Book Reviews

Book Review: Emancipation by Jo Michaels


I’m a big fan of books about serial killers, whether they’re fiction or not. There’s just something about the mind of a psychopath that intrigues me… Anyway, Emancipation is a must-read for anyone like me who enjoys reading about the more gruesome side of the human psyche.

In this book, Michaels not only takes readers into the mind of a serial killer, but she also provides an up close and personal look at prison life. It was all absolutely fascinating. She also accomplished something quite difficult; she fleshed out Tobias’s character so well that I actually felt drawn to him and bad for him at times, making it completely believable that Jess (the pretty, young lawyer who’s trying to get him out of prison) is enamored by him. Now, that’s messed up, yet really cool at the same time.

A few things that occurred might seem a bit far-fetched as far as what would be allowed in a prison, but truth really is often stranger than fiction, and it all made sense in the end. Speaking of the end…WOW. What a twist! I suspected there had to be a twist and wondered a time or two if it would involve a certain something, but even so, I loved it!

This is the third book by Jo Michaels that I’ve read and definitely not the last. The cool thing about her (besides the fact that she’s a great writer) is her versatility. Historical fiction. Fantasy. Horror. Thrillers. ZOMBIES! And no matter what she writes, she writes it well. So if you haven’t read a book by Ms. Michaels yet, I highly recommend you do so.



Book Reviews

Book Review: 7 by Casey L. Bond, Jo Michaels, Tia Silverthorne Bach, Kelly Risser, & N. L. Greene


Seven marks upon a wall.
Tom may rise, but he may fall.
Through five lives, no one dares mention,
of the sin for which he seeks redemption.
Fates will meet, and you will see,
what will thus become of he.

I don’t normally include book descriptions with my reviews, but I had to include this one because it’s absolutely brilliant. Five lives? Redemption? Fates? Can this book sound any more intriguing? But let’s be honest, sometimes a description hooks you and ends up being the best thing about the book. I promise you, that is not the case with this one.

7 is unlike any story I’ve ever read. In my opinion, it spans several different genres including historical fiction, contemporary fiction, romantic tragedy, drama, fantasy, and mystery. As the description reveals, the story focuses on one man’s multiple lives. (Yep, we’re talking reincarnation.) The first five parts cover five different lives, the first occurring in 64 AD and the last occurring in 1995. Each part is a unique story that could be removed from the novel and stand on it’s own.

At first, I didn’t know if I would be able to get into part one because books about Roman times are not usually my thing, but Bond (author of part one) hooked me with her style and storytelling ability. Here’s the note I made at the end of part one: “No! There has to be more!” When I swiped to turn the page, Tom’s next life as a knight during the late 1500’s was waiting to suck me in. Then he was a soldier, then a boxer, and finally a gangster living in a ghetto. I didn’t expect to enjoy each individual story to the same degree, but they were all SO good, and I hated to see each one end.

As I worked my way through each of Tom’s lives, my brain was flooded with questions. What are the similarities and differences from life to life? What would all of his experiences ultimately lead to? Was he making better choices from life to life? Why did he have to keep coming back? What was he supposed to fix? Would he need redemption for multiple things or for one big thing that would become clear at the very end?

When I got closer to the end and found out who Tom really is and what his ultimate sin was, I had to stop and ponder the the meaning behind this book. The creativity that went into weaving everything together just baffles me. I look forward to reading more from all five of these authors.




Many thanks to the authors for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Author Events

12 Days of Review Requests 2015

It’s time to start the party!

Attention all Indie authors! Sell your book and win a review!
Attention all readers! Find great new authors and enter to win an
iPad mini!
Do I have your attention? Good! Continue reading.

One of the biggest issues facing Indie authors today is getting reviews for their self-published books.

Jo Michaels holds an event each year in December to remedy the lack of reviews and to give readers a chance to win great prizes while discovering new authors.

It’s a huge pitch fest!

Last year, authors from all over joined in to pitch their books and win sales and reviews. Not just from Jo, but from tons of readers and bloggers attending the event.

At the core of the event is a huge giveaway for an iPad mini! This benefits all readers because they have a great new way to take their books on the go with any e-reader app.

iPad Mini Rafflecopter Giveaway

If you want to get in on the pitch fest, head on over to Jo’s blog right now and read the rules on this page!

There are daily giveaways of gift cards, e-books, signed books, and tons of other goodies! Be sure to check out the books the authors are pitching, too!

Book Reviews

Book Review: I Zombie by Jo Michaels

I Zombie surprised me. From my experience, zombie books are typically filled with thrills, chills and LOTS of gore, but Jo Michaels offers a different experience.

