Archives for January 2018

Jaclyn’s Review: The Half-Life of Remorse by Grant Jarrett

The Half-Life of Remorse
written by Grant Jarrett
published by SparkPress, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge hosted by BookSparks.

Did I enjoy this book? 
My goodness this one was hard to read. The blurb on the back of the book was SO interesting! I was really excited to start this one . . . and then I opened it. The beginning of this book was SO SLOW, and it had absolutely NO PLOT. At one point, I actually stopped and did the math–then I told myself that if a plot didn’t appear after I’d read 25% of the book, I would have to put it down. The plot showed up 1 page shy of 25% (whew!). There are a lot of things that the author got right with this book: the story is told through multiple character viewpoints (you know how much I love this!); the writing is actually very good–word selection, sentence structure, etc; the ending is PERFECT. There are a lot of things that aren’t so good too: why did it take so long to get to the plot? The first 25% didn’t add anything of value to the book. The first chapter was flat-out confusing. The behavior of the characters was pretty unrealistic. It was hard to focus on what time period the book was set in (is it present day? 1970? It was hard to tell.). Overall, I’m glad I finished it–but oof, it was through determination.

Would I recommend it? Honestly, probably not. The ending was definitely worth the effort to get there, but there are a lot of good books out there that don’t require such determination and still have a good ending.

jaclyn

 

About the book – from Goodreads: When two vagrants meet on the streets of Muncie, Indiana, they are both unaware that their paths crossed years before. Chic, crude and uneducated, is convinced that Sam is nothing more than a harmless lunatic, and Sam, emotionally scarred and psychologically traumatized by events long past, regards Chic as just another denizen of the street. But Chic has spent his adult life trying to purge his soul of the brutal crime he committed as a teenager―the same botched burglary that resulted in the deaths of Sam’s wife and son. Meanwhile, Sam’s daughter Claire is still unable to give up hope that her father might someday reappear. When these three lives converge, the puzzle of the past gradually falls together, but redemption commands a high price, and what is revealed will test the limits of love and challenge the human capacity for forgiveness.

 

Happy 2

 

* This post contains affiliate links.
** This post first appeared on Every Free Chance Books (everyfreechance.com) on January 11, 2018.

My Favorite . . . Moment to Write My Reviews — January 10, 2018

 

My Favorite . . . is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it, the world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.

 

Each week I will post a new My Favorite . . . post about one subject and I’ll tell you all about it. And the best part? Everyone is welcome to join. The only thing you’ll have to do is sign up on the weekly post, link back to that post, and visit others.

 

This week’s Favorite is: Moment to Write My Reviews

 

My favorite moment to write reviews is whenever I have a free chance to do so. I usually write them after the kids go to bed and I have a few quiet moments to think . . . and usually days or weeks after I finished the book. I’d love to be able to write them as soon as I finish the book!

 

I prefer to write them after I’ve finished a book, but usually it’s just whenever I have a moment to write them. I usually write them in batches–three or four at a time.

 

The only time I get to write reviews is that precious chunk of time after the kids go to bed, but before I fall asleep on the couch! Haha!

 

If you write reviews, when is your favorite time to do so?

 

 

* This post may contain affiliate links.
** This post first appeared on Every Free Chance Books (everyfreechance.com) on January 10, 2018.

Chrissy’s Review: Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles #1)
written by Amanda Hocking
published by St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book? I did, but not as much as the Trylle trilogy.

Bryn is a pretty good character. She is determined and she works hard. She’s good at what she does, but she is young and naive and more often than not it shows . . . especially in the end. I’m not going to tell you what happened, but the ending does not strike me as something a tracker who wants to be a member of the royal guard would do. I’m just saying.

While I loved being be back in the Trylle world, I didn’t love the pace of this book. It was slow. The kind of slow where I put this book down, read other books, and then decided to pick it up again. It wasn’t a book that I had to read beginning to end in one sitting. However, I will continue with the series. I do want to know what happens next.

Would I recommend it? Yes, but not if this is your first Amanda Hocking book. I would definitely start with the Trylle trilogy.

