Tag Archives: self published

Book Review: in her mind by Phoebe Garnsworthy

Self Published
Published 2017
215 Pages

Elke Sinclair doesn’t care to fall in love.

And life for the 25-year old in Bondi Beach is as chilled as it sounds.
Her days are filled with fun parties and good friends, while she soul searches for a career that she’s passionate about.

But it only takes one person to change all of that.

When Elke meets Lincoln, a dangerously sexy foreigner, she believes that he is her destiny and that the universe has sent him to her for a reason. As Elke falls madly in love, an unhealthy obsession for perfection begins, and it overtakes her friendships, her goals and even her sanity!

Will Elke find herself before it’s too late? 
Or will she remain the fool forever? -Goodreads

*short review and maybe a harsh review*

I didn’t like Elke. She was a spoiled brat that met someone who turned her out and she couldn’t be an adult about it. She spent her time in the beginning of the complaining how she doesn’t have her life together but lacks the motivation to do anything, so she keeps complaining and then latches onto someone that makes her blood boil.

Do not get me wrong being in love can be rough but being in love for the first time as an adult is something I may not wish upon anyone. Elke took it to the extreme but after completely the book that is her personality. She knows nothing about balance and I’m not exactly sure if she learns this at all.

I wasn’t sucked into the world, although I could see it clearly. The author did a good job describing and shaping this world but it was nothing new. The world was hipsters, fairly wealthy people in California; who have particular tastes and who love to drink, party and have sex.

The book didn’t have any grit, anything I can hold on to and say wow. I didn’t relate to Elke or the surround characters. I thought she was selfish, self centered and needed a kick in the butt. What happens to her sucks, but it didn’t change how selfish she was.


Zero pickles

Book Review: Imitatore by A. Rose

January 11, 2018

In Sophie’s world, those born with one power are superior, those born with none are inferior, and she is the one destined to save them all. Sophie’s ability to have multiple powers makes her an anomaly, at the age of 23 she has six powers and has yet to master each one. At the order of her father, the Governor, those powers are kept secret in order to protect her from those who may want to exploit them. So when she meets Oliver, the Imitatore who possesses the gift of using her powers, her once peaceful world is shattered.

Suddenly, Sophie is forced to face who she is, who she is destined to be, and learn who she is no longer able to trust. Oliver and Sophie are targets for The Society, a group of supernatural beings bent on destroying her world by eradicating humans and crowning a new queen. She must stop the evil group before they kill the Imitatore and force her to be the Queen of their new world.-Goodreads

This book had a lot of good things in it and it is definitely worth the read. Firstly, I was drawn to this book due to a African American woman having powers and goes through the process of trying to master them. You don’t really see it often and I was pleased with it.

But despite this, I had some issues with the book. Sophie . . . for a lack of better term is rude and you really don’t connect with her. What I mean is I can’t say I know her. I know what she has done and what she is capable of but who she is . . . isn’t really defined and there is nothing there that makes me like her.

The book fell short in talking about her past. Yes, she is born different but it would have been a great foundation to know how she started to be in the position that she is in. The author takes too long to talk about the past and as opposed to things leading up to this new information it is just thrown in an argument or fight.

Not a lot of stuff happens and there is a lot of back forth of practicing and then going to her room. This slowed the book down a lot. But what really bothered me was there was a lot of lazy writing. Her father who was supposed to be a strong man cried more times than the word strong was used. The surprises, although surprises, were thrown in as if they were a second thought and in all my reading years, I have never seen an enemy cave and let things go, as fast as the one in this book.

I wish there was more care in the setting and I wish that some of the surrounding characters were not clingy and had a backbone of their own. Sophie needed support and it wasn’t there.

I know that I have listed some strong issues with this read but the potential here is amazing. The author tells about the magic is a great foundation. The diversity within the characters are good and the ending was a good send off to a book two was written well.

I liked the book but it isn’t as strong as it could have been. Also 20 points for not adding a love triangle.

2.5 Pickles

Quick five© with Cheyenne Raine

Courtesy of Cheyenne Raine

Name: Cheyenne Raine

Twitter: @rainepoetry

Website: http://www.rainepoetry.com

Books: maroon daydreams, One Hundred and One: A Collection of Poetry, lavender petals and a wild heart, charcoal thunderstorms

Buy: Amazon & Website

This woman is a sweetheart and as author her words are powerful with emotion, imagery and thought.

