Monday Book Madness

It was a really good week reading wise. I lucked out and found two awesome books that held my attention!

This week I read:

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Now that it’s over, it seems strange to me how much I loved this book, but I really, really did! I’m usually not a fan of sci-fi or fantasy, and this book had a touch of both, but I didn’t care. I was emotionally invested in the main character and her plight for survival. The suspense and stakes kept me riveted to the page, and the tension kept me reading well into the night. I’ll definitely be looking for more from this author!
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Usually books surrounded by a lot of hype are disappointing, but not this one! I kept seeing rave reviews for this on Litsy, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon – and I’m so glad I did! Suspenseful and well written, this mystery interwoven with a ghost story had all the creeps and chills! A fun escape full of tension and atmosphere!

I just started:

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To join me in bookish fun, click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads

Monday Book Madness

I missed last week, so I’m including it this week.

Last week I read:

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I don’t know how the heck I missed this one when I was a kid! Seems like it would have fit right in with my Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock mysteries for young people phase! The author skillfully handles a large number of characters, and while I wasn’t loving it in the beginning, by the end I was!
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Fast-paced, twisty, and much better than I had anticipated. A nice (and much needed) vacation from reality. 

This week I read:

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This one was good, but for some reason I had trouble keeping the characters straight, and I felt underwhelmed at times. There was no urgent need to find out what happened next – the tension to keep me glued to the pages just wasn’t there.

 

All Your Twisted Secrets
I feel like I waited forever for this one to be released. All the hype had me salivating over myself once I finally had it in hand. I enjoyed it, and it had everything it needed to have – tension, twists, high stakes, the imminent threat of death – but ultimately I felt a litttle disappointed, which, in the author’s defense, usually happens when a book is built up so much for so long. I’d read more by Urban, I just wouldn’t spit on myself to do so. 😛

 

I just started:

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To join me in bookish fun, click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads

Monday Book Madness

This week I read:

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I guessed it, then I changed my mind 5 times, then I changed it back. Not a five star read, but it was twisty and held my attention.

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I can’t say enough good things about this book! I couldn’t put it down! Well crafted and suspenseful, it grabbed me from the start and wouldn’t let me go until I reached the last page. I feel like I’m still catching my breath. Highly recommended!

Next up:

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Monday (Book) Madness

This week I read:

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This book had ALL the feels. It grabbed me by the throat and pulled me along on an emotional rollercoaster, keeping me breathless and slightly dizzy. I couldn’t put it down – even though the most eventful part happens near the beginning, I had to keep reading. Right book, right time. 😍

 

Drowning With Others
An interesting premise, well written, but I didn’t connect with or care about any of the characters, and the stakes never seemed quite dire enough for me. While I wouldn’t not recommend the book (it kept my attention and I enjoyed it), I feel like I liked the idea of the plot better that the book itself. 

 

I just started:

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Letter To My Possible Future Literary Agent

Dear Possible Future Literary Agent,

There are some things you should probably know about me.

I love words. I love reading. I love writing. I write for myself but also because I hope to entertain people and help them to escape the reality of life from time to time. Awards are good, I have nothing against them, but I have no desire to win a Pulitzer. If you’re looking for the next Toni Morrison, it probably won’t be me.

Image result for cheeseI’ll listen to what you say, because I’m well aware that I don’t know everything, but there are some things I do that you might not like. Sometimes I get bound by the bonds of alliteration. I can’t stand the way a properly executed em-dash looks, so I use spaces around it. And I like to do things in a series of three for emphasis. Why? Why? Why? I don’t quite know, but if you tell me to stop, I will try.

I’ll need to know your favorite treat, because I believe in celebrating everything, and if you give a Shannon a contract, she’s going to want to send you a cookie food. I’m not going to assume it’s chocolate, and hope you’ll do likewise. I enjoy chocolate like most people, but sometimes the sugar doesn’t make me feel so great, plus my husband will probably eat most of it before I get a chance.Image result for cheese

But don’t worry, because I also like cheese. Said husband likes cheese, too, but I believe I can eat more cheese quicker than him, plus, I’ll take the best cheese, the tastiest one, and put it in the hidden part of the refrigerator, the secret vortex that keeps things hidden from the husband’s eyes. There’s a reason our vegetable drawer is always full – so no one can see what’s at the back.

But, if a treat for you is hot yoga, I can arrange that too. I understand that while it may not be my thing, it might be yours. I have nothing against hot yoga, it’s just that it’s hot. And sweaty. And sweaty leads to stinky. Then you’re in a room full of hot, sweaty, stinky people, and the teacher wants you to move around and stuff, which means you’ve got to breathe. Deeply. If you’re into all that, it’s cool. But I’ll stick with the cheese, please.

Image result for cheeseYou should also know that I’m not afraid of hard work, and I won’t give up. I’m not just saying that. I’ve got proof.

I get out of bed every day, even the days meant for staying in bed, like rainy Sundays when I’m in the middle of a book I don’t want to put down. On those days it’s mainly because a girl’s gotta eat, and said husband is willing to exist on things he can dip into mustard and salsa (with a side of cheese) if it allows him to maintain his claim that he can’t cook. That, and I’d have to get out of bed to open the window for the delivery driver, anyways, so I might as well just stay out of bed.

