Book Review – Mercy Dogs: Tyler Dilts

Author: Tyler Dilts
Book Name: Mercy Dogs
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Suspense/Family Life
Rating: Really Good
4+stars

 

Blurb:

How can a shattered ex-cop follow the rules when he’s no longer sure of them?

For sixteen years, Ben Shepard loyally served the Long Beach Police Department. Then he took a bullet to the head, and his life was shattered. No one expects much of anything from him anymore—except his father, an old man receding into a fog of his own. And except maybe his tenant, Grace, who’s been a warm and friendly constant in his and his father’s bleak lives.

Until the day she vanishes.

After an official investigation stalls, Ben moves forward on his own. But stepping into Grace’s past—and all she was hiding—is a dangerous move for a man who can’t trust his memories from one day to the next. The deeper he gets, the more he has to question whether he’s being driven by the gut instincts of a suspicious former cop or by paranoia.

Recognizing what’s real can save Grace’s life. If only he can trust himself to do it…

This book has sat on my TBR for a while now only because I just wasn’t sure what to expect. Once I finally did pick it up, it took me a bit to get into it because of the jumping around of events and they way things were presented. I completely understand the why behind this and actually ended up liking that, but it took me a bit to sink into because of that.

While you have the overarching story of Grace and what is going on with her disappearance, for me, what made this story so great was seeing the relationship between Ben and his dad and how they were both struggling to overcome some significant struggles. Both of them having major issues that make just getting through the basics of life incredibly difficult, yet still being there and doing what they could for each other made this a really moving story. It is both heartwarming and poignant.

Last Chance!

The sale and promo for any photo prints or my book ends this Sunday! Details below.

 

Original Post –

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m running a sale on pretty much everything. Pricing for everything runs from Monday, April 29th thru Sunday May 12th. If you’ve ever considered grabbing something, but just weren’t certain, now’s the time to pick up my book or a photo print. Either to treat yourself or as a really unique gift. The book would be especially fitting for a Mother’s Day gift.

My book, An Unexpected Turn, is on sale. The ebook is regularly $4.99 and is on sale for $2.99. Paperback is regularly $11.99 and is on sale for $9.99 (Amazon will not show as sale price and will most likely show early). This price should apply to all platforms, so please drop me a note if for whatever reason it isn’t. It is available in all of these locations:

An Unexpected Turn Cover
An Unexpected Turn Cover

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback
Barns & Noble/Nook
Kobo
Apple Books
Scribd
Playster

 

 

 

ALSO… On my photo print site, everything is 25% off. All prints, stationery and household products like tote bags, pillows and the random phone case. Everything is included, just use the discount code at check out.

Photography Discount Code: NMHZHV

 

Book Review – Only One Life: Ashley Farley

Author: Ashley Farley
Book Name: Only One Life
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Family Life/Family Drama
Rating: Okay
3+stars

 

Blurb: Julia Martin grew up wealthy, but it wasn’t until she met her husband, Jack, that she knew true happiness. He made her feel worthy and loved. Their marriage was also an escape from her sister’s bullying, her father’s scrutiny, and her chilly and enigmatic mother. But when tragedy strikes on the night she gives birth, Julia’s happiness is shattered. She has no choice but to return home to her family’s South Carolina mansion, where the grief and guilt buried in her mother’s past await her.

As a young woman trapped in a bitter marriage, Julia’s mother, Iris, once needed her own means of escape. In Lily, she found a best friend. In the flower shop they opened, she discovered independence. Then came a transgression—unforgivable, unforgettable, and unresolved—that changed Iris’s life forever.

Now, in Iris’s most desperate hour, her only hope is to regain the trust of the daughter she loves—and to share the secrets of the heart that could rebuild a family’s broken bonds.

I had a really hard time getting into this one and came really close to putting it down a couple of times. Mostly because, at least for close to the first 1/3 of the book, I really didn’t like any of the characters.

Meeting each of the main characters for the first time, I was left with the feeling that they were pretty shallow and self-absorbed. Julia came across as more of an angry, spiteful teenager that had their plans ruined rather than as someone truly grieving a deep loss, so instead of feeling sympathy for her, I just didn’t like her.