There is something Ms. Cheyenne mentions as a side note during our interview. I was already captivated by her but after reading her note, the support I have for her will be endless. This is extremely important and I want you to note this because its her style and it shows a side of the poet that you may not see within her poetry. 

i use lower case letters because it reminds me of how small i am. the only times i use capital letters is when mentioning God, or referring to a subject that is meant to be capitalized, like places and people (sometimes). in my most recent collection, charcoal thunderstorms, i used all lower case, even though i had originally wanted the titles to be uppercase, because it was a youthful piece of work, and being young is like being small, everything around you seems so big and wonderful and mighty. 

Why did you choose poetry as a way to express yourself? What about it makes you feel that you are able to convey your emotions better as compared to other artistic mediums?

i chose poetry because it was the easiest and most rewarding thing to do, when i first began in my second grade classroom. i feel that it allows me to be as vague or as detailed as i wish to be, and i’m able to be unfiltered and raw or dreamy and magical. it’s like a power. i have the ability to craft my words into whatever i imagine and want them to be.

What is your process? How do you get in the mood to write? How do you make it

Self- Published
102 Pages

flow smoothly?

usually, poems tend to come to me at all times of the day. so, i have plenty of napkins, receipts, sticky notes and sides of the paper scribbled on with little fragments of my thoughts. it’s just a matter of sitting down to compose the full piece. also, events and emotions, places and memories tend to influence much of my work. i’m always in the mood to write, i carry a sharpie pen with me everywhere! writing is more than a hobby, for me. as for the flow, well, sometimes my rough drafts come out perfectly, and other times i have to move words and phrases around until i think it’s perfect. it’s just a matter of spilling and playing with my words.

What are you currently reading? And is it good?

i am currently reading interview with the vampire by anne rice. her work is beyond captivating! the language draws you in and the storyline is so beautifully made, one of my favorite classics that i’ve read so far, this year!

If you had to describe your style of poetry in one sentence what would it be and why?

i would describe it as: a carefully and wild arrangement of words that echo in one’s thoughts. why? because i’ve grown careful with my wording and my topics, my flow and my outcomes. i choose an echo, because it’s not heavy, it is soft. and, from what i’m told, it’s a unique and elegant voice that people remember like a summer ocean breeze. gentle.

140 Pages

Finally, where do you see yourself in the written world, be it poetry or another genre, a year from now?

a year from now? ah. i believe that i will still be hooked on poetry, but, introducing short stories and prose, more often. like my first book, maroon daydreams, it was poetry and prose. now, charcoal thunderstorms, my second book, is poetry and short stories. maybe a few years from now i’ll experiment more, but for now, i am thrilled to even have my poetic voice out in this wild earth!




Short Story Book Review: A Trinity of Wicked Tales Volume One- Jilted Love by Kyla Ross

Self Published
Jan. 29th 2017
94 Pages

In this collection of dark tales lives will be savagely twisted, inner demons will be reawakened and deception will reign supreme. A quest for a fix turns bloody for two heroin addicts as their vicious endeavors land them into a gruesome pitfall. A marketing executive and car salesmen are deceived by the ones they love. Armed with rage, they set out to slaughter those responsible. -Goodreads

I don’t know exactly what I was expecting with this collection. It was a suggested read from Amazon, while I was on vacation. I am really glad I read this book.

It literally gives you a taste of what the author can do. Seriously… all you get is a taste because each of the stories take care to not dip too much into a specific character or the overall plot.

The first story called Junk for Two was a great start to the book. Ross leaves no hints to where the story is going and I am completely for that. It provided enough of a backstory and details regarding the main character, Trev, that I didn’t feel as if something was missing. As I was reading this short story, I had a sense of satisfaction, which is my biggest issue in short stories.

Story 2, Iris, was extremely quick and came off more as a shock factor then a story that can grown to become a full novel or even novella. With work it can become something bigger but in its current state, it doesn’t leave much to be desired. But it does get credit for showing off writing skills. Ross can build a story, so it is easy to get sucked in.

My favorite story, which happens to be the last is story 3, Phil. Sticking with the obsessive theme, Phil provides a much more detailed and intense story-line than the previous stories. This story can become not just a single novel but a series if written correctly. What I loved about it was how easy it was to see the events happening. I don’t mean predictability even though it is there slightly. What I mean is the flow was so easy and seamless that getting sucked into the story and wanting more was inevitable. If the first two stories does not show you the skill, Ross has then this one does.

