Meme

Let’s Talk Bookish – July 30th

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, that is hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  and Dani @Literary Lion. It’s a chance to discuss certain topics, share opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Posts are written on Fridays, and you can suggest topics using the form that you will find on Rukky’s Contact page.



WHAT MAKES A BOOK A 5 STAR READ? 

SUGGESTED BY M.T. WILSON @ THE LAST BOOK ON THE LEFT

Prompts: How do you decide whether a book should get 5 stars? Do you try to keep 5 stars rating prestigious, or do you give them generously? Do you have a checklist of things a book must accomplish to be 5 stars? Are 5 star books perfect, or just very good? What are some of your favourite 5 star reads? What made them stand out?

So the TL:DR is that it’s a mixture of gut instinct and feeling as though no other rating would do the book justice.

How do you decide whether a book should get 5 stars? Do you try to keep 5 stars rating prestigious, or do you give them generously?

It’s a very instinctual feeling and based on how I feel on closing the book. There are so many different elements that have to gel together in order achieve that rating for me. The biggest deciding factor is if I think the book will stay with me for a long time, will remember it for years to come. I do often review ratings and lower them if the book hasn’t had the lasting impact that I expected it to.


Back in my formative reading years there was no internet, no Goodreads or Amazon and no way to rate or review books. Despite being a voracious reader as I child, teen and young adult, I slipped out the reading habit when my children were little. It wasn’t until I got a kindle for Christmas 2015 that I began to read regularly again. Initially I was quite generous with my 5 stars, sprinkling them around like confetti. However, over the last few years of actively reviewing books, I feel as though I’ve grown and matured as a reader, so am now much more discerning in how many stars I award.

Do you have a checklist of things a book must accomplish to be 5 stars? Are 5 star books perfect, or just very good?

Whilst I don’t have a specific checklist, I do have certain requirements or standards that a book must achieve in order to gain 5 stars. They are all massively subjective because I am reviewing purely from an enjoyment perspective, not a literary one. So the big deciders for me are emotion and connection. I have to feel something as I read, and I don’t mean bored! Making me cry definitely has a book halfway to the top spot, because if you have moved me to tears then I am totally invested in your book and characters. Talking of characters they are the other main decider, they need to move beyond mere words on paper and become living, breathing people. I have to feel a connection to them, want to get know them in real life, be desperate to bump into them out on the street, even though they don’t actually exist.


I don’t believe any book is perfect because there will always be something, no matter how tiny, that you would have changed or added or improved on. It can even be something as trivial as a character name or a particular word that is used. At the end of the day the author needs to sell books, so there are times when they have to write to the market, and some of those elements are not for me. Or the author might have chosen to steer in a direction that was different from the one I was hoping for. The sheer fact that the author still persuades me to adore the book despite that is a sign of great storytelling and again pushes the book towards those elusive 5 stars.

What are some of your favourite 5 star reads? What made them stand out?

Chances are you won’t have heard of these books, they’re by Indie Authors that aren’t generally found on Netgalley. What made them stand out? The fact that not only can I still remember the characters but that I can still feel the emotions those characters and the story evoked. If I think too hard about some of them I even get quite teary eyed and emotional.

In no particular order –


So what makes something a five star read for you?

Meme

Friday Book Blogger Hop ~~~ 30 July – Aug 5th

Friday Book Blogger Hop

 The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books. It is now hosted by Billy @Coffee Addicted Writings. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following 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. 



Do you have an online calendar to keep track of your reviews and posts or do you print out a calendar or list?


submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews

Officially I use google calendar, though I haven’t kept it up to date for well over a month now. I used to be on countless author arc teams, as well as sign up for a LOT more arc books (plus blog/review tours) through PR companies. I needed to be very organised for those arcs, so I used an online excel spreadsheet to track what I should be reading, when to post reviews and what was scheduled for my blog. Then I hit the inevitable burn-out of reading close to 300 books a year.


I read a lot less the days, going for quality of reading experience, and taking my time to savour the book, rather than rushing through in order to hit a deadline or quantity quota. I’m very ad hoc with posting reviews on my blog, aiming to hit publish somewhere around release day but not worrying too much about specifically when. I don’t sign up for blog tour type posts, mainly because they don’t catch my eye when I’m trawling through other book blogs. I don’t see the point in wasting my time on a post I wouldn’t want to read myself.


I’ve never printed off or used a paper calendar to keep track, mainly because I tend to check the information whilst I’m online writing reviews or preparing other blog posts. Using an online calendar means the information is readily available wherever I am.


How do you keep track of posts and reviews?

Book Review · Historical

REVIEW – Historical Romance // The Newspaper Man and Bedelia

The Newspaper Man and Bedelia
Come Sundown #3
by Stevie MacFarlane

TL:DR – An enjoyable warm hug of a read that will let you happily pass a few hours and leave you feeling content with the outcome.



Both Bedelia and Thorn were characters I could warm to, Bedelia in particular was rounded and had depth. Personally I would have liked a couple more chapters from Thorn’s viewpoint, so that I could really get a feel for his personality, but what I did see I liked. There was a lovely chemistry between this pair though of course it’s very slow burn/low heat due to the historical setting. I also loved their verbal sparring, Thorn did seem to respect Bedelia’s independent spirit and need to be somewhat autonomous.



