Tuesday Talk- First Lines Part 2

Once a reader opens the cover of the book, (according to some) the author has a short window of opportunity in order to grab the readers attention. It’s no surprise that most of the time you can tell if you will like a book based on the first line. A good opening line causes the reader to think, it slowly pulls them in, but most importantly it gets them wanting more.

Earlier this week I asked both writers and reviewers what their favorite opening line was. And although the responses varied in regards to genres, they were all surprisingly (or maybe not) similar.

“It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful field. Except for the body.” – I hunt killers by Barry Lyga. 

This line was given by ravenandbeezWhen asked why this line was captivating, the response was easy, “I still haven’t read it but the mystery aspect of it is so strong. I just need to know more.”

TheTattooedBookGeek felt similar about his passage:

“Before she became the Girl from Nowhere-the One Who walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years-she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy.”-  The Passage (Passage trilogy book 1) by Justin Cronin.

When asked what it was that made him place this book from the maybe read into the definitely reading pile, he said, “I’d say as it really intrigued me but also because it made me think that Amy (the girl) was going to have a big part in the story and made me want to find out more.”

Here are a couple other responses I received:

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.“- Hobbit

“Maybe he should have been more worried about the ghost detector going off.”– Labyrinth A Greywalker novel by Kat Richardson

“Morganville, Texas, isn’t like any other dusty small town. It’s got secrets. It’s a company town…and the company is vampires.”– The Morganville Vampires Daylighters by Rachel Caine

Most of the responses I received talked about the books inquisitiveness and how it pulled them in. However, lines that fail to deliver this “pulling effect”, are most often categorized as boring, plain, or lack information. Hallie offered her advice on what she felt successful first lines need: “The first line needs to be something that can make you smile, or make your jaw drop, or perhaps make you curious.

Ok, so what does this mean to writers. Well, according to some- not much. Yes, first lines are great, but some argue they don’t make or break the success of your book. According to one goodreads critic, Jp, their advice:

“There are a number of things that must be done in the first chapter of a book–and they can be learned. If you’ve done all of them, and well, you might have a successful book. No telling. You must do what you do in your own way and tell the story as only you can.
If you’re submitting a book to an agent or a publisher, you can be rejected for any number of reasons, not always having to do with what you wrote. The thing is not to be discouraged, but to keep writing.”

According to Sequoia, author and critic, it’s not just the first line but the first seven that have meaning.

“When I was in graduate school, a professor introduced me to something she called the 7 sentence rule. Basically, within 7 sentences (give or take), the reader should have a pretty good sense about at least one (but ideally 2-3 or more) of the following: main character, central tension, a theme, setting. As a creative writing professor, I stress this to my students. As an editor, I usually know if I’m going to accept or reject a piece by the end of the first or second paragraph.”

In the end, what do we walk away with? Well, I’m not honestly sure there is a right or wrong answer here. I think everyone is different. Someone once told me, “Books are like clothing in that what one person likes, the next person wouldn’t like at all. it’s very personal.”

I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend!

Catch You (Love Me, I’m Famous #.5)

Catch you

Author: M.H. Soars
Published: April 12, 2016
Pages: 156

Stars: 4 out of 5
Goodreads Giveaway

Synopsis:

Kimberly
I had always thought Owen Whitfield fit the mold of the brainless jock perfectly. Group of idiot friends? Check. Vapid girlfriend? Check. Ego bigger than the moon? Check. As long as he stayed out of my way, coexisting with his kind was doable. Until one day our worlds collided, changing everything. He pissed me off so badly that I had no choice but to give him a taste of his own medicine. Little did I know that my act of revenge would come back to bite me in the ass. How was I supposed to know Owen would turn out to be the best partner in crime I could hope for?

Owen
I never paid much attention to Kimberly Dawson, but I knew who she was. Ice Queen was what we called her. She was gorgeous, no one could deny that. But she was also a condescending bitch which was enough reason for me to stay the hell away from her. She thought I was a dumb jock and that was okay until she came crashing into my life. Against my better judgment, I let her embroil me in her shenanigans, forcing us to spend too much time together. It was my doom. She got under my skin, she was all I could think about. I never thought I would be the knight in shining armor to anyone, not until she came along.

