The Reunion by Samantha Hayes ~ #Mystery #BookReview

36589926Everybody’s a suspect!

The author did an excellent job of creating enough red herrings that the reader really has no choice but to suspect almost everyone until the author reveals what the reader is dying to know! She also wraps up all the loose ends, which I’ve notice many authors failing to do lately. And the suspense! Like a gourmet meal, this book left me satisfied but still wanting more.

My honest impression of this book is that the author enjoyed writing it. I certainly enjoyed reading it. While a few incredulous readers may find some parts unlikley, it’s fiction, and it kept me guessing the entire way through, which always gets my seal of approval. Another author to add to my list! 5 stars!

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True Grit ~ Tuesday’s Words of Writing Inspiration

Hang this beautiful 'Every exit is an entry somewhere else.' inspirational print…

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When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker ~ #Literary #Mystery #BookReview

27401883This story was a bit of a literary mystery. A wife dies, and her husband receives letters from her, pages from the journal she kept during her sickness. He doesn’t know who’s sending the letters, and over the course of receiving them, finds mysterious and sometimes upsetting information in them.

I hate giving spoilers, so I’ll stop the exposition here. Suffice to say, he does a little detective work while also juggling the loss of his wife and the care of his three now mother-less children.

This isn’t my normal type of book, but it was quite nicely done. Fueled by the author’s own experience with cancer, there’s plenty to be learned and enjoyed on these pages. It was a lovely pallet cleanser between darker mysteries. 5 stars!

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True Grit ~ Tuesday’s Words of Writing Inspiration

Anais Nin - Why I Write #quotes #writing

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Meme Monday ~ Laughs for #Readers and #Writers

Best Reader Meme of the Week:

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The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch ~ Non-fiction #BookReview

8137230So, some of you may have heard of ‘last lectures’, where a professor is asked to give a lecture on what they would impart to their students before their death. Seems a little morbid, but the intention is right (I think). Randy Pausch, who was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give a last lecture. The only difference was he really was dying.

Instead of giving a lecture about lessons to learn before death, he gave a lecture on living. Entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”, Professor Pausch shared what he wanted his three young children, who would grow up without him, to know. The lecture was video taped, as well as used as the starting point for this book. In this book, Professor Pausch shares what he believes led to his success, lessons he learned while facing his impending death, and the wisdom he believed was truly important to pass on to his children.

It was inspirational, if a bit sad. In a way, it seems that when no longer faced with thoughts, worries and plans for the future, one can truly focus on living in the present, which I think too many of us fail to do. We’re so focused on our goals for the future, that we tend to forget to enjoy the now. I think it was Oprah who said, “live your best life now.” (I’m probably wrong, but it sounds good, right?) Regardless, I enjoyed this book and the lessons I found on every page. 5 stars!

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True Grit ~ Tuesday’s Words of Writing Inspiration

Quotable – Chuck Palahniuk

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Meme Monday ~ Laughs for #Readers and #Writers

Best Reader Meme of the Week:

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Thursday’s Thoughts on Writing ~ What’s Your End Story?

Image result for writerWhat motivates writers? The urge to create, certainly. The need to share, possibly. But what, at the end of the story, do you hope to accomplish?

Some of us write just for ourselves, but most of us want our work to be read. So what is it that we hope to invoke in our readers? Thrills, chills, entertainment. An emotional connection, reassurance, enrichment. An epiphany, a life changing experience, words that touch the soul. Image result for Funny Author Memes

While we may have different motivations and goals for our stories, we share many stepping stones on the journey we take to get from the once upon a time to the end. Whether it’s a thriller with the fate of the world at stake, a romance with true love on the line, a mystery with lives in danger, or a single character’s internal struggle, there’s one thing that will keep your audience reading.

Readers need to feel personally invested in the story. Whether it’s in the destiny of the characters or the outcome of the story of the whole, if readers care, they’ll keep reading.

 

Image result for attached to book characters meme  The easiest way to invest a reader is with an emotional connection. Whether through a character who shares an experience that the reader can relate to, or even just the ambient feeling the writer creates through their story that the reader can get onboard with, such as hope, or the world becoming a better place, having something that your readers can identify with will help invest them in your story and keep them turning the pages. The trick is discovering what works for you.

How do you establish a connection with your readers? Is there a certain emotion you target? As a reader, what keeps you hooked?

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Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell ~ #Mystery #BookReview

35389818I picked this up because the premise of the book sounded interesting. Happily, I wasn’t disappointed – I couldn’t put it down. The author wrote it in a way that allowed the reader endless theories, and I had to find out which suppositions I had were right, and which were wrong. Happily, (again), I couldn’t be certain until the end.

This is huge for me as both a reader and a writer – if I’m certain I know how the book is going to end (and let’s face it, there are a LOT of books that are a bit too obvious out there) – what’s to keep me (or a future reader of mine) reading?

I love being kept off guard and being blindsided (when reading). I absolutely ADORE when an author sneaks in something I hadn’t even considered, but, as long as I can’t predict everything that happens from page 1 to The End, I’ll generally keep reading. (I almost never put a book down unfinished, and when I do, it haunts me until I pick it back up, because who knows – maybe there’s a good surprise in there somewhere.)

Good character development, a nice, fluid writing style, and plenty of mystery and suspense – my kind of book! I wouldn’t hesitate to read this author again. 5 stars!

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