Overall, I enjoyed this quick read. I would recommend it as a introduction to Kyla Ross.

3 Pickles

Book Review: Rose Petal Graves (The Lost Clan #1) by Olivia Wildenstein

Self Published
March 29th, 2017
390 Pages

Ancient secrets cannot remain buried forever.

Founded two centuries ago by a powerful tribe of Gottwa Indians, Rowan was a quiet town, so quiet that I fled after graduation. Staying away was the plan, but Mom died suddenly.

Dad said she suffered a stroke after she dug up one of the ancient graves in our backyard, which happens to be the town cemetery. Creepy, I know. Creepier still, there was no corpse inside the old coffin, only fresh rose petals.

As we made preparations for Mom’s burial, new people began arriving in Rowan, unnervingly handsome and odd people. I begged them to leave, but they stayed, because their enemies—my ancestors—were beginning to awaken.- Goodreads

*Short Review*

It has been a really long time since a read a book where the protagonist, the main character lacked so much common sense and backbone that I had to reread a page to make sure I read correctly.

I truly apologize if that comes off harsh, but Cat wasn’t the brightest tool in the box. She was constantly walked over and she really didn’t know how to keep her mouth shut. How are going to tell the man you don’t trust everything you know and then make out with him but continue to say I don’t trust you?!?!?

Also my biggest issue, how dare you belittle your mother’s beliefs as if they were fairy tales? What type of person or daughter specifically would do that to someone they love; someone who keeps the house running, your father taken care of and a business up and running. I was pissed by the whole narrative.

Cat was not a likeable character and the author tried to do so much weaving that at times some things like got lost. The pace was alright but I was so turned off by Cat, I just stopped.


1 Pickle

Poetry Review: soft magic. by Upile Chisala

Self Published Published Sept. 7, 2015 122 Pages (Kindle)
Self Published
Published Sept. 7, 2015
122 Pages (Kindle)

‘soft magic.’ is the debut collection of prose and poetry by Malawian writer, Upile Chisala. – Goodreads

*Short Review*

I was going to hold off on publishing this review until April. Because you know national poetry month is April but I really wanted to share this with you all because I was stunned by this book.

As a 27-year-old woman, you don’t think that there are things you need to hear or see but as I was reading this book the words hit me hard and I was able to reflect on my experiences without actually feeling as if something went wrong.

I liked how Upile was able to show a softness in her words and at the same time make you feel the strength in them. That is what surprised me the most and even though some passages had a repetitive tone the overall book was amazing and emotional. For me the passages that spoke more about family did more for me then the broken relationships and intimacy. This is not to say that they were not powerful but we are all in different stages in our lives and family had a bigger impact on me.

The poems were not long and drawn out with fluff. But this is not a book in which you can speed through. It took me a little over a week to finish this and I would recommend you to take your time with, honestly as long as you need because this needs to be valued.


4 Pickles




Book Review: Blood Bound (Gallows #1) by Sharon Stevenson

CreateSpace Published Nov. 18, 2015 320 Pages
Published Nov. 18, 2015
320 Pages

Twin demon trackers, Shaun and Sarah Gallows, are use to trouble. As of late vampires are the only things keeping the two 19 year olds busy. While Sarah embraces her powers, Shaun tries to avoid them causing an issue when they meet 17 year old demon tracker Melissa. Melissa, who Shaun is attracted to with fierce intensity, Melissa who is torturing innocent super-naturals. 

Knowing they need to stop her, Sarah is willing to do anything while it may be harder for Shaun to stop someone who is soul bound. 

So, I sat on this book a lot longer than I should have. The thing about this book is it is really drawn out without there being reason to. After a few chapters, I got into the book but the spark died as quickly as it came. Shaun has no life. I guess that was the point to show the different between him and Sarah but his moody depression didn’t help a already long book.

Beyond the fact that the book was long, what bother me was Sarah. She was all over the place and her relationship drama was not needed for this book. It was forced. If this book was about herself then maybe I would have been okay with it but between her drama and Shaun’s drama added too many people to the plot and it became over saturated.

I did like the idea of Shaun and Melissa. I wasn’t feeling the age of everyone but the idea that this “bad” woman could be his soul bound and he was not for it, was interesting. It was a different spin to things but it wasn’t enough to keep the book going. The storyline was pretty slow and the mythology was not as great as you think it would be with two demon trackers leading the way.

I wanted so much more for this 93 chapter (kindle edition). There should have been a better backstory, deeper mythology and more colorful characters.

