Reviews are in for Teach Me Trilogy!

Testing the Limits

I’m so excited I have my first reviews for the Teach Me Trilogy! And… *drum roll please*… they are stellar! Five stars all around. How awesome is that? Of course, it’s not as awesome as my good friends Roxy and Tigerlino over at  Purrfectkitties who decided to take a chance on a first time author. Thank you so much again guys! You rock! If you haven’t checked them out already, you should definitely do so. They’ll have you laughing in no time 🙂

And if you’d like to purchase my books you can do so at these retailers: Amazon, Smashwords

Broken Rules

Last Lesson

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It’s Official… I’m a Published Author!

Trio Collage

It’s official, I’m a published author of the TEACH ME TRILOGY! Well, self-published, but that’s good enough for me. I feel like I’ve waited an eternity to write that and now that I have… damn does it feel good! Another check off the ‘ol bucket list. But I never thought I would publish my adult romances before my thriller novels. Once I started working on them though, the story just flowed. Sure, I hit some bumps and bruises along the way, but in under a year I completed all three books: TESTING THE LIMITS, BROKEN RULES, LAST LESSON (check out my books page for descriptions). Don’t ask how many drafts I did before I decided I couldn’t be perfect lol. I’m still amazed I finished them when I did.

And It’s such a mix of emotions right now. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m super elated, but also a little… sad because it’s over. Done. Caput. And now I have to let go of the characters I’ve come to love and cherish. They’ve completed their journey and so have I.

Don’t worry though I have plenty more stories to work on and unless these top the charts (I had one sale within the first thirty minutes of publishing–on my way lol), I’m going to resurrect my thriller novels and work on those. Hopefully I can get them, or at least one of them, published within the next year. I’m planning on using my not-so-secret pen name S.J. Thomas for them and will definitely keep you updated.

p.s. Check out my Smashwords interview here

And if you’d like to purchase my books you can order from these retailers: Amazon, Smashwords

Are You a Grammar Nerd?

I am guilty as charged! Before I read grammarly’s infographic, I would have denied it till I ran out of breath. I don’t look like a grammar nerd according to the chart below where I only fall into two out of the five categories (woman and college-educated), but oh baby, I am a grammar nerd at heart. Semicolons? Yes please! Books, words, and Oxford comma? Say no more, you had me at books. And don’t even get me started on the word irregardless. Just typing it sends shivers up my spine. So check out the chart below to see if you too are a grammar nerd at heart.

Grammar Nerd

Romance Writers and Grammar

Confession time! I know I call myself a  thriller writer, which I am, but I also write in another genre… adult romance. And my latest trilogy should be released by this summer 2015. I would say they’re along the lines of the ever popular Fifty Shades of Grey, but controlling, obsessive, borderline abusive men aren’t my thing. Whips and chains, okay. Men who control what you eat and how you dress, not so much. I just hope readers enjoy it like they have Fifty Shades, even though those books have had their fair share of criticisms such as being poorly written. But thanks to the good folks over at Grammarly, they’ve shown it’s not that bad! In fact, many other romances make similar mistakes. We’ll call it the language of love. Check out the graphic below, provided by Grammarly, for a list of the most frequent mistakes.

FiftyShades-final

 

Book Review: Cross My Heart by James Patterson

Cross my HeartBook: Cross My Heart

Author: James Patterson

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Are you kidding me?  Where is the damn ending?  Who does that??  That’s what all the reviews said before I read James Patterson’s Cross My Heart.  So I’m going into this thinking, great this book is gonna suck… yet I’ll torture myself anyway, why not?  Not like I have nine-million other things on my to-do list.  But you know what?  The ending wasn’t that bad.  Sure, I might not have ended it quite like James Patterson did, but then again I’m not James Patterson selling a million novels a year (I wish!  Maybe someday, haha).  I still have a beef with the book, but we’ll get to that.  First a little background…

Patterson’s main character, Alex Cross, finds himself the target of genius maniac who wants to prove that he is the ultimate criminal; the one who will beat Alex Cross.  But Cross’s case-load is too busy for him to notice.  Too busy to notice that his family, the ones he cares most about and would do anything for, may be the real targets.  And the ones in the most danger.

Okay, so I could have summed up that blurb with just the first sentence.  Boom.  Done.  Because everything else that is happening in the book feels like filler.  An after-thought even.  Like, oh shit I missed my word count… time to pile in some other stuff to please the publishers.  And let me tell you, there’s A LOT of other stuff going on.  Too much.  It’s a tilt-a-whirl of different characters, actions, thoughts, criminal activity, issues… all mixing together in the nighttime lights and boy did I feel dizzy.  Every time I would flip the page I wondered who would be speaking next.  Don’t get me wrong, I like hearing the story from different character point-of-views, but please try to limit it to two or three.  When you’re getting input from everyone it’s hard to hear the story.  Not that there is much to tell.  There’s so many events happening that you don’t get a chance to really sink your teeth in and enjoy it, feel it, imagine it and become a part of the book.  One of the very reasons I read in the first place.

At least in Cross My Heart, Patterson is getting back to his serial killer roots.  Thank goodness he’s laid off that political terrorist angle.  If I wanted to read that I would read the news.  But it’s so disappointing how quickly the serial killer part of the story wraps up.  Just as it’s getting good, bam.  It’s over.  That’s all folks.  Even as I sit here writing this, I still want to know more about the killer.  But when you have so much going on there’s only a certain amount of time each issue can have.  Unfortunately, the best part got cheated.

And I get that this is Patterson’s twenty-first Cross novel.  (Twenty-one, crazy!)  Which makes me think the series might be getting a little rusty, dusty, so he’s probably trying to spruce it up a bit.  There’s only so many times your hero can be in danger and come out unscathed before it starts getting old.  I think the author George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) said it best, “I want my readers, and I want viewers to be afraid when my characters are in danger,” he adds. “I want them to be afraid to turn the next page because the next character may not survive it.”  In other words, “all men must die”.  Maybe Patterson should take some notes.

Oh and another thing about the ending… Sure it kinda feels like a ploy to get the reader to buy the next book, but I guess I look at it as a cliffhanger.  Something that makes you want to buy the next book, not feel like you’re obligated to, which if that’s the case then I think there’s a bigger issue with your writing then just the “lack of an ending”.  If anything, I think Patterson should keep one thing in mind…

“In writing, you must kill all your darlings” ~ William Faulkner