This Blog Is No Longer Active

Please visit me at My Bookish Bliss. I promise there is more to see there.

Changes are coming!

I have had some really terrible gremlins with this blog and I am working hard to get it all changed over to a different host. I am so sorry for all of the confusion and I do hope that you will all follow me over to the new site, with any luck will still be, but with a new look.

Thanks, Kimberly

Cut Reality: A Novel – Review

Cut Reality: A Novel
Written by Zack Hacker

Cut Reality: A Novel written by author Zack Hacker is a novel that is a mystery, mixed with a part-time thriller. I am still trying to work through my feelings about this book, as the ending was a major shock to my system.

In this novel, we follow Jason Debord as he is coming home from participating in the 50th season of his favorite reality show Beached,a Survivor-esque show that follows the lives of 14 contestants as they battle it out for a million dollar prize, by living on a deserted island and participating in random challenges for safety. This 50th season is heartbreaking, though, because one of the members of the cast dies and the rest of the castaways have a difficult time dealing with the aftermath. None has it as bad as Jason does because Billy was his best friend out there. Jason’s relationship with best friend/girlfriend, Blake, is in jeopardy, and he seems to spiral more and more out of control with the conspiracy theories that manipulate his senses.

The ending of Cut Reality: A Novel was disappointing to me. After enveloping myself in the cocoon of a thrilling mystery, I couldn’t make my brain reconcile with how this story ended, needing a different ending deep in my soul. Now, this is not a slight on the writing because a great novel is one that can wrap the reader in its folds until they are so far gone that they feel as though they are a part of the story. I lived through this tale with Jason. I was as crushed at the end as he was.

In no way can I explain how caught up in this novel I have become. I keep rewriting it in my head so that I can get the conclusion that I needed, and not the one that broke my heart. The author writes the characters in a way that makes the reader want to reach out and help them. The plot is an interesting flow where the novel breaks up, not in straightforward chapters, but more in a stilted pattern of phone calls, text conversations, and memories, interspersed with the chapters.

This book is a splendid read, but be sure to set aside time for a thorough inventory of the novel as it does have the tendency to bend your mind. I urge anyone with a love for adventure, mind thrills, or reality television to give this book a try. I wish I could promise you that disappointment was not on the horizon, but I cannot do that. This novel doesn’t present itself in a box with a pretty bow.

For all these reasons and more, I am awarding Cut Reality: A Novel a complete 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to Mr. Hacker for gifting me a copy of Cut Reality: A Novel. It has been my pleasure to read and review this book for you.

Results from my #IndieApril contest!

I had 3 people reach out to me here on the blog with their #IndieApril selections and I chose one book from each author.

I purchased 3 Kindle books tonight, and the reading and reviewing will commence this month.

The first book I have chosen is Always Grey in Winter by Mark J. Engels. This looks to be a great story and a genre that I am unfamiliar with. I am excited to get into this one!

The second novel I have chosen is Unscrupulous: A Western Romance and Adventure Novel written by Morgan Lee Wylie. This book has everything I look for in a novel. Romance, western, outlaws, and good guys! Oh Boy am I looking forward to this read!

The final novel that I have chosen comes from author Richard T. Ryan and is called The Stone of Destiny: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure. I absolutely love the Victorian Age and a theft just before the royal coronation? I have to know what that is all about!

Thank you to all of you who have reached out. It has been my pleasure to be a part of #IndieApril and help out my Indie Author friends!

Tuesday Tea Time – April 30, 2019

Adagio – White Blueberry
Click here to get your own!

Adagio’s White Blueberry blend is light and brisk. The perfect tea for a lazy spring day.

In my taste test this week, I tried this tea 3 ways. My first cup was brewed hot and had 2 spoons of sugar. This was delightful and is a nice dessert tea. The second way was brewed hot and was unsweetened. I liked it brewed in this way, but it wasn’t as yummy as the cup with sugar. Third, I brewed up a cup for iced tea. I left it unsweetened so that the blueberry flavor would shine. I have, to say that this was my favorite way to drink this tea. The flavor was light and airy with enough sweetness to be refreshing without being overpowering.

