The Negotiator by Dee Henderson

FBI agent Dave Richman from Danger in the Shadows is back. He’s about to meet Kate O’Malley, and his life will never be the same. She’s a hostage negotiator. He protects people. He’s about to find out that falling in love with a hostage negotiator is one thing, but keeping her safe is another! Introducing the O’Malleys, an inspirational group of seven, all abandoned or orphaned as teens, who made the choice to become a loyal and committed family. They have chosen their own surname, O’Malley, and have stood by each other through moments of joy and heartache. Their stories are told in CBA best-selling, inspirational suspence novels that rock your heart and restore strength and hope to your spirit.

Sourced from Goodreads

 

My review:

This book was quite unlike any I have read before. Reading the blurb and first chapter, I had no idea that the story would pan out like it did. I would best describe this book as having “absorbed me” and I’ve found it rare for fictional books to have that level of effect on me. 😄

Dee Henderson writes in a way that just makes it a pleasure to read. In fact, most times I didn’t feel like I was reading, but observing. The characters were so alive and I found myself so interested in their lives. However, it was a bit disappointing that the characters and their situations weren’t more realistic. There’s no mistaking that it’s fiction, that’s for sure.

Kate and Dave have great dynamics and it’s so enjoyable to read them having their witty conversations.

I was unaware as I read this book (#1 to the O’Malley series) that there was a #0.5 instalment which precedes this one, about Sara, Dave’s sister. Without having read that background on Dave, I still feel that this book succeeded in introducing him and I felt like I knew him fairly well.

I don’t know what I was expecting this book to be, but it quite surprised me as I was whirled into a mystery. I haven’t read many mystery books, so I don’t have much to compare it to, but I imagine this is a good one. I was completely enamoured by the story.

Another downside to this book was the confusion of suspects. It all worked into place in the end, but as investigations were underway and names of suspects were thrown into the mix (often names not yet mentioned) I found it easy to get lost amongst it all.

Something I quite admired about this book was the fairly accurate impression of a negotiator’s lifestyle. Now, I barely know anything about negotiators, but I found myself hoping that Dee didn’t just brush over the impact that such a tough and mentally-draining job would have on someone’s mental health. This was not overlooked and it felt real and relatable.

I’m so glad that this was one of the first mystery books I’ve read, as I enjoyed it so much that it has given me a good opinion of mystery books. Perhaps I’ll now look into them more. 😉

1) Did this book inspire me?

Yes.

2) Was this book humorous?

Just the interactions between Kate and Dave are humorous enough. Have an O’Malley get-together and it’s a struggle not to smile!

3) Did this book make me cry?

No.

4) Would I reread this book?

Yes.

5) Would I recommend this book to a friend?

Yes!

 

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

Have you read any books in the O’Malley series? Do you like reading mystery books?

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The Heir of Yover

Photo credit: Unsplash

Now that I’m sharing writing posts on Fridays, I thought I better officially introduce you to the novel I’m currently writing, since you’ll likely hear me mention it from time to time.

The Heir of Yover is a novel I’ve been writing for roughly 14 months now–with long breaks, unfortunately. However, I’ve really been plotting it for many years. It’s gone through several serious plot reconstructions and title changes such as A Princess In Hiding, Journey to the City of Yover and The Princess of Yover.

In brief, the story is of a regular peasant girl, Joanna, who discovers her heritage as a princess and that she has several sisters also in hiding. The body of it is about her decision to locate her sisters without revealing her identity–which could easily lead to their deaths–and the journey it takes her through. It is also the first of a trilogy.

I haven’t written a proper blurb for it yet. I’d like to do that when I’ve finished writing it, but this is basically an introduction. (I have revealed no spoilers, I assure you!)

Who knows? Perhaps one day I will be screaming to you over the internet about how The Heir of Yover is available for purchase. 😉 In the meantime, I will write updates as to how writing it has been going.

What stories are you currently writing? I would love to be introduced to them! 😀

The Selcouth Award

Thank you Kellyn for nominating me for this award!

 

~ Rules ~

~ Thank the blogger that nominated you (and a link it if you’re willing).

Nominate 5-10 blogs (links too!).

Answer the 13 questions given, and give the definition of your favourite (or just beautiful) word.

Ask 13 questions of your own. They must all be about writing, reading, books or book characters. Make them as creative/wacky/selcouth as can be!