Review:

Oh my god, this book has me cracking up. This is similar to Gilmore girls mixed with Nancy Drew- the vocabulary is wonderful and the simplistic problems presented at the beginning of the book is a refreshing distraction. This book is light hearted, funny, and you can’t help but love the spunk.

Kimberly is a seventeen year old who despises high school and the social hierarchy that it’s famous for. I must say, she is a girl after my own heart. Not everyone loved high school and it’s nice to come across a book that shares this perspective. When it comes to making a point, Kimberly has no boundaries. I am both envious and in love with Kimberly’s attitude in this book. Looking back on high school, I wish I had the guts to be myself and speak my mind.

I’m not one to quote books, but to fully understand this point, here is an example. As Kimberly is waking down the hall, everyone gives her dirty disapproving stares. But instead of cowering, she lifts her head high and thinks:

‘Glower all you want sheep. I’m not afraid of your judgmental gossip’

 

Owen is surprisingly witty and a fun character to read. The way he describes and gets distracted by Kimberly is not only entertaining but also addicting. I love the playful banter between the two of them. He is a great example of how often people who others what they want them to see when on the inside they hide who they truly are.

I can’t complain about the character, loved them! The flirty banter between Owen and Kim is irresistible and fun. The plot is a bit over the top and unrealistic. But honestly, you get so caught up in the story and characters, you hardly notice. The only thing I found odd was how the author notes the change of day at the top of the chapters. Most authors inform the reader of the change in day/time by writing it through the text instead of making it appear like a journal entry.

Overal, the book is lighthearted and a fun read. Don’t go into this looking for something serious because you won’t be happy. At first, this book reminded me of a mature YA series but the sexual scenes put it more in the NA section. If you hate reading sexual scenes in a book, don’t let that discourage you from reading this book. When the book gets to that section, it moves pretty fast and the author skims over a lot of what happens.

Give the book a try, I think you will find yourself laughing at times, smiling throughout, and loving the personalities in the book.

Tuesday Talk- First Lines Part 1

Tuesday Talks

Every Tuesday I will try to engage you in a question/topic/idea. You are welcome to write in with a suggestion you want to share or maybe talk about next Tuesday. My response is not right for everyone but I am hoping together we can generate some great conversation. And as always, I would love to hear from you on this topic or any topic out there!  

As reviewers and as writers, we read a lot of books that capture out attention, create emotional chaos within, and ultimately make us wish for more. Some of the best books out there are able to capture our attention with just one line.

My question is: What is your favorite first line and why?

Not an easy question… but one that should be asked. A lot of research states that it is exactly this first line that catches the readers attention. It helps convince them to continue reading or possibly put the book down. If you really think about it, it is extremely interesting how much power the first line of a book has. Now not everyone bases their opinions of a book on the first line. But it does come into play.

Please, if you would, take the time to answer this question with though. Please include:

  1. First line quote
  2. Book the line was from
  3. And most important, why this line caught your attention. Why you love it.

Again, Later this week I will be writing up Part 2 to this question. I don’t know about you but I am curious to see if there are any similarities between the lines that we all love.

Here is one of mine:

“I stiffened at the red and blue lights flashing behind me, because there was no way I could explain what was in the back of my truck.” – Halfway to the grave (Night Huntress #1) by Jeaniene Frost

This opening line had me hooked from the very beginning. This element of mystery is impossible for me to ignore. I had to keep reading to find out what was in the back of her truck and why was she so nervous that the cops pulled her over. Even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t have been able to put the book down until I figured out what was going on.

Glass Ceiling (True Heroes #2)

Glass Ceiling

Author: A.M. Madden
Published: May 24, 2016

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis:

When a perfect new love is shattered, two hearts will do anything to pick up the pieces.

Two years ago, Nick Farley was undercover as a bartender in Chicago. The tough-as-steel FBI agent was working all the angles to build a case against a local crime syndicate, but even his intense focus was no match for the sight of Angela Cavallo’s plump pink lips pulling on her drink. All Nick got was one night—the longest, hottest, sweetest night of his life. It could have been the beginning of something real. Instead, she walked away—and Nick watched her go.