I rate this tea a 5 out of 5 stars. The way that you can enjoy it in different ways makes this tea a real winner in my book.

Second Chances – Review

Second Chances
by Aaron D. Brinker

Second Chances by Aaron D. Brinker is a paranormal thriller that will entice any reader who is a fan of the genre.

We are introduced to Chaun and Katrina Hutchins at a party where Chaun is not happy. He is struggling in his relationship with Kat and is sullen, where, generally, he is the life of the party. Kat is eight months pregnant and even more demanding than usual. The spouses leave the festivities and begin to argue on the way home. Chaun speaks words that he can never take back as the couple is involved in an automobile accident, seconds after the words leave his lips.

Mysterious happenings begin to occur when Chaun awakens from a coma and learns the truth of the accident. Happenings that cannot be explained. These unusual occurrences grow from the seemingly innocent to a near death tragedy before the culprit reveals their true identity.

The author invites us on a journey into an alternate reality of the paranormal with chilling events that leave the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotion. The horror in these pages is enough to frighten you, but not so much that you will need to sleep with the lights on for the next week. Second Chances is the perfect blend of thrills and chills.

I am not, by and large, a fan of this genre, but when Mr. Brinker approached me with his summary and requested a review, I was at once intrigued. In the end, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to have loved the book! I read this novel through in one sitting and could not move for fear of missing the next word. I was excited and scared throughout.

The characters are well-written and likable. The plot has a nice flow that keeps the reader entertained from cover to cover. I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves a scary thriller. I can see anyone from mature young adults to older generations finding something to love in this story. Though, I must add this disclaimer, the reader will find an instance of mild sexual content as well as some usage of adult language. You will also find instances of graphic violence, but all in all a good book for a wide range of ages.

My one critique is that the entity is supposed to be a mystery, but I knew who the culprit was from the beginning. Yet this did not detract from the story in any way and I loved it all the same.

With these issues in mind, I award Second Chances a full 5 out of 5 star rating.

Picasso’s Revenge – Review

Picasso’s Revenge authored by Ray Foulk and Caroline Foulk is a mystery novel based on true events of the Modern Art movement, in particular, Cubism and its founder, Pablo Picasso.

The authors write about every sort of artwork imaginable. A reader will find furniture, rugs, sculpture, wall coverings, paintings, and more, but focuses, mainly, on one painting in particular by Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. The painting is at once beautiful as well as so shocking that the Paris elite cannot stand to gaze upon its vulgarity. A mystery surrounds the meaning of the painting and weaves through the lives of Jacques Doucet, famous couturier and art collector, Pablo Picasso, artist, and any person, living or dead, who ever had a relationship with either of them. Intertwining paths of these men lead the reader to all manners of confusion about the meaning of the work of art, but it takes a dying man in a fit of madness to conquer the secret inside the painting.

This book is a rare diamond found in a gold mine. The history is so rich and told in a way that a reader can learn much from its pages. The characters are real people and this adds to the mysticism of the novel. Explained exquisitely, the setting brings Paris to life. The descriptions of the artwork give the reader the feeling as though they are right in front of the works, taking in the glory of every brush stroke and feeling the cool marble of the sculptures. The plot is exciting as well as adventurous. An avid lover of history or art will find much to love about this book.

My solitary complaint is that some chapters are too long. This is a personal preference due to my strange need for instant gratification that comes from similar sized chapters. Yet, this, in no way, detracts from the beauty or the message of the novel. I could not have asked for a more wonderful story.

Thus, I award this book 5 out of 5 stars. Lovers of the mystery genre will find this book much to their taste. History and art rule the day in this fantastic narrative and it has been my pleasure to read and write a review of this magnificent work.

Thank you to the authors for providing me with an ARC of the book.