible event. She uses the actual words of survivors as well as those who were lost during those days. Through her words we feel the horror, hope, and healing that occured from this "act of God".
I recommend this book to anyone who is a weather geek, a disaster geek, or just like a truely heartfelt story told by a talented author.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

What Is Left Of My World by C. A. Rudolph

33404779GENRE: Dystopian
This is a slightly different take on a dystopian novel. It shows how they survive after and has flashbacks to before. It never really discusses the collapse. The pace was good and the characters developed. I could do without all the gun descriptions. I do like that is was a strong female protagonist but why make her so "troubled"? I will probably read the next in the series but not bumping it up in my book queue.

Sea Girt: The Last Town at the Jersey Shore by Vincent J. Dicks

34835474Genre: Nonfiction, History

This book is about my hometown so I had really high hopes for it. There was just too much information with little or nothing to do with the town. I did learn a few new things that I got to explore or point out when visited this summer but it was more regional than the town. I was also disappointed that it ended before getting into more modern times.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

15724396GENRE: YA/Action and Adventure
As usual Rick Riordan does not disappoint! I am looking forward to see how this merges with Percy Jackson. I love all of these books because of the snarkiness of the characters that is not rude but funny and sarcastic. Also the fact that kids learn of mythology through these books is awesome. I hope he keeps them coming.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Echoes Of A Dying World by Don Esquibel

34667590GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Survival
What starts out as a weekend of celebration ends up being the end of the world as they know it. 
Terrorists blow up major cities and set off an EMP. Morgan and his friends understand quickly that something is wrong and set off to get to Morgan's parents, 500 miles away.
This was such a realistic portrayal of human nature that it was scary. Not sure if the actual event could happen as it did because it took lots of organization. It was the relationships between the group of friends and how they grew throughout the journey that make this book a fast paced read.
This book made me feel a range of emotions. It was so good I laughed and I cried. I want more.

Reunited by H.L.Logan

34320809GENRE: Lesbian Romance
This is a perfect lesbian beach read. It is not heavy and lots of romance(hot and heavy). It has a typical romance plot but sometimes you just want to read something like that.

Violent Ends by Various Authors

23341259GENRE: Contemporary Fiction
WOW! This book was amazing in many ways. Each "chapter" tells a perspective of the same event which is a school shooting. As a teacher we are always trying to get our students to think in different perspectives,this book does that to the extreme! I highly recommend this book although the subject matter may not be appropriate for younger children.

Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

26489591GENRE: Historical Fiction
This book is set after World War II and broaches a subject that is not often talked about, The Japanese Internment. Kettle is a young refugee from the internment camps who takes care of a small group of children like him. He insist they earn it honestly so life is hard but they have each other.

Nora is the child of a famous lawyer fighting for the rights of the Japanese but he has a dark side that only his family knows. She is determined to protect her younger sister from the harm that can come within their own house.

The two main characters are well written and the perceptions they have of each other before meeting speaks truth. The time and place setting is very well developed, it puts you there. I love that Taylor used the Japanese Internment as a base of her story. Perhaps more will learn about this tragic time in America.

Openly Straight by Bill Konigberg

16100972GENRE: Coming of Age/Gay
[Openly Straight] gets a new perspective on being a gay teenager. Rafe does not have the stress of coming out because in Boulder, CO he is out. In fact he is the face of being out and popular. He is just tired of being paraded around as the "gay" kid who is doing well. 

When he transfers to an all boys boarding school in the east he decided to go back in the closet and just be Rafe, the boy. Unfortunately it is hard to shove things back in when they already are out.

I really think this book is a great read for anyone but especially those young people who are questioning. The characters are genuine and even Rafe wanting to be normal is, well, normal. Labels are over rated and over used in our world and I think that is one of the points Konigsberg is trying to make. The other big point is just be yourself.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

To Have Loved & Lost by Eliza Andrews

32867150GENRE: Lesbian Romance
So, this one is not so much fluff. It has a dark side. The two main characters have recently and tragically lost the people the loved. They meet in a support group. Can they save each other?
This is a very well written book and the characters are well developed. There are times you want to smack them and other times hug them. The secondary characters are pretty good too. Be aware there is some explicit content in this book. That said, I was disappointed when this book ended.

Starstruck by H.L. Logan

35051097GENRE: Lesbian Romance
Yes this is fluff but it is entertaining fluff I can relate to more so than straight romance. It is a cute story about an aspiring young actress and a star who are cast in a lesbian romance movie. Neither are gay, or so they thought.
As with all romance no matter who is involved they are not realistic. You read these for pure enjoyment to escape reality in a cheesy way. I love that I found this genre. Logan is a good storyteller and creates likable characters who you just want to cheer for.

Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta


GENRE: Post Apocalyptic

The premise of this story is global warming has flooded a large part of the world and the amount of potable water is limited. Noria is a tea master, one of the last. She was trained by her father and it is rare for a female to be a tea master. She is keeping a secret though one that could be deadly for herself and those who know her.

I really wanted to like this book. The ideas and plot are fantastic but the story drags. So much more could have been done with this to make it work better. It is well written just the pacing needs work.

Between No More( In Between Life And Death Book #3) by Ann Christy

25345046GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Zombie
This is the third book and it does not disappoint. Veronica and Jeremy managed to make it to the hospital but it is not what they expected. The guy in charge is kinda crazy. They find allies though who vow to find a cure and give her what she needs to cure the tumor. Now to cure the in-betweeners but not everyone wants that.
The pace takes a break with the waiting but it fits the mood of the novel. Don't worry it will speed up quickly. The POV is still Veronica because Emily is an in betweener but not like the other ones which gives Veronica hope.This is a must read and Ann Christy knew we all woulod want more so wrote the backstories to other characters to follow up. 

Forever Between (Between Life and Death Book #2) by Ann Christy

25249701GENRE: Post Apocalyptic, Zombie
The story of Emily and the kids she saved continues. Emily's tumor has come back and she has little time to live. The nanite that cured her may be available at the hospital by the military base as well as helping find a cure for the in-betweeners that her mother was working on. It is up to Veronica, one of the children Emily saved, to make the trip to save her friend.
This installment is another fast paced trip with well developed characters. There are twists and turns at every corner as Veronica and Jeremy fight to not only save Emily but possibly the world they once knew. The story telling in these books is just superb.