 

Have you read Frostfire? What about the Trylle trilogy

 

Chrissy

 

About the book – from Goodreads: Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes.

Set apart by her heritage and her past, Bryn is a tracker who’s determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royal family. She’s not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden.

But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero she once loved – begins kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?

 

 

Happy 2

 

 

* This post contains affiliate links.
** This post first appeared on Every Free Chance Books (everyfreechance.com) on January 9, 2018.

Heather’s Review: The Plantagenets by Dan Jones

The Plantagenets
written by Dan Jones
published by Viking, 2013

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book? I did, but I am a huge fan and very interested in British history. I devour any book written in regard to British royalty, British history, and that time period. This book is huge, as are the rest in the series, and it is full of details and information.

Dan Jones writes in a way, though, that makes it relatively easy to follow and interesting. He tells it as a story, rather than outlining the events in history.

I am currently reading the second book in the series: The Wars of the Roses.

 

Would I recommend it? Yes, for anyone interested in the subject matter. Do not pick up this book if you have no interest in history or the history of the British royalty.

 

Heather

 

About the book – from Goodreads: The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world.

We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen and the most famous woman in Christendom; her son, Richard the Lionheart, who fought Saladin in the Third Crusade; and King John, a tyrant who was forced to sign Magna Carta, which formed the basis of our own Bill of Rights.

This is the era of chivalry, of Robin Hood and the Knights Templar, the Black Death, the founding of Parliament, the Black Prince, and the Hundred Year’s War. It will appeal as much to readers of Tudor history as to fans of ‘Game of Thrones.

 

Happy 2

 

* This post contains affiliate links.
** This post first appeared on Every Free Chance Books (everyfreechance.com) on January 8, 2018.

The Sunday Post – January 7, 2018

 

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~

It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

 
The first week of 2018 is in the books! (No pun intended.) And I finished two books already, Everless by Sara Holland and Frostfire by Amanda Hocking. However, I started both books last year. 😉 This week has been so cold here. The kids had a school delay and a cancellation because of the cold. I definitely used my fingerless gloves while working this week. Brrrrrrrr

Speaking of work, I’m starting the new year off with some fabulous projects! The books I’m editing are great reads. I’m also working on blog maintenance. I want to update the pages, the templates, the behind-the-scenes aspects, and cross post reviews as well as fixing my Goodreads shelves. A week or so ago, I went onto Goodreads to clean up and reorganize my shelves. I don’t know what I did, but I lost a lot of my shelved books. I have no idea what happened. So, that task is now on my to-do list. Also, I’m starting a new blog series, From the EFC Desk, on my business website. I am very excited about it.

How was your first week of 2018? What are you reading?
 
Last week at EFC:

 
This week at EFC: 

  • Sunday: You’re reading it — The Sunday Post!!
  • Monday: TBD
  • Tuesday: TBD
  • Wednesday: My Favorite . . . Moment to Write My Reviews. If you would to know more about this meme, check out Maureen’s Books.
  • Thursday: TBD
  • Friday: The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.
  • Saturday: Our November 2017 subscription boxes will be featured. Yes, I know it’s January 2018 . . . I’m a bit behind on the boxes. 😉

 

Don’t forget to check out all of our current giveaways.

 

If you are in need of editing, proofreading, or book formatting services, please visit EFC Services, LLC.

 

 

Chrissy
 

 

Happy 2

 

* This post contains affiliate links.
** This post first appeared on Every Free Chance Books (everyfreechance.com) on January 7, 2018.

Chrissy’s Review: Everless by Sara Holland

Everless
written by Sara Holland
published by HarperTeen, 2018

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I really did! I read it every free chance I had and probably would have finished it in a few hours if I didn’t have children, work, or other such obligations. 😉

For me, the premise of this story is new. I haven’t read anything like it. Time is currency . . . and that currency is made from your blood. Jules Ember once lived in Everless, but she was forced to leave with her father. But because her father was running out of time, she had to go back. For me, Everless wasn’t action-packed, but it moved and kept me questioning. I kept wondering why Jules wasn’t supposed to go back, why she was warned, why things happened around her. I loved how some characters were pretty straightforward and others were not who I thought they were. I love it when books do that, when they make a character different than they first appeared. Everless had a few characters who surprised me.