Iris wasn’t much better. The beginning of her relationship with Max wasn’t even remotely intriguing or romantic. It felt like she had zero emotional stake in it, but rather was more interested in what she could get out of that relationship; away from her poor upbringing and marriage into a wealthy family. There was absolutely nothing redeemable at all about Max or Alex. Both were horrible. Granted, they kind of are supposed to be, but that didn’t really make things much better. Lily also fit right into the unlikable, self-absorption character theme.

Once a little deeper into the story, you are FINALLY given a different glimpse of at least Julia and Iris and they became a little bit more human, which allowed me to keep reading. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to overcome such a negative first impression. While they were more humanly flawed, they still weren’t overly likable.

This just wasn’t a very satisfying read. The secrets alluded to in the blurb come out early for the reader and don’t feel much like secrets. When they are revealed to the other characters, it really doesn’t amount to much overall drama. With the difficult start and the lack of any kind of connection to the characters, this ended up being a “meh” kind of read.

Mother’s Day Sale!

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m running a sale on pretty much everything. Pricing for everything runs from Monday, April 29th thru Sunday May 12th. If you’ve ever considered grabbing something, but just weren’t certain, now’s the time to pick up my book or a photo print. Either to treat yourself or as a really unique gift. The book would be especially fitting for a Mother’s Day gift.

My book, An Unexpected Turn, is on sale. The ebook is regularly $4.99 and is on sale for $2.99. Paperback is regularly $11.99 and is on sale for $9.99 (Amazon will not show as sale price and will most likely show early). This price should apply to all platforms, so please drop me a note if for whatever reason it isn’t. It is available in all of these locations:

An Unexpected Turn Cover
An Unexpected Turn Cover

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback
Barns & Noble/Nook
Kobo
Apple Books
Scribd
Playster

 

 

 

ALSO… On my photo print site, everything is 25% off. All prints, stationery and household products like tote bags, pillows and the random phone case. Everything is included, just use the discount code at check out.

Photography Discount Code: NMHZHV

 

Book Review – The Survivor’s Guide to Family Happiness: Maddie Dawson

Author: Maddie Dawson
Book Name: The Survivor’s Guide to Family Happiness
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Family Life/Family Drama
Rating: Really Good
4+stars

 

Blurb: Three women, three lives, and one chance to become a family…whether they want to or not.

Newly orphaned, recently divorced, and semiadrift, Nina Popkin is on a search for her birth mother. She’s spent her life looking into strangers’ faces, fantasizing they’re related to her, and now, at thirty-five, she’s ready for answers.

Meanwhile, the last thing Lindy McIntyre wants is someone like Nina bursting into her life, announcing that they’re sisters and campaigning to track down their mother. She’s too busy with her successful salon, three children, beautiful home, and…oh yes, some pesky little anxiety attacks.

But Nina is determined to reassemble her birth family. Her search turns up Phoebe Mullen, a guarded, hard-talking woman convinced she has nothing to offer. Gradually sharing stories and secrets, the three women make for a messy, unpredictable family that looks nothing like Nina pictured…but may be exactly what she needs. Nina’s moving, ridiculous, tragic, and transcendent journey becomes a love story proving that real family has nothing to do with DNA.

This was a really interesting read that definitely takes you on a journey of differing emotions. The characters were particularly interesting because at times I really liked one or two, but maybe not so much another and then a little farther along, those feelings would start to shift and the character I wasn’t a huge fan of was now someone I could understand. At the same time, that previously liked character was showing bits of personality that frustrated me. Basically, they were these flawed and imperfect humans going through flawed and imperfect human lives.

There were a lot of traits and emotions I felt I could identify with throughout this story. I think this story touches on a lot of somewhat universal human needs and desires pertaining to family and relationships in general. One portion of a line really stuck out to me.

“…-had I been so needed, so important to someone else’s story.”

That desire to feel important to someone else’s story is kind of the backbone of this entire book and part of why I enjoyed it so much.