Angela has made some mistakes in her life, but Nick was never one of them. Nor was the baby boy he doesn’t know about. But Angela has been running from a stalker for so long that she’s forgotten how to feel safe. So when Nick suddenly reappears in her life, Angela faces a moment of truth. She wants to trust him and reveal her secrets—her life and the life of their son may depend on it—but first she needs to know that Nick can handle her past, and promise the one thing she most craves: a future together.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Review:

This book is a stand alone. The book is chunked into multiple parts, most of which are told through Nicks point of view but some of the chapters are told through Angela’s. In the middle, section two, the book switches from the present to the past. Personally, I don’t really like when authors do this. I find it more annoying than anything else. But in this case, I felt like the author had no choice but to do this. If the book was written in chronological order, then there would be no mystery or build up.

Nick is a perfectionist who loves a challenge. And if that challenge happens to be a shy female with a nice body, let’s just say there’s no stopping Nick from accepting the challenge. When I was first introduced to Nick, I did’t really like his character. He is more  arrogant than confident. But ultimately his charm and the way he is with Angela wins me over. As the book continues, Nicks character strengthens and grows. Although a part of him always remains arrogant, you learn he has every right to be that way. I wouldn’t classify him as a soft character, but the way he is with Angela is as close as anyone could get to being associated with softness.

Angela is extremely shy, reserved, innocent, and somewhat of a mousy character. I personally didn’t find her character too appealing. There just didn’t seem to be much there, much depth. As you get further in the story, Angela opens up about her past and she becomes less mysterious. But the way she handled some situations really drove me crazy. How her character showed some inconsistencies that made it difficult for me to really enjoy reading her character. For example- when she was defining her relationship with Nick, she first said it was a serious relationship. But within the same section of the book it went from being a serious relationship to just dating, to a fling, to a one nightstand, and settling on some guy just passing through town. This irritated me because I felt like I couldn’t keep up with either her mood swings or how she actually felt about Nick.

 This book really had my heart hurting for Nick. And up until the middle of the book, I could handle Angela’s character. But then Angela does something that ultimately pushed me away from the book- Angela tells Nick he has a son that she has hidden from him for thirteen months. Outch! The thing is, I knew this was coming. It’s in the synopsis so it shouldn’t have been that big of a surprise. But I guess I wasn’t prepared for how much I liked and understood Nick’s character. I was completely enraged for Nick.

And if only Angela had a good enough reason for why she didn’t tell Nick about their child. Everything, in my mind, was a half ass excuse. Heck, she blamed the universe was agents them. Seriously! As a mother and wife, I have had to watch the pain my husband has gone through when he travels and misses out on our sons first everything- steps, words, rolling over, etc. I think I took that pain from my husband and put it in Nick’s character. Which I think says something about the authors ability to write a character that can be relatable.

Overall, the book is a mystery and pulls at your emotions. You can’t help but wonder what you would have done in Angela’s spot. The writing is well done and it is unbelievable how quickly you get lost in the story. If it wasn’t for the excuses Angela gave about keeping the baby away from his father, I would have really enjoyed this book. But that hit me harder than I could have imagined and pushed me away from the book. I doubt my experience will be anything like yours and I do recommend the book for anyone looking for an intense love affair with a mysterious edge.

Pushing through Discouragement to find the Silver Lining

Last Monday, April 4th, I got on the scale and wanted to cry. I was 1.2 pounds away from my all time high. And all I could think was- how did this happen?!? But really, I know how it happened: It was all the drinking, eating junk food, and just eating more than I was burning off. My jeans that were comfortably loose became tight. My shirts no longer fit. And with the weather warming up, I can no longer hide is sweatshirts.

I can’t believe I am about to do this but I need to own my weight and the choices I make. So here I am..

Age: 31
Weight: 148.8
Percentage of body fat: 31.6 (Over normal/healthy range)
Body fat I needed to lose: 16.8lb.
BMI: 24.8 (normal)

before 1

So I decided to make a change! I started painfully counting calories, hitting the gym harder, and dropped my drinking to once a week. Using the app, Lose It!, I focused on my calories, fat, carbs, and protein.