2 Pickles

Book Review: Nice Girls Don’t by Sue Barnard

Smashwords Edition Published July 14, 2014
Smashwords Edition
Published July 14, 2014

Its 1982 in Southern England and Emily, although content with her life, feels as if she isn’t going anywhere. One day working at the library, she meets a man named Carl,  looking for books to trace his family history. 

Fascinated by Carl and his mission to discover his Grandfather’s past, Emily digs deep to help him but finds the secrets to her past as well. 

Cute, short read. I wasn’t expecting much out of this but I got hooked. There is nothing too spectacular about this book. However, the author did tell a really good story.

I am a sucker for history and the fact that the author incorporated history without the constant facts each page or sentence, I thought was great. I loved the fact that it was personal and I wasn’t reading a text book. I also didn’t mind the fact that there wasn’t too much controversy within this book. Although it would have been perfect for a much more thrilling and longer read, it was good.

As for Emily, there wasn’t too much personality coming from her. I wish there was more emotion and she didn’t just take things as they were. I also wanted more from her relationship with her mother. This would have made the book perfect if there was more conflict.

The drama of the novel wasn’t as intense as the author made it seem to be and that was mainly because Emily just agreed to anything that happened. She reacted without much drama and I completely get why. But after a few chapters, I was like is she going to change her tone a bit. It was disappointing. However, I was into this book. Between the search for the truth, the use of a library, the bits of romance, the lack of technology . . . I couldn’t stop reading.

Overall, this read felt like a snippet to a bigger story.  It could have been perfect if the author just added more history, war, love and intensity. Despite all of this, I would recommend it.

3 Pickles



Book Review: Blood and Bone (Blood and Bone #1) by Tara Brown

Self Published Published Sept 12, 2013 204 Pages
Self Published
Published Sept 12, 2013
204 Pages

Jane is Jane and for the past 3 years that is what she has always been. After a car accident causing her to lose her memory, all Jane has is what her perfect doctor boyfriend has always told her. But while heading to her job at a modest store, she is approached by a man she has never seen before; a man that calls her Sam. 

Intrigued by this woman who looks like her, Jane opens the door that reveals her past but also changes her future. 

There was a lot going on in this quick read. Maybe too much going on. Jane stays as plain as possible that is until she realizes she may have a twin. I didn’t have a single issue with this but when she gets deeper into trying to figure out who this Sam woman is, she begins changing instantly. It wasn’t a slow process but rather quick. Granted she went between Jane and this new person a few times but I was a bit surprised at how fast it happened.

This is when a lot of things began to help and honestly it was a bit much to keep up. If even for a moment, you mind wander or you missed something by doing something else you got lost. I had an issue with this because there were time when I rolled my eyes and put the book down. I just felt that there was too much to the plot.

I also felt that there should have been more to the characters. Something was missing from Jane, even when she began her shift. I wanted more from her.

The pace of the novel was good. Overall, though, I felt the story lacked some consistency, passion and even good wordplay. The author could have been much more creative with this.


2 Pickles

Book Review: The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

Self Published Published Oct 2. 2013 155 Pages
Self Published
Published Oct 2. 2013
155 Pages

The day before her daughter’s wedding, Snow White cannot find it in her to be happy. No matter how clean the castle is or how beautifully smooth the preparations are going, Snow is in mourning. Charming is dead and the Queen has been in an endless depression for over a year.

Desperate to get away from the joy she cannot feel, Snow climbs the forgotten tower and comes face to face with the mirror that her Stepmother once stood in front of. 

Is she willing to look in its reflection and see what it holds for her?

You know I’m a sucker for retellings. So when this was offered to me by the author, I couldn’t say no. My first thought when I began this book that it was really poetic. The words moved like water from beginning to end. This was a hit and miss because it made the short book feel longer than what it actually was. Did this ruin the book? Not at all and here is why.

The take on Snow White’s happily ever after is interesting and it pushed the novel through. The idea of her facing her past and future alone is creative because one would think everything she deserves and wants comes well. . . happily. I love the idea of her facing the mirror after all these years. It is really an untapped idea in the retellings of Snow White.

What I didn’t like about this book was the lack of intensity. It could be because of the poetic writing style but I didn’t feel the fierceness when things began to pick up. I also didn’t like the monotone emotion. Even in its better times there was still this sadness lingering between the lines.


Beyond this I enjoyed the story because of the imagery, the details and the creativity. I would recommend this.


3 Pickles