Book Review – The Color of Ordinary Time by Virginia Voelker

Author: Virginia Voelker
Book Name: The Color of Ordinary Time
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Family Drama/Religious Fiction
Rating: DNF

Blurb: One summer in the life of a young teacher pulled between the needs of her biological family and those of the family she has chosen as hers. Troubled by past decisions, Keziah must find a way forward. Will she strike out on her own, into an uncharted future, or will she take the path others have laid out for her?

It isn’t often that I will write a review on a book I couldn’t even finish, but I felt like I needed to make a point with this one because it landed pretty heavily on one of my peeves. Inaccurate categorizing/genre placement.

I fully understand that sometimes it is really difficult to pick the top categories for a book. You want them to be the most accurate and draw in the most readers. The problem is, by leaving a category off that truly does apply, not something iffy, but rather something that is at the core of your book, you are running 2 rather huge risks. One is missing out on readers who will love your book. The other is pissing off readers that feel like they have been mislead into picking your book up and feel like what they got was nothing at all like what they were expecting. Neither situation can possibly be a good one for an author.

In this case, I wasn’t thrilled with the fact that this falls quite strongly into religious/Christian fiction, which I do not personally enjoy, yet it wasn’t classified as such. When I started reading, I truly had hopes that this wasn’t the case. That it would step away from those aspects and focus more on the family drama, but you cannot get past a paragraph without some form of religious connotations or context. And while not directly preachy, it does come across a bit from a sideways angle.

I’m not saying that this wasn’t well written. I think it has a lot going for it, but I struggled with finding anything I could connect with because of how heavily it relies on that religious motif. Because of that, I had to just put this down around the 50% mark as it just wasn’t for me. I was hugely disappointed because I expected this to be more about family than anything, but it really wasn’t.

If you really enjoy fiction with a heavy religious bent, then this may be an amazing book for you. If that isn’t your thing, then you will probably be better served looking elsewhere.

Another Goal!

I got notification that my book is finally, fully published on all the platforms I submitted to. One more publishing goal checked off. It’s a small goal, but it is still a pretty awesome one.

I am also probably going to have to place another order of the paperbacks for myself as all the ones I bought for the first round were gone before I could blink. I had about half of them accounted for when I placed the order, but between giving a few away for reviews and BG being a better salesperson than I am, I’m out.

I do still have an opening for a reviewer that wants any of the ebook versions. Just drop me a message if you are interested.

Looking For Reviewers

I am down to one paperback copy for this and a spot or two for another reviewer. If you or someone you know would like a copy (ebook or print) in exchange for providing a review, please drop me a note or pass this along! Every tiny bit helps, especially as a brand new author in the indie field.

TJ Fox

On to the part of the book process that I dislike with a flaming passion. Pretty much begging for help. As a raging introvert that struggles with most any communication, this part is excruciating, but necessary. That said, I do need some help from anyone that is willing to step forward and volunteer to read my little baby and give me a review. Ideally, I’d like to see reviews spread out in various different places like Goodreads, Amazon, B&N and blogs, but I’m not going to be picky.

I am looking to get between 3 and 5 people willing to write up a review in exchange for a copy of my book. I’ll provide their preferred format, ebook for any platform I’ve published on or a print copy that I can mail to you. If you are posting to a blog, I’ll add a copy or snippet of your review…

View original post 335 more words

An Unexpected Turn Availability

I am posting this for an easy share as it is a single link to all the various platforms An Unexpected Turn is available on.

Even if it isn’t a genre (women’s fiction/family life) you normally read, maybe you have a friend that does and you’d be willing to slide this under their nose or at least share the link (or this post) with others. If you are amazing enough to read it, please leave a review! Every tiny bit helps me to get this out there.

Please take a few to check it out. The blurb is below.

“When I take a good look at my reflection, I’m surprised that the face looking back at me in the mirror doesn’t look different than the one I’ve seen staring back at me for the last 27 years. I see the same brown hair and brown eyes, the same heart-shaped face, the same upturned nose. I feel like I should look different. That my face should show the upheaval and the weight of the last day, that it should somehow show how much has happened, how the course of my life has changed, but everything is still the same.”