Post the rules and include the award in your post.

 

~ A Beautiful Word ~

  Spectacular

  beautiful in a dramatic and eye-catching way.

 

~ Kellyn’s Questions ~

1) What fictional character are you in love with and why? Would you marry this fictional character?

The only time I’ve probably “like liked” a character from a book would have been when I’ve seen the movie version. 😆 I can’t think of one off the top of my head though. 😛

2) What fictional character is your BFF and why? Would you displace your BFF in real life for this fictional character or not?

Gosh, I have no idea! I never want to displace my real BFF! 😆

3) Choose a fictional family to be your own. What place would you play in this family?

Again, I really don’t know! I know, my answers are boring, but these questions are so hard! 😄

4) How late have you stayed up reading ‘just one more chapter’ of a book?

3am or something. 😉

5) What character do you most resemble from your favourite book/series? Are you likely to do any of the things your favourite character has done?

I have a few favourite book series, but I think from the Anne of Green Gables series, I’m quite similar to Matthew Cuthbert and Diana Barry. I can often relate to their personalities. I’d probably make similar decisions to them.

6) Most embarrassing rant about reading/writing you remember making?

Basically every time I read a book which is a new favourite of mine I end up going on and on about it to my family until they’re sick of hearing about it. When my excitement dies down, it’s always a little embarrassing. 😉

7) If you could swap places with one author … who would it be and why?

That’s interesting. If swapping places with one author means I can see into their mind, then I’d probably choose Jane Austen. I love her stories and I would love to see what stories she had in mind, but did not finish! 🙂

8) Would you rather have the characters from your favourite book/series come into your world … or enter the world of your favourite book/series?

Eeek! I love this question! 😀 I would say I would rather enter the world of my favourite book/series… Middle Earth here I come!

9) Narnia or Lord of the Rings?

Lord of the Rings for sure!!

10) Is there any movie adaptation of a book that you actually liked?

Yes, I really like the 1996 Jane Eyre movie. Mind you, this was what prompted me to read the book (the first time I’d seen anything Jane Eyre), so I could be biased.

11) Favorite book review blog (if any)?

I don’t think I have a favourite, but I really value all the book review blogs I follow. Shout out to you guys!

12) Ever gotten into a major argument about a book?

Haha, what a funny question! Not that I can recall, but I’m sure I would have with my brother when we were little.

13) If you could have a book-related superpower (super-speed reading, book-lifting, etc.) what would it be?

The ability to retain everything to memory that I read; like a photographic memory. Imagine remembering every detail and what you thought of the book (not to mention the success it would bring you with studying). 😛

 

~ My Questions ~

1) What is one book you would love to see made into a movie that hasn’t been yet?

2) Have you ever created a character for your story that’s based off you?

3) What is a genre you haven’t written a story in yet, but that you might like to try?

4) Name one genre which you just don’t like?

5) Have you ever read a book you disliked SO much, yet still read it to the end?

6) Have you ever joined NaNoWriMo and if not, do you ever plan to?

7) At roughly what age did you start writing your first book (if you have written a book)?

8) Have you ever gone back over your blog and been so embarrassed about a post that you’ve deleted it?

9) Name an author whose books you just can’t get into?

10) What author do you think you have read more books by than any other author?

11) Have you ever spoiled the ending of a book for someone while they’re still reading it?

12) Favourite literary couple?

13) Favourite literary friendship?

 

~ I Nominate ~

Emma at A Bookworm’s Majestic Adventures

Rayleigh at Accelerate the Jesus Movement

Ruby at The Sea Calls Us Home

Sarah at My Pen And I

Mandie at mandiesworld

 

I’d love to hear some of your answers to any of these selcouth questions in the comments!

New Year – New You?

As any year comes to a close, talk of “becoming a new me” is common. This year is no exception.

We look back at our year, or refuse to look back, and focus on how we can do better this time around. “2018 will be my year”.

Yet, it’s likely that when 2018 comes to a close, we will be in the same predicament as now: Unsatisfied with our year. New Year’s Resolutions unfulfilled. Hopes pinned on next year.

But what are we using to measure our “failed year”? It’s likely that—if we think our year has been a mess—that we are basing that off our expectations of what our year would look like. Is this what we want, year after year: to be disappointed and hard on ourselves? Why do we do it again and again?