Whilst I very much enjoyed this story (and the 3 stars is NOT a negative review on GR, it actually DOES mean “liked it”) it felt very insta-love, which isn’t a trope I care for. The main reason for that was that we didn’t actually get to see many scenes of Thorn and Bedelia interacting together, particularly not in a romantic way. Given that Thorn took offence that Bedelia wouldn’t share her friend’s secret with him during only their second interaction, it left me feeling as though the emotions were a little rushed.



A large chunk of the story focused on Bedelia, Kate and Carrie Ann working together to make Bedelia’s dreams come true. I loved these scenes, they were my favourite part of the book, and the vast majority were important in both developing the plot and in growing Bedelia’s character. It was also great to see that Carrie Ann hasn’t lost her wild streak or sass and I wouldn’t have wanted to have lost this part of the story. Had some of the later chapters and events – for instance Thorn’s attempts to make Bedelia jealous – been covered in the same depth this would definitely have been closer to a 5 star read for me.



I did find the ending satisfying and absolutely adored the epilogue.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Wild West Historical Romance

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58528387-the-newspaper-man-and-bedelia


Synopsis
A new romance is heating up the old west. Secrecy, rivalry, and jealousy may be the death of it. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Can they survive the flames?

Bedelia Longmore had resigned herself to becoming the town spinster. Always in a hurry, she looked the part most afternoons appearing frazzled, her hat perched slightly cock-eyed on her head. Being an old maid did not bother her, and Biddy was certainly capable of making her mark on the world. She quickly determined she would publish Centerville’s first newspaper. She began to plan accordingly.

Successful reporter Thornton James arrived from Topeka with a plan. He, too, was looking for a place to begin his publishing career. A chance meeting with Bedelia Longmore was an unexpected stroke of luck. She knew everyone, their habits, their preferences and clearly more than she revealed regarding their personal lives.

“Mr. James, you never did say what you were planning to do here in town,” she said breathlessly.
“I guess I didn’t,” he admitted with a smile. “I plan to start Centerville’s first newspaper. I really must hurry if I’m going to make my appointment at the bank.”

Bedelia watched him until he was out of sight as though glued to the boardwalk. A newspaper! He was the reason the bank had denied her a loan that very morning! Damn, she’d given him far too much information and unwittingly passed on some of her best ideas! Hell’s bells.
Let the competition begin!

Book Review · PNR

REVIEW – Paranormal Romance // Blood Lust by Kitty Thomas

Blood Lust
Blood Lust #1-3
by Kitty Thomas & Zoe Winters

Blood Lust is a trilogy of novellas, interlinked via the female protagonists. These are much lighter reads than one would normally associate with the name Kitty Thomas , though they still demonstrate the same high quality of story telling that her books contain.



These felt like the PNR equivalent of a cosy mystery – fun, quirky and steamy reads with a good pace, interesting plot and great characters. I would have liked to have seen more of Greta in Charlee’s book, given how close this pair are meant to be, but that is pretty much the only “complaint” I have. I loved how towards the end of Claimed we started to see more depth to Jane, whilst in Mated we get to truly know and understand her. Cole was definitely my favourite hero, he was an alpha without the arrogance that often comes with the role.

Each story had it’s own individual feel, in part due to the very different heroines. The heroes were delightful, totally alpha and more bad boy than truly bad. Because there was a lot of plot to fit in, the relationship does move at a rapid pace, though I still found myself rooting for a HEA for each of these amazing couples. A definite must read for those who love a fun PNR read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Paranormal Demons & Devils Romance

Age 18+, Contains some violence and consensual sex scenes

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58423742-blood-lust

Synopsis
The blood is everything…

KEPT:
Cat shifter blood is sought after to enhance spells and potions, but due to a quirk of her birth, Greta’s blood is potent enough to kill for. When she learns she will be sacrificed, Greta is forced to ally herself with Dayne, the dangerous local sorcerer, and the only person strong enough to protect her.

CLAIMED:
Charlee wakes in a strange bed without any memory of who she is. All she knows is that a man who claims to be a doctor and is there to help her, doesn’t seem to want to let her go. And maybe this is just her imagination, but does he have fangs?

MATED:
Jane isn’t a vampire, but their blood runs through her veins, making her a target for those who resent a human being “kindred”. When she’s given to the leader of the werewolf pack to satisfy a gambling debt, she discovers her blood has a far greater impact on her destiny than she ever could have imagined.



NOTE: This title was originally published by Zoe Winters as Blood Lust (Preternaturals Series book 1). All content from the original remains the same.

Meme

Tell Me Something Tuesday – 27th July

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Jen @That’s What I’m Talking About, where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the questions from Jen’s blog and answer it on your own.



“Where is your favourite place to read during the summer?”

Flippant me would say “on the beach” though the truth is that my very favourite reading spot is the left hand corner of our middle sofa. The one that faces the French doors that lead out onto the back garden. It’s where I sit and read each evening after work and at the weekend, when time allows.

I do love sitting on the beach with a good book, sunshine, and the gentle shushing of the waves on the shore. Whilst the weather may not always be perfect the scenery definitely is always stunning, and even in the most landlocked regions (one of which I live in) you’re never more than a couple of hours drive from the coast.