First of all, there’s more emphasis on the storyline as opposed to violence and gory details. Don’t get me wrong, there are some cringe-worthy moments, but nothing beyond PG-13. I should also mention that a specific cause for the outbreak is identified, which is an aspect that is often underdeveloped in zombie books.

Second, the zombie/human dynamic in this story is very unique; the infected are actually harmless while a large majority of the uninfected are hellbent on destroying anyone with zombie-like symptoms. Seeing this role reversal actually made me think of discrimination in the real world, which is something I’ve never reflected on while reading a zombie novel!

Trixie, the main (zombie) character was very likable. I especially loved the fact that she has a special ability, which is another unique aspect of this book. What a cool twist! In fact, the ending had me feeling a bit upset until Trixie’s ability fixed things for me. Phew. (You’ll have to read it all the way to the end to find out what I mean!)

If you are a fan of YA fiction and zombie novels and are interested in checking out something that strays from the expected norm, I recommend this book.



Author Events, Book Promotion, Don't Call Me Kit Kat

Don’t Call Me Kit Kat Release Party

Don-t-Call-Me-Kit-Kat-Release-Party-Banner 2

Please help me celebrate the release of my new YA novel Don’t Call Me Kit Kat!

Date:  Thursday, May 21 6:00-9:30 PM (CST)

Venue:  Facebook

Event Page:

* Enjoy giveaways from the following YA authors:

Calista Smith – Author | Casey Bond | Evelyne Stone | Erica Cope-Author | Jo Michaels | Kelly Hashway-Young adult, middle grade, and picture book writer | Author Kristin Albright | Author Michele Tucker | Rachel Barnard, Author | Stacey Nash |T.H. Hernandez

* Invite your friends to the party for a chance to win a $25 Visa Gift Card! (Awarded to the guest who invites the most people.)

* Participate for a chance to win a collection of some of K. J. Farnham’s favorite YA novels.

kit kat book collection 2 kit kat book collection

*Even if you’re unavailable from 6-9:30, please join the event. All of the giveaways will remain open until midnight!

Visit the event page on Facebook for more information. Hope to see you there!



The Versatile Blogger Award


THANK YOU to Carol Balawyder for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger award!

A little about Carol:

I write about things that matter to me: justice, mid-life dating, grief, blogs that inspire me both as a writer and a person, awesome writing workshops. I also have series: How I Got Published, Femme Fatale, Nobel Prize Laureates, Writers’ Desks, Ten Great First Dates.

One of my goals is to make online friends with bloggers around the world of different religions, race and culture.

Learn more about Carol and her work by clicking HERE to visit her blog.

Information about the award:

The Versatile Blogger Award is given in recognition for the great commitment, diverse talents and generosity shown by bloggers here in our community. There is so much creativity on display that it is difficult to reduce a list to only a few, but for those nominated, it is hoped that it will motivate them as well as celebrate their work to date.

Here are the rules:

  • Show the award on your blog
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate up to fifteen blogs
  • Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know

Seven facts about me:

  1. I am 50 percent Taiwanese.
  2. In my early twenties, I LOVED the Red Hot Chili Peppers. As a result, I have a RHCP-inspired tattoo on my inner right ankle. Do I regret it? No way. It keeps me young (and a little bit wild) at heart.
  3. Despite the fact that I am a terrible swimmer, I have completed five triathlons.
  4. I am a neat freak.
  5. I can say the 50 United States in alphabetical order in less than 30 seconds. Props to my elementary school music teacher!
  6. In 1994, I started college as a pre-med student. I graduated in 1999 with a degree in elementary education. And now I’m an author. You never know what life has in store for you!
  7. I am currently working on Click Date Repeat 2 and have three additional novels on the back burner. (Tentative Titles: Precious Few, By the Time We’re 40 and Diary of a Disturbed Teen)

And now for the bloggers I have chosen to nominate:

Deborah Bowman:
Jo Michaels:
Rachel Author Barnard:
Please follow these wonderful bloggers and share this post so that others can follow them too!
Book Reviews

Ready to Read in 2015

2015 Book Review Team

One of my favorite things about being a writer is that reading a good book can actually be considered research. ; ) This is why I spend just as much time reading as I do writing. As a result, I have written dozens of book reviews, mostly on Amazon up until I recently became a Goodreads member. Starting in 2015, I will also be posting reviews here as a member of Jo Michaels’ 2015 Review Team.

I have pledged to read and review 21-40 books, so you can expect at least two reviews per month. If you have any book recommendations, please let me know. I am open to any genre, and I especially love books that make me cringe, cry and/or laugh out loud. If you are interested in being part of the Time for Books 2015 Review Team, check out Jo’s blog for details.

I am so excited to be a part of this review team and look forward to spreading the word about some great reads in 2015!