To lose weight, the app gave me a budget of 1,269 calories per day. Ugh, did I mention how much I hate counting calories. My goal was to keep my carbs between 100-150g and my protein up around 111g. Not an easy feat!

So here is how I did:

  • Monday- Carbs (126g) Protein (80g) Calories (1,239)
  • Tuesday- Carbs (81g) Protein (110g) Calories (1,291)
  • Wednesday- Carbs (130g) Protein (75g) Calories (1,182)
  • Thursday- Carbs (120g) Protein (68g) Calories (1,029)
  • Friday- Carbs (147g) Protein (68g) Calories (1,243)
  • Saturday- Carbs (185g) Protein (75g) Calories (1,662)
  • Sunday- Carbs (132g) Protein (72g) Calories (1,738)

I did a good job on my carbs but protein is something different. Today is weigh in day, it has been one week and I am not expecting a miracle. I am hoping for something positive.

me

Age: 31
Weight: 148.8
Percentage of body fat: 30.3 (Over normal/healthy range)
Body fat I needed to lose: 14.1
BMI: 24.8 (normal)

I’ve improved some but I don’t think you can really tell in the pictures. Even though the number on the scale stayed the same, I lost 1.3% of body fat and how much body fat I need to lose has also went down 2.7lbs.

I need to keep in mind that it has only been a week but there are changes. So here I go with another week of hitting the gym hard, counting calories, and running 🙂

Running- Week 10

Monday: 3 Miles
Running 6Again, Running today was amazing!! I still have the tape on my knee and the miles just passes. It has been a while since I have really enjoyed my run and embraced it because of the pain in my knees. But today, today was awesome!!

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday: 3 miles on an elliptical and 10 minutes on the Stairs

exhaustedToday kicked my ass and my knee is not happy. I really wanted to hit the cardio hard today and I did. By the end of my 40 minute workout, my shirt was soaked and I was in a desperate need of a shower. My knee was fine until I went 10 minutes on the stairs. Now it is kind of screaming at me. I skipped weights today and focused on stretching and doing the foam roll.

 

 

Wednesday: Ran 2.61 Miles
Running
Wow, my knee was absolutely killing me!! This run was tortuous and hurt. I just couldn’t do it. I should not have done stairs yesterday. Talking with my chiropractor, he said because I am still struggling to activate some of my muscles (i.e. butt) I am over using my thighs and that is putting extra strain on my knees. This sucks!! I really needed a good run today.

 

 

Thursday-Friday:
I took today off because my knee still hurts and my aunt died. It has been a rough couple days. Emotions have been high and my outlet (running) has not been an option.

Saturday: 2 mile run
I went to the gym late today and took my oldest son (3 years old). Like I have mentioned before, I like running early in the morning so there isn’t any interruptions. Right as I was getting into my zone and loving my run, around 1.5 miles in, I get called down to the kids academy. After I get back from helping my son, it was just impossible to get back into my run. I tried but fail miserably. So I ended up stopping at only two miles.. I’m disappointed. But there is still one more day this week, so I am hopeful tomorrow will be my great run!
** Sorry no picture, because I had to get off the machine to help my son, I lost all my running information **

Sunday: 4 mile run
Running
Miles 1-3 was easy and fun. I hit my runners high around mile 2. God, I have missed that feeling!! Mile 4 was tough but I did it.

I do have exciting news!!! During this run I felt my glutes being activated!! I think I am finally making progress!!

 

 

 

 

 

Total Milage: 11 Miles

Considering everything that went on this week, I am really happy with my workouts! How did your week go?

Tuesday Talk- Reviews and What We Want Part 2

Often we buy books in order to get lost in a fictional world the author creates. We follow along as characters grow, fall in love, get hurt, and sometimes die. We crave the adventure, the romance, the heroes, and sometimes the villains. But time and time again, we covet the next book on our never ending list of books to-read.