Everless was a wonderful read. I didn’t want to put it down, and it left me with a serious book hangover. Even though I have some answers, I still have some questions. Mainly, when will the next book be released???

 

 

Would I recommend it? Yes, I would! Definitely.

 

Have you read Everless? Have you ever had a book hangover?

 

Chrissy

 

About the book – from Goodreads: In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

 

Happy 2

 

* This post contains affiliate links.
** This post first appeared on Every Free Chance Books (everyfreechance.com) on January 6, 2018.

Book Blogger Hop – January 5 – 11, 2018

About the Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the meme on February 15, 2013.

Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

This week’s question:

What upcoming titles are looking forward to reading in 2018? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

*This is next week’s question . . . OOPS! I’ll answer this week’s question next week. Sorry about that!

 

There are a lot of books that I am looking forward to this year. The first three that came to mind are All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin, Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella, and Puddin’ by Julie Murphy.

 

What new releases are you looking forward to reading this year?

 

** This post first appeared on Every Free Chance Books (everyfreechance.com) on January 5, 2018.

Jaclyn’s Review: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
written by John Berendt
published by Vintage, 2010

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book? This is a tough call! This book was recommended to me–I was told it was about a murder that happened in Savannah in the 1980s. I assumed that meant it was a murder mystery type book. It is NOT. The author spends the first half of the book giving a history and color to Savannah. The murder doesn’t happen until halfway through the book, and it almost comes through as an afterthought. The second half of the book covers the murder trial. Again, this is not the focus of the book–just an event happening in the background.

I think I would have liked this better if no one had told me what it was about. That being said, the writing in this book is OUTSTANDING. If you want to read a book that makes your brain happy, this is definitely it. The author won awards for this book and I totally understand why. The word choice, sentence construction, paragraph structure, chapter layout–everything is so well done!

I liked the writing; I didn’t like the story. I blame this on my own preconceived expectations.

Would I recommend it? If you want to read a well-written but slow-moving book, absolutely! If you are expecting a high-stakes story about a murder, this isn’t it.

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads: A sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city has become a modern classic.

Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.

It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman’s Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the “soul of pampered self-absorption”; the uproariously funny black drag queen; the acerbic and arrogant antiques dealer; the sweet-talking, piano-playing con artist; young blacks dancing the minuet at the black debutante ball; and Minerva, the voodoo priestess who works her magic in the graveyard at midnight. These and other Savannahians act as a Greek chorus, with Berendt revealing the alliances, hostilities, and intrigues that thrive in a town where everyone knows everyone else.

 

Happy 2

* This post contains affiliate links.
** This post first appeared on Every Free Chance Books (everyfreechance.com) on January 4, 2018.

My Favorite . . . Book I Read in 2017 — January 3, 2018

 

My Favorite . . . is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it, the world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.

 

Each week I will post a new My Favorite . . . post about one subject and I’ll tell you all about it. And the best part? Everyone is welcome to join. The only thing you’ll have to do is sign up on the weekly post, link back to that post, and visit others.

 

This week’s Favorite is: Book I Read in 2017

 

This is such a tough one! I had to go back and look at all the books I read in 2017. I have to go with Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. I loved this middle grade read. It was fantastic. If you want to read my review, click here.

 

The Plantagenets by Dan Jones

 

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. The story was great, the author really paid attention to detail–this gave me a HUGE book hangover! What a great read!

 

Of the books you read in 2017, which one was your favorite?

 

 

* This post contains affiliate links.
** This post first appeared on Every Free Chance Books (everyfreechance.com) on January 3, 2018.

Spotlight: Everless by Sara Holland

Everless
written by Sara Holland
published by HarperTeen, 2018

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

 

I am really enjoying this read!! I can’t wait to finish it. Be on the lookout for my review later this week or early next week. What a great read to start the new year!

 

About the book – from Goodreads: In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

 

 

 

Happy 2