Continue reading at PURSUE

Star Wars VIII – The Last Jedi

I hope you’re all enjoying your start to 2018!! Here is a movie interview I’ve been looking forward to publishing…

 

Luke Skywalker’s peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he encounters Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of the Force. Her desire to learn the ways of the Jedi forces Luke to make a decision that changes their lives forever. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren and General Hux lead the First Order in an all-out assault against Leia and the Resistance for supremacy of the galaxy.

Sourced from google

 

My review:

I must warn you: there are a bunch of spoilers in this review. I tried to avoid that, but there’s just so much I want to discuss about the movie that it was too hard. 😂 Instead, I’ve italicised and coloured everything that is a spoiler. Hopefully, if you haven’t seen the movie, you have the self-control to skip over the spoilers. 😂😂

There are so many questions that The Force Awakens left us with. That meant that for two years, Star Wars fans were frantically working to find theories as possible answers. The Last Jedi leaves a ton of theories debunked, but also leaves us with unanswered questions—perhaps more than we began with.

My brother, having looked into the theories over the years as to who Rey’s parents are and who Master Snoke is among others, had his jaw drop numerous times as various theories he’d been banking on were absolutely shattered. Yes, some things were a little disappointing. But what I loved about this movie was the unpredictability. So many things that Star Wars fans had been analyzing were decoys. The events of The Last Jedi were absolutely not what I was preparing to see! Even the movie trailer had functioned as somewhat of a decoy in that it basically gave away hardly any hints of what was to be expected in this movie.

I was not disappointed by the links to old Star Wars movies. I’m so glad that Disney are easing their way to the new by having some of the original characters. Among these (two of my favourite parts) were when Yoda’s force ghost showed up. I was smiling like the Cheshire cat when he, my favourite character, appeared. And when Leia and Luke met for that one last time. I was given some closure.

And yet there was so much new! I loved the planets of Cantonica and Crait. They instantly felt like Star Wars and I had no trouble accepting it as part of the universe.

We were introduced to the new characters—Rose, Amilyn Holdo and DJ. New friendships (Finn and Rose are so cute and Po and Rae—I totally didn’t realise they hadn’t met!) Not to mention the various new species, namely PORGS! Oh my gosh! I’m crazy about them now. I can’t look at Chewbacca the same way after what he did. 😉😄

Basically, I don’t feel like any amount of words that I could write for this review would do it justice! I went through a rollercoaster of emotions watching this. I was always on the edge of my seat. All throughout the movie and right near the end, I was kept guessing and did not expect most of what transpired. So even though it didn’t go according to how I, nor many viewers, were expecting—that’s kind of what I love about it! 🙂

1) Was this movie inspiring?

Inspirational isn’t the right word. Amazing and thought-provoking maybe.

2) Was this movie humorous?

There were tons of parts to laugh at!

3) Did this movie make me cry?

Many times! I think my eyes misted up four or five time. Mind you, maybe that’s just because I’m becoming a bit of a Star Wars geek (It took only the theme music to begin and the episode name to appear for my eyes to start pooling. 😂)

4) Would you rewatch this movie?

This is the kind of movie I would love to buy and rewatch numerous times. In fact, I feel like there’s so much to it to take in that I will have to watch it again to process it all!

5) Would I recommend this movie to a friend?

Yeeeessss!

 

My rating: 5 out of 5

Have you seen The Last Jedi yet?! What did you think of it?

Something Missing From Forever Aspiring WRITER

photo source: unsplash

Is it just me, or is there something missing from Forever Aspiring WRITER? Often when I’m WRITING a blog post, it comes to mind.

Yeah, you guessed it… when was the last time I posted about WRITING? Okay, I’m going to stop with the clues now. 😆 It really is on my mind a lot. I mean, my blog name suggests writing! Yet, I’ve had a hard time deciding what to possibly post on here that can be writing-related.

I’ve thought about starting a new writing blog dedicated to just that, yet I don’t know that I want to run two separate blogs. I definitely don’t want to abandon Forever Aspiring Writer! 😲

Anyway, I’ve finally decided what I’ll do. On Fridays I will post things writing-related. It won’t be every Friday (like how I try to post every Monday). But it will be just whenever something comes up.