A novel is an act of the imagination. To read it as anything but is a failure of the contract we enter when we engage in a fictional world.“- Natalie Bakopoulos (The Millions: Particular ways of being wrong)

And this world that we so eagerly engage in is the same world we blog about and write endless reviews about. But not only that, we also spend hours navigating countless reviews of others before a.) deciding if a book is worthy of your time or b.) comparing our impression of the book with others.

When reading a book review, I think it is important to keep in mind that what you read is one person’s highly subjective reading experience. Whether that was a good experience or not, the reviewer is setting the stage for how others perceive this book. And often they do a good job. But sometimes you come across a review and all you can do is shake your head over the cruelty or inadequate job that was done.

“The reviewer should ask: how is this done, what has been attempted, has it been delivered with freshness or skill or compelling insight? A lazy review is cruel, and a cruel review is lazy; both stem from a lack of imagination and empathy. Like cruelty itself.” – Bakopoulos

One of the hardest things about blogging is taking our experience with a particular book and trying to apply it to a broad audience of readers. A lot of times, our perceptions of the world we live in- our experiences, emotions, and ideas- are what drive our reviews. And although writing a review like this is perfectly fine, it’s easy to forget the purpose of the review and instead get lost in our emotions or give away too much detail.

For example, are you reviewing the book you read or the book you wish the author had written? There needs to be a fine balance with the information provided within your reviews.

Earlier this week, I asked two questions:
1- What it is you look for or want to see when reading a book review?
2- What do you HATE seeing in a book review?

Below is a composite of the results I received, along with advice I found while searching the web.

  • Establishing the story with your audience in mind: Keep in mind that your audience has not yet read this story and more than likely, they don’t want you giving away too much. So make sure you introduce characters and principals carefully and deliberately.
    .
  • Spoilers: Most everyone I talked to (passionately) stated how they hate getting into a review only to find out it contains spoilers. Do us all a favor and identify if your review contains spoilers. Or don’t put them in your review at all. From what I have read, minor spoilers are acceptable. Just don’t give away the major plot or the entire book.

I never read reviews with spoiler in them (at least when there is a warning) I mean, a review is supposed to be something that gets me to read the book so I can find the spoiler on my OWN.” – ravenandbeez

“Enough detail to entice, but nor enough to spoil.” – Betty

  • Is the book worthy of my time: A lot of people want to know this answer before spending the big bucks and buying a book. I know I do! It might be a good idea to make sure your review includes an answer to this question along with why you feel this way. And trust me, the why is very important. Maybe this book is best suited for people who like specific genres or people in a certain age group- whatever the case is, say it!

“…the main thing I look for is does the reviewer think the book is worth reading and if so why.” – TheTattooedBookGeek

I want to know specifics. I want to know why the reviewer didn’t like the author’s writing or whatever. I know that sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint, but I’d like to know whether or not that writing style would be something I’d enjoy or hate.” – jessreadingnook

  • Find your voice: Writing a review with your audience in mind is difficult but can become easier when you provide them with key elements they are looking for. See below for examples. But with that said, I don’t feel like your entire review should be tailored to your readers. Your voice and opinions matter! I feel there needs to be a mix between writing for your audience and writing for yourself. If you only incorporate what your audience wants, I have a feeling blogging/writing reviews will become dull and boring.

    “I find that I write for myself, so my reviews are mostly a collection of my thoughts catered towards me and people who have already read the book. Obviously that’s not what a review is about- a review is for people who are looking to see if they should read said book.” – ravenandbeez

“I do think however that a review should be personal to whoever is writing it and as bloggers/reviewers we all have are own unique style which is what makes each blog are own.” – TheTattooedBookGeek

  • Impersonal, Feelings and Whatnots: I know I have already touched upon putting your personal feelings/take on the book you read in your review. With the amount of response I got on this topic, i.e. feelings, I thought it was worthy of mentioning again. When you are writing your review, people want both a summery of what you read (without spoilers) and they want to know how you felt about the book. In other words, don’t make this impersonal. Connect with your readers by diving into the emotions around the book. No one wants to read a review that is bland or lacks emotion. If you hate the book, lets feel the hate. If you love the book, I should be able to feel that through your words. So in other words, don’t just stick with the facts. A lot of what I read and people who commented stated they want to feel the emotions behind your words. They come to your reviews to connect. Give them something to connect with!

