Life in progress


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#tuesdayuseitinasentence – Opening a 4 star review!

I’m so glad Stephanie decided to use the word “opening” for the word of the week in the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, because it gives me an opening to write a post about my novelette, All Good Stories, again. I hope she won’t mind that I’m writing more than a sentence.  You should check out the prompt on her blog, here: https://stephaniecolpron.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/tuesdayuseitinasentence-opening/ It’s fun!

You’re wondering why I’m itching to write about my novelette? Let me share my exciting news with you.

I received a 4 star review on Amazon and Goodreads! The reviewer got the name of one of my main characters wrong, (his name is Xavier) but it doesn’t matter: it’s obvious she read it. And hey, she got the “X” right. 😀

Here it is, as it reads on Amazon:

All Good StoriesFun, short read for any fan of romantic comedy
by K.J. Avila

“All Good Stories is a novelette that follows the relationship between Xander and Jupiter, mostly from Xander’s point of view, but occasionally jumping to Bob – Jupiter’s new friend. Jupiter becomes friends with Bob online and this sends Xander head-first into jealousy. We get peeks at the many characters around them, too, all big personalities that stand out in the short tale. As a result of the colorful cast, shenanigans ensue.

“This is a fun, short read for any fan of romantic comedy. Xander and Jupiter have a really fun dynamic, and are by no means perfect – he’s a bit possessive and paranoid, while she’s too trusting and a little air-headed. Their flaws help flesh out the characters in a way that makes them very real despite the story’s brevity. Since it’s so short, the author doesn’t dedicate a ton of time to setting or descriptions, but that doesn’t take away from the overall story. It’s a character-driven tale that leaves you warm and fuzzy at the end.

“Overall, it’s a nice story sprinkled with humor that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy once you’re done. I’d love to see it fleshed out into a longer piece, with possibly a little more plot, but that’s just because I’d like to see these characters more. If you’re a rom-com fan, give it a try!”

I was so excited when I read this – my very first review ever!

If you’d like to give All Good Stories a read for yourself, you can pick it up by clicking the following links:
Amazon U.S. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JQWMQAE
Amazon U.K. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01JQWMQAE
Amazon Canada https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01JQWMQAE and many other countries as well. Just ask and I’ll give you the links.
You can also pick it up on Kobo, here: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/all-good-stories

If you’ve already bought it, thank you so much. And thanks once again to Stephanie for the prompt!


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Book Review – “Losing Clementine” by Ashley Ream

Losing ClementineLosing Clementine by Ashley Ream
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m giving this book four stars even though it pissed me off. For the first half of the book I didn’t really like Clementine, the main character, which made it hard to care about her. What gives the novel four stars is the compelling way it’s written.

Ms. Ream is an extremely talented storyteller. She pulled me through the tale until I couldn’t put it down. Until I began to feel angry because in the end, I was forced to care about a woman determined to end her life. I was mad at Clementine. The novel made me feel, which for me is the greatest compliment anyone can give to a writer.

Losing Clementine is not a lighthearted read. It’s a powerful one, about relationships and how deeply they can affect everything, right down to personality.

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REVIEW – Faking It by Elisa Lorello

Faking ItFaking It by Elisa Lorello
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once in a while I go to the bookstore and pick up a few books from the sale racks. This one turned out to be an amazing read. It took me no time at all to fall in love with the characters, who are written not only with incredible depth, but with such ease that I didn’t realize I was becoming immersed until I couldn’t put down the novel.
If you enjoy a good love story with imperfect but perfectly lovable characters, you’ll love Faking It. I can’t wait to read the sequel.

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Business As Usual by Sirius Bizinus – A Book Review

Business As UsualBusiness As Usual by Sirius Bizinus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes irreverent, always bizarre, Business As Usual is a hard book to put down. Set in a freakishly corrupt world through which the main character wades through her first day on the job, it balances between social commentary and how society worships both its deities and the almighty buck. I found myself nodding my head as many times as I laughed out loud.

It’s a fantastic first time out for a new author. I recommend this novel to anyone who wants a combination of a good giggle and a thought-provoking read; as I said, bizarre. In a good way.

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And now it’s out in print too! Click here for details.


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Doctor Sleep – A Review

Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved Doctor Sleep. It seemed to me a coming of age not only for the main character, Danny Torrance, but for Stephen King as well. Going into this story with the expectation that it goes on where The Shining leaves off will only leave you disappointed, as many of the reviews I’ve read state. The author does his character justice by lending him new struggles, forcing him to put the past behind him. For what I remember of The Shining having read it last more than twenty years ago, I would say that Doctor Sleep can stand alone as an epic.

As a well-told and plausible continuation to the story of a little boy with the shining from the book of the same name, this novel not only exceeded my expectations, it left me wanting more.

I sincerely hope there is a third book, Mr. King.

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Review – “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood” by Diana Gabaldon

Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander, #8)Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well that was disappointing. Considering I’ve given each of the other books in the Outlander series five stars out of five, I expected much more out of this one.

If I were to give this novel a subtitle, it would be “The Novel in which Truly Nothing Happens.” After the climax of An Echo in the Bone I went into this book hoping for a spectacular continuation. What I got was a long, drawn out story that lasted the entirety of the novel and ended exactly as I knew it would. There were so many chapters between the tales of Bri and Roger, and Clair and Jamie, that around the middle of the book I forgot one of the story lines existed. Completely lacking a plot, the only notable thing in this poor excuse for a novel is that Jamie, at one point, acts completely out of character.

I’m afraid Miss Gabaldon should have ended the series with book seven. If I wanted a history lesson, which is basically what Written in My Own Heart’s Blood amounts to, I’d have read a textbook.

Will I read the next book? Probably. I may borrow it from the library or wait for the paperback to come out instead of rushing to pre-order the hardcover. But if the next one doesn’t impress me, I’m out.

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Review – 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3)1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

1Q84 was a long, drawn out science fiction tale, seemingly full of extraneous information. The depth of its characters was its saving grace. I’m not sure that I would recommend it for anything but for the experience of reading it. I’m not sure how else to describe it.

Not my favourite Murakami novel, and certainly not the last of his that I’ll read.

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