So, here are some things you can expect to see on various Fridays:

 

~ My Writing On Other Sites ~

This will include any articles I write regularly for other sites (namely PURSUE) and any guest posts I may do on someone else’s blog.

 

~ My Thoughts On Writing ~

I’ve thought a lot about what kind of writing things I could blog about. At first when I thought about it, posts like, “How To Get Published” and “5 Steps To Self-Publishing” came to mind. I didn’t feel qualified to write these kind of posts. But now I’ve taken on a new perspective. Occasionally, I will post things about writing—not publishing and all those kind of things I’ve yet to learn about—but just relatable things about writing. Rather than how-to posts, I’d like these to be relatable posts which invite us to all share our thoughts. I would like them to have more of a we’re-all-in-this-together feel over an I-know-more-about-writing-than-you-do feel. Am I the only one that just sung a HSM song in my head? 🏀

 

~ Monthly Writing Wrap-Ups ~

I’d like to summarize each month of my writing journey. Whilst I will share what I’ve been writing that month, I would like this to be a place where we can share where we all are at with our writing. Have you finished a first draft of a novel? Have you written a poem and published it on your blog? Are you thinking of the getting-published path? I would love to hear all about that through these posts! ✍️

 

~ My Novel-Writing Progress ~

I’d like these Friday posts to be a place where I can share if I’ve finished a novel or talk about a new novel idea. You may expect to find these on the Monthly Writing Wrap-Ups, but perhaps sometimes I’ll be excited enough about something to write its complete own post.

 

So, that’s a brief look at what you can expect to see from now on on my blog. Note: Those Friday writing posts will not replace the kind of posts I already publish.

I just want to say to everyone who is a writer who follows Forever Aspiring Writer: I’m very sorry if you’ve been expecting writing posts and have been disappointed. Hopefully these new writing posts will live up to your expectations! 😉

Keep a look out, people! Thank you all for following my blog. ❤

Go Teen Writers by Stephanie Morrill & Jill Williamson

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!! I was hoping to read a Christmassy book to review on Christmas, but it didn’t work out, so this review and a Merry Christmas will have to suffice. 😉

 

The question we hear most from new writers is, “How do I get published?”

And the answer is: Respect your dream

Every writer’s journey is different, yet as we’ve reflected on our experiences and those of the writers around us, we’ve seen time and time again that those who are successful are the ones who had the patience and endurance to stick with this writing thing. They didn’t look for shortcuts (at least, not for long), nor did they quit after five, ten, or one hundred rejections.

We can’t make the process easy for you, but it’s our hope that this book will be a tool you can turn to time and time again when you’re thinking, “Okay … what’s next?”

Includes tips for:
-Getting published
-Finding the right agent
-Book surgery
-Thicker plots
-Deeper characters
-Richer settings
-Weaving in theme
-Dealing with people who don’t get your writing

Sourced from goodreads

 

My review:

This book is such an encouraging and informative read for teens. Whilst this is mainly for writers who have written a first draft–and how they can polish that up–I read it while only being halfway through writing the first draft of my current novel. Nevertheless, it was still inspiring and only motivated me further to finish my first draft.

This book is filled with tips and advice, from checking grammar, to finding an agent. Since I am currently not in the place to try these tips out, I can’t speak from first-hand experience. However, a common thread throughout this book is: It’s going to take hard work to be successful as an author. This is not conveyed in a way which leaves your writing dreams shattered, but in a practical, honest yet inspiring way. I respect that. I respect that they worked hard–and still do–to get to the place where they are now. Rather than walk away from this book feeling daunted, I feel motivated to give writing my best shot and to work hard at it, like I would if I was pursuing any career.

Sure, there is the possibility that a teen’s going to read this and feel daunted, but I think the cons, as well as the pros, needs to be addressed to someone who is thinking seriously about being published. Besides, they discuss them in such a diplomatic way that if someone is put off a writing career by reading this, then it is probably just as well that they read this first! 😉

1) Did this book inspire me?

Yes! I cannot wait to finish the rough draft I’m working on.

2) Was this book humorous?

Not essentially.

3) Did this book make me cry?

No.

4) Would I reread this book?

Yes. I will probably refer back to this book when I have completed this draft.

5) Would I recommend this book to a friend?

Yes!

 

My rating: 4 out of 5

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Are you in the process of editing a novel?