“I like it when the reviewer types down his / her personal feelings into the blog! Thats the main reason I read a review ; to know what you felt about it” – piezoradeon

“I hate it when reviews are bland. I want reviewers to state their facts strongly and give strong reasons for it.” – ravenandbeez

  • Structure: Some of the responses I received are looking for some type of structure to your review. Most people want specific elements from a review. They look for your thoughts on the plot, characters, writing style, and your overall opinion. Others want your review first and the book information last, i.e. page number, author, published date. Maybe you keep your review to a couple paragraphs, each being a category (character, writing style..) or maybe you mix it up and each book is slightly different. Either way, I don’t think there is a right answer here as long as you touch some of these points in your review.

“I prefer reviews to have some sort of structure…but I also want to be able to find that information easily.” – jessreadingnook

Sometimes people just give up pretty good books just by looking at the size of it…so the probability of reading a book increases when details are given in the last!” – piezoradeon

If you struggle with any of the above things, don’t worry because you aren’t alone! No one is perfect and everyone slips up every now and then. It’s easy to get caught up in your reviews. But here are some ideas that might help:

  • Take notes while you read. This helps you not only jot down the emotions you feel at the time, it also helps to write your review later. Some reviewers will take mental notes and some will just jot down the events not their emotions. That way they get to look at the ‘big picture’. I think with this, you just need to find what works best for you and stick with it.
    .
  • Edit your review! Take a step back and read your review as though you have never read the book before. And ask yourself, did you give enough detail but not too much to be considered a spoiler? Re-reading your review before you publish it also helps to make sure everything makes sense and there is a balance between emotions and facts. Some reviewers stated how when they write their reviews, they write down whatever “stream of thought” they have and then piece it all together in the end. I myself do this. After a review, I will have random sentences/paragraphs  throughout my notes that I have to later piece together or delete.
    .
  • If you are struggling to connect with your readers, pull things from your own life. For example: the book I am currently reading, the lead character kept hidden the fact she had a child with the lead male character. This outraged me because as a mother, I know how much development and growth happens within the first year of a child’s life. And I would hate to have missed any of it but that is what happened to one of the characters in the book. There is a 99% chance there will be a paragraph in my review about this book describing this exact situation and how I felt.
    .
  • Give yourself time to write the review. Sometimes writing a review immediately after you’re done reading is ideal while others it’s best to let it sit and simmer. My advice is don’t feel rushed. If you don’t get the review out until tomorrow, so be it. More people will not only read your review but come back looking for more, when they are concise and provide a good argument for the book.
    .
  • If you are struggling making or cataloging your feelings, step back and ask yourself Why or What. Why did/didn’t I like this book? What made me feel this way?

 

Please keep in ming these are just suggestions and by no means is this the only way you should write reviews. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I have. Thank you to everyone who participated in the conversation during Part One of this segment. I look forward to doing this again!!

Writing Prompt Wednesday

Todays focus is going to be – Points of view. As writers, we all have our favorites that we go to. Personally, I almost always use first person when I write. What can I say, it’s my comfort zone and it’s the easiest thing for me to write.

But sometimes the bubble of our comfort zone needs to be popped because lets face it, writing in first person point of view wont work with every story. Some stories it seems more natural or you are able to provide more detail that otherwise would have been lost if told in second or third person.

For today’s exercise, you’re going to write in second person! Don’t delete it if you don’t like it, just keep writing. The point isn’t to make something perfect, it’s to step outside of what you’re used to. Write a poem, write a story, write a CYOA! But have some fun!

200 words minimum, 750 words maximum.

The rules are simple:

  1. Be Kind!! It takes tremendous guts to put yourself (your writing) out there. So please support your fellow writers. And if you don’t have at least one nice thing to say, don’t say anything at all.
  2. As always, criticism is allowed as long the writer wanting this. If you are wanting criticism or others to comment on your prompt, please add a note at the bottom that is separate from your prompt stating how you would like others to respond.
  3. Have fun! This isn’t supposed to be serious.