Life is rarely ever predictable. It is rarely even kind. But… sometimes… just sometimes, those unexpected turns that throw you into the chaos and upheaval of loss lead you to the exact place you need to be.

This is a story about love, but it isn’t a romance. It is about holding on when it would be easier to let go, about fighting for those that can’t fight for themselves. It is about finding and creating family through the unpredictable, beautiful mess that is life.

 

 

Baby Lily Leaves & A Reminder

To say that releasing a book is interesting would be an understatement. I’m doing all the things, no matter how much they grate on this raging introvert, I still do them. That said, apparently, BG, is way better at it than I am as she has managed to definitively sell one book to a classmate and has a second one who talked to a parent about it and now the parent wants to read it. All in a single day. Yes, my girl is peddling my book at school!

I am still looking for reviewers for anyone that is interested. I have 2 people committed, but still have a few spots still open. If you are awesome enough to volunteer, please drop me a note through my contact page, letting me know your interest and the platforms you would normally post reviews along with your format preference. I’ll provide you a copy in your preferred format, ebook for any platform I’ve published on or a print copy that I can mail to you. If you are posting to a blog, I’ll add a copy or snippet of your review to my AUT page with a link back to your blog as an additional thanks once the review is posted. (unless you don’t want that, then that’s okay too!)

 

 

IT’S HERE!!!

IT’S HERE!!! IT’S HERE!!! IT’S HERE!!! IT’S HERE!!! IT’S HERE!!!

Nope. I’m not excited. I’m all calm and cool and not dancing crazily around the house like a little kid at Christmas. Not. At. All. *as I’m trying not to scare the pets with my squeeing like a loon*

Book release goal #2 has been hit. I have held physical evidence in my hands that I did in fact publish a book. It is SO pretty!

Okay, now I’m done for the day. Maybe.

Looking For Reviewers

On to the part of the book process that I dislike with a flaming passion. Pretty much begging for help. As a raging introvert that struggles with most any communication, this part is excruciating, but necessary. That said, I do need some help from anyone that is willing to step forward and volunteer to read my little baby and give me a review. Ideally, I’d like to see reviews spread out in various different places like Goodreads, Amazon, B&N and blogs, but I’m not going to be picky.

I am looking to get between 3 and 5 people willing to write up a review in exchange for a copy of my book. I’ll provide their preferred format, ebook for any platform I’ve published on or a print copy that I can mail to you. If you are posting to a blog, I’ll add a copy or snippet of your review to my AUT page with a link back to your blog as an additional thanks. (unless you don’t want that, then that’s okay too!)

If you are awesome enough to volunteer, please drop me a note through my contact page, letting me know your interest and the platforms you would normally post reviews along with your format preference. This isn’t a contest, but more along the lines of “if you send me a message you will get a copy” unless I’ve hit my limit. If I see a lot of interest, then I may rethink the numbers, but I’d prefer to keep it small to start.

Massive thank you in advance to those that volunteer! I will update this post when/if I hit my numbers.

For those that haven’t seen it… the blurb… (oh, and I thought I’d mention that this falls into the women’s fiction and family life/drama genres)

“When I take a good look at my reflection, I’m surprised that the face looking back at me in the mirror doesn’t look different than the one I’ve seen staring back at me for the last 27 years. I see the same brown hair and brown eyes, the same heart-shaped face, the same upturned nose. I feel like I should look different. That my face should show the upheaval and the weight of the last day, that it should somehow show how much has happened, how the course of my life has changed, but everything is still the same.”

Life is rarely ever predictable. It is rarely even kind. But… sometimes… just sometimes, those unexpected turns that throw you into the chaos and upheaval of loss lead you to the exact place you need to be.

This is a story about love, but it isn’t a romance. It is about holding on when it would be easier to let go, about fighting for those that can’t fight for themselves. It is about finding and creating family through the unpredictable, beautiful mess that is life.

One Goal Reached!

