This week, I've got a clean, historical romance to share with you from Leah Atwood. If this is your first visit this month, then you should also check out last week's book review. I'm featuring the books I've read from Leah's vast collection of writing. I hope you'll find one or two that strike your fancy.
Also, if you read all the way to the bottom, I've included some thoughts that have been rattling around in my head on the topic of free short stories and novellas designed to introduce readers to new authors. I hope it'll be helpful to indies everywhere.
Book Review: Fire & Ice by Leah Atwood
Fire and Ice by Leah Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
'Fire and Ice' was an inspiration old-west romance like no other I've read. While being an inspirational book, it wasn't preachy...at least it didn't seem so to me. It was, however, full of twists. I wasn't sure where each new decision would lead the characters. I like this type of writing, done in such a vibrant way I found myself easily immersed in the story.
On to the characters. The mail-order bride theme is often done. I'm certain those who write mostly in western romance work very hard to find new ways of tackling that. Leah Atwood came through. Maeve is such a strong person inside and out. She really held my attention. But my favorite character is Sam. He's a man of integrity. He's still got some life lessons to learn, though, and that made him relatable.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading romance, inspirational romance, western romance, or historical romance. It's a sweet story that has just enough grit for it to be that much more believable. Give it a try!
View all my reviews
I'm laughing at myself for some pretty glaring typos in that review. I sometimes write these late at night while I'm half asleep. And even though I'd love for that to be a valid excuse, it isn't. As much as I loved spelling and excelled at it when I was in school, I still make some pretty bad errors when I'm in a hurry. Still, I don't think it detracted from the point of my review which was my enjoyment in the reading.
I'd like to say something about my current reading selections, please.
I've been reading a lot of short stories and novellas offered through apps like Book Funnel and email promotions from places like Book Cave. Many of these are from indie authors. I'm not sure what I expect every time I download a new one but my expectations seem to be lowered every time. I've been so disappointed in so many books which seem to have excellent plots OR Characters OR both. But none of that will matter because all seem to suffer in the execution of the story. Some of them have terrible grammar errors, some use metaphors which make no sense considering the time/place/character-thinking-or-speaking-them... I've just been so disappointed.
My advice to indie authors everywhere (myself included) is that if you have a short story, get that edited. The cost is lower for editing a short story in most cases. These stories are supposed to be representative of your body of work. Believe me! It's worth that extra dollar or two to make sure readers will dive into the next book in your repertoire.
If you still can't afford an editor (also me), then be certain to ask a wide variety of readers to join your beta reading team. Don't have a team yet? Make one! And when I say 'wide variety' I mean you should ask people in various age brackets who maybe don't read the genre you're writing in. Their opinions might be even more valid because they won't be used to the set up. They may end up asking questions those who normally read your genre won't think to ask. This could help you get even more readers, if you think about it.
Let me give you an example. My mother never read fantasy books. She was just never interested in the quest/adventure type story paired with sword and sorcery. So when I asked her to read my book, I expected a harsh commentary...because my mother is honest and has never been one to hold back with her children. Anyway, she enjoyed my book which told me I did something right as far as drawing in readers of other genres and in an age bracket I hadn't intended. (My first book is YA fantasy.)
My grandmother read the book after I published it. I was super nervous. She's an even harsher critic when it comes to right and wrong. I heard through my mother that she enjoyed the book and was happy I'd given her a signed copy. (You may be asking why I didn't call her and ask myself. Well, I don't really do that kind of thing. I feel like it's fishing for compliments. :/ )
In any case, I think you get the point. These ladies are in two different age brackets and quite a far gap from the YA group it's designated for. I could also trust them to give me an honest opinion after reading the book. That's essential when you're looking for beta readers and reviewers. Sometimes, the truth hurts, but it can also be an excellent learning tool.
So to recap...
New Sections On Wednesdays! - #CurrentlyReading & #TBR
I've decided I'd like to share what I'm currently reading, as well as any new books I've added to my TBR (to-be-read) list. I won't share any more than three for the latter category. My blog posts have a tendency to be long already. But I thought you might like to see what I read on a normal day-to-day basis.
#CurrentlyReading - Highlighting T.J. Muir
I'm currently reading these companion stories by T.J. Muir. I think she's writing for a younger crowd than I'd fit into (XD) but I'm enjoying the basic idea so far. By the time this posts, I'll have finished the first one and started the second. I do find myself interested in her book world and how things work there. Each photo is linked to the Goodreads page which will tell you more about them. I've linked the author's name to her website.
#TBR - Highlighting Kim Wedlock
This book has been in my TBR stack too long. The only reason I've waiting so long to read it is because it's a pretty lengthy tome. I'm going to attempt to tackle it some time this month. We'll be taking a little road trip so this just might brighten the drive. The premise sounded super interesting. Also, if you're a member of Kindle Unlimited, it's free for you, so why not check it out? The photo is linked to the Goodreads page for the book and the author's name is linked to her website.
Melody Kittles writes fantasy fiction under the name Robin McElveen. She loves God, her family, the arts, a warm cup of coffee or tea, visiting friends, and collecting coffee & Pusheen items.
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