PromptHe’s got eyes like quicksilver.


Ok, here is mine:

He’s got eyes like quicksilver and the glasses he wears do nothing to diminish their effect. With shaggy brown hair ending just above his frames and lips you can’t seem to stop staring at, he is a temptation you will always regret walking away from. But knowing you have no other choice, you look down at your feet and can’t help but wish you were anywhere but here. Because being here feels like a tortuous nightmare.

Without needing to look at the clock, you already know time is running out and all that is left is goodbye. In a nervous gesture, you reach up to push loose strands of hair behind your ear. But his hand sweeps across your cheek, simultaneously pushing your hair back and caressing your skin. Although it shouldn’t be, the gesture is both familiar and comforting. Closing your eyes, tremors drift down your body despite your attempts at hiding your reaction to his touch.

“Don’t tell me you changed your mind?” His voice is both deep and warm as it heats the skin around your neck and ear. With a slight jump, your eyes open and immediately connect with his. Meer inches from your body, he leans forward to place a soft kiss on your cheek. What should have been an innocent enough jester between two friends has you desperate to taste the softness of his lips against your own.

Leaning back slightly, he searches your eyes before moving back in and placing a lingering kiss that is both on and beside the corner of your mouth. Your mouth slightly opens and you feel his lips close around the top corner of yours. A mixture of regret and excitement settles in your stomach as you realized you just kissed your sisters ex-husband.

Feeling his lips glide across yours in what you know will be the kiss you’ve been waiting to feel, you say, “Of course not. That would be silly.” But your voice comes out slightly hesitant and the lie easily detectable. His mouth lingers for a second before he steps back. His responding laugh is rough and the lightness in his mood turns sour.

“Of course not.” He says mockingly before adding, “I guess we’re still pretending we don’t exist,” The disappointment is evident as he shakes his head before taking another step back. The space between the two of you seems a mile long with every opportunity you missed out on settling like a brick wall. All you would have to do is reach out and touch him, knowing he would be yours if you asked. But instead you squeeze your hands into tight fists, turning your knuckles white.

Frustrated with yourself, you look away and push the tears back. This isn’t supposed to be what you wanted because he is the one person you can never have. Regaining your composure, you look up to say goodbye but find he is already passing through security. Never once does he look back as he walks out of your life. You are left standing there thinking maybe, just maybe, you should have kissed him back.

*** I am open to all and any comments/criticisms***

Tuesday Talk- Reviews and What We Want Part 1

question mark

Today’s Tuesday Talk had me thinking about book reviews and what exactly do we (being the reader) look for in a review.

To jump this week off, I want to ask two things:

1- What it is you look for or want to see when reading a book review?
2- What do you HATE seeing in a book review?

As a book reviewer, I often wonder if I am giving you want you want. I’m really interested to see your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment below with what you want to see and hate seeing in reviews. Later this week I will write part two of this post with everyones answers 🙂

Thanks ahead of time for your responses 🙂

Tuesday Talk- Reviews

Tuesday Talks

Every Tuesday I will try to engage you in a question/topic/idea. You are welcome to write in with a suggestion you want to share or maybe talk about next Tuesday. My response is not right for everyone but I am hoping together we can generate some great conversation. And as always, I would love to hear from you on this topic or any topic out there!  

Todays topic is: Do you read reviews before or after readying a book?

For me this question doesn’t have a black and white answer. It really depends on the book and author.

If I have already started the series, obviously enjoying it since I am looking at the next book in the series, or if I really enjoy the series, then I wont pay much attention to the reviews until after I have read the book and written my own.

When the book is new or I am not well established with the author, then this is where the grey area comes in. For me, it all depends on how I feel about the synopsis and money. If the synopsis is out of this world, sounds like the perfect book for me, and I am able to rent it at the library, then I will dig into the book without much thought to the review. But when money is involved, then I am a little more cautious on what I buy.

I have been known to buy a book without looking at very many reviews, but the cover and synopsis has to be awesome for that to happen.  I have also taken my chances on a book if they cost $3 or less.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you read reviews prior to reading the book?