Also . . . I know SO many ways to dispose of a body, which makes me the ideal person to be that friend everyone should have on hand. Unless that offends you. Then you can be that bastion of levelheaded wisdom friend for me. We don’t even have to be friends if you don’t want. I’m not very social, anyways. You’ll probably have to do most of the work. So, I’ll let you decide.Image result for cheese

My point is, I’m well aware that I need you more than you need me. Everyone and their uncle’s a writer. Not everyone and only some uncles are agents. I’ll do my best to make you proud. And if you’re having a hard day and feeling blue, I’ll do my best to cheer you up with a song I create just for you. (Actually, I might re-appropriate one of the ones I sing to my dogs, but I’ll change the name to yours and throw in a couple of other details to make sure you feel special.)

My songs, by the way, are delightful, engaging and entertaining. (There’s that three thing again!) And you’d like more tempting, tasty tidbits about me? (Score once more for alliteration! Do you see what you’re missing out on?!?!)

I love horror movies and have a tendency to laugh at the worst parts. I bar-tended through seven years of college, and not just how most college students bar-tend, but professionally, so I could cater all your lunches with acquisitions editors and make them super strong drinks that taste like candy. And what else . . . oh, yeah. I like cheese.

Most Sincerely,

Shannon

 

 

 

 

Monday (Book) Madness

This week I read:

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I almost didn’t read this because of a few bad reviews on Goodreads. It got off to a bumpy start, and it wasn’t entirely unpredictable, but it kept my attention and I enjoyed it. By the end it was uplifting.

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I read “Heroine” by this author and loved it so much that I decided to give another of her books a shot. This one was completely different, and not at all what I was expecting. Not bad, just not my ideal cup of tea. There’s no denying that McGinnis is a talented author, and while I didn’t love this book, I did enjoy it.

I just started:

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To join me in bookish fun, click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads

Monday (Book) Madness

Last week I read:

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Great ‘YA book with a purpose’. The MC always knew she’d need a liver transplant… someday. She just didn’t expect someday to arrive her senior year of high school. Mad props to the author – totally didn’t see the ending coming! (On a side note, I met this author once years ago before she was published and she wrote MG fiction, and she was so incredibly nice and friendly! So happy for her success!)

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I’d heard a lot about this book (both good and bad) so I had no idea what to expect when I started it. It’s not my preferred genre, but I’ve been slowly trying to expand my comfort zone – a little dystopian here, a little sci-fi there – and while it wasn’t my favorite book I’ve read so far this year, there’s no denying that I did enjoy it. Some beautiful prose, some vivid (nightmarish) descriptions and an engaging story made this one a win for me.

I just started:

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To join me in bookish fun, click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads

Monday (Book) Madness

Last week, I read:

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The trilogy is over 😭 A satisfying conclusion to a great series! Suspenseful, craftily plotted and insanely well thought out. On the plus side, the blister on my fingertip (from turning pages so fast) will get to heal. But . . . I’m going to miss my fictional book friends.

 

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I”m a sucker for an homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None! It wasn’t the best written book, but I enjoyed the plot and the author either hit her groove or I got used to the slightly bumpy prose by the time I was halfway in. Better than the Goodreads rating would suggest.

I just started:

The Arrival of Someday

To join me in bookish fun, click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads

Shannon Hollinger, Author

Transmutation (Because It Sounds Cooler Than Metamorphosis)

2020 is the end of an era. Literally. When I started this blog (almost 10 years ago), I knew that I wanted to write. I just wasn’t sure what.

Looking back through my archives, I see book reviews, hiking adventures, recipes, quotes, memes, writing advice . . . I was all over the place. But the important thing, the only thing, really, is that it got me putting words on the screen.

Behind the blog scenes, there were magazine articles, nonfiction stories, and a ton of short fiction created. And that is where I found my writing home – in the land of make believe.

Fast forward to the present. I’ve written dozens of short stories and have a stack of finished novel manuscripts. I’ve had an editor tell me no one would ever publish the story I submitted to him only to have it accepted the same month by Suspense Magazine. I’ve had agents ignore my queries, request my manuscripts, reject my manuscripts, refer me to a colleague who they felt the manuscript would be perfect for only to never hear from said colleague . . . and still, I write.

I’ve felt my skin thicken from tissue paper to paperboard. I’ve cried my way through the bad writing days, laughed my way through the good, and stopped myself from punching a wall countless times during edits.

It’s been a long, sometimes painful, often frustrating journey. A building an author platform as an adult mystery author, realizing that all of my novels had teenage characters and it was those characters who I most enjoyed writing, expanding my reading list and develoving an ABSOLUTE love affair with YA novels, realizing that at my core I am a YA author and whoops, now I have to start all over again kind of insanity.

So . . . here I am. This is my year, so stay tuned. I hope to have some big news for you coming soon.

Shannon Hollinger, Author

 

 

 

 

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