I didn’t set a lot of goals when I decided to publish my book. The ones I did set were small and, hopefully, achievable. Today, I reached my first one. I am now officially in my local library’s database and An Unexpected Turn can be checked out by anyone in its ebook form! Today is a very good day.

March Was Good To Me

Normally I’d say you can’t get much better than publishing and releasing a book, but… getting to celebrate 18 years with an awesome man ranks right the hell up there. And for that 18th milestone, that amazing, awesome man got me an upgrade for my camera that I’ve had for over 10 years.

Continue reading “March Was Good To Me”

Sweetness And Love Overload

I shared the above image with some friends, over the top excited that I will be holding physical proof of all  my hard work in my hands in just a few days. A couple hours later, one of my friends commented and posted her own tracking image showing her copy will be showing up before mine. I gave her crap for getting a copy before me, just joking and she, quite seriously said that I should get to hold the first copy of my book and she will be leaving hers in the package until I get mine. Cute melting heart. I may complain sometimes, but I really do have some amazing, awesome, beautiful soul friends.

An Unexpected Turn: Availability

In roughly 24 hours after hitting publish, my book is now available on almost every platform I published on. I only have one or two much smaller ones to go, but all of the major platforms has it listed. Don’t forget to rate it and/or leave a review if you decide to check it out!

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback*
Barns & Noble/Nook
Kobo
Apple Books
Scribd
Playster

*The paperback is available for print, but it hasn’t linked up to the Kindle version and also has a glitch in the layout of the description, so I’m waiting to hear back from Amazon about resolving the issue. None of that impacts the fact that it is available and the book itself has no issues. I have several ordered and on their way.

 

An Unexpected Turn: Book Birthday!

I am officially live on Amazon with the Kindle version! Happy Book Birthday to me! Please take a few to check it out. The blurb is below. Even if it isn’t a genre you normally read, maybe you have a friend that does and you’d be willing to slide this under their nose. If you are amazing enough to read it, please leave a review! Every tiny bit helps me to get this out there.

Other versions are slowly going live and a paperback version will be available soon! I’ll be keeping track and adding links on my AUT page.

 

Author: TJ Fox (ME!!)
Book Name: An Unexpected Turn
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Family Life
Rating: Excellent/Favorite (because of course it is!)

5+stars

Blurb: “When I take a good look at my reflection, I’m surprised that the face looking back at me in the mirror doesn’t look different than the one I’ve seen staring back at me for the last 27 years. I see the same brown hair and brown eyes, the same heart-shaped face, the same upturned nose. I feel like I should look different. That my face should show the upheaval and the weight of the last day, that it should somehow show how much has happened, how the course of my life has changed, but everything is still the same.”

Life is rarely ever predictable. It is rarely even kind. But… sometimes… just sometimes, those unexpected turns that throw you into the chaos and upheaval of loss lead you to the exact place you need to be.

This is a story about love, but it isn’t a romance. It is about holding on when it would be easier to let go, about fighting for those that can’t fight for themselves. It is about finding and creating family through the unpredictable, beautiful mess that is life.

An Unexpected Turn: Cover Reveal

I have a book cover! I am just over the top giddy about this. My guy really did an amazing job and was incredibly tolerant of the fact that I really didn’t know what I wanted outside of my photograph I sent him. He tweaked and nudged and reworked several times, but he got me here, which is amazing. So, if you are looking for some great cover work or interior design, check him out at Streetlight Graphics.

Continue reading “An Unexpected Turn: Cover Reveal”

Page Proofs Are A Thing!

Got my page proofs to review from the designers. I knew this was a thing. I was expecting it, but apparently… still not. It really hit me with this that I will be publishing my book soon. And it is going to look like a real book! Seeing these pages formatted as they will be in print makes me giddy as hell. And a little hyperventilatey (yes, I know that isn’t a word). I’m going to go review pages. And take lots of deep breaths. This is happening!

An Unexpected Turn – Cover Hint

I just sent my files off to my cover designer for them to begin work and thought I’d drop a little hint from one of my original images. I’ll post a full cover reveal once it is finished and I have a release date!