Archive | December 5, 2013

Everybody’s Got a Story Heather Wardell

Everybody's Got a Story (Toronto Series)


Everybody’s Got a Story. Heather Wardell

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews.

I found the wonderful Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tattoo in the Amazon free lists recently and really loved it. A contemporary romance, but with something different. I love romance but don’t just want man meets woman and they live happily ever after. I need people I can identify with, same with plots, and lots of drama and emotion. I found it there, and was hoping that it wasn’t a one off – that Heather writes all her romances like that. And this book too is one different from the bland offerings we so often see – they suit lots of readers, but if like me you want more from your reading then Heather is an author to look out for.
This book is so packed with drama, Alexa – poor girl – she’s been through a terrible experience with her ex, and after two years of what feels to her a struggle to get her life back she’s got it all brought out again with the trial. Everywhere she goes people are talking about it, reporters harass her, there are the usual suggestions maybe she was to blame in some way and she’s suffering. She’s lost all her her hard won poise, and feels she’s back where she started. Time for a fresh start, and her lovely supportive boss offers her a transfer to Toronto.
I loved the mix of people she met there, and they way we slowly learned so much about them, that first impressions aren’t always right, that behind the obvious are often sad reasons for peoples behaviour. Stella the kitten even taught us about trust. Alexa, how I felt for that girl, and understood why her confidence was so sorely knocked. Seems like just as she was getting to trust something would happen to shatter her all over again, but she learned that in coming back she was learning about herself, and there’s so much that’s fiction here but is so real in everyday lives. The main cast, Carly the bitch – oh how I love a good one of these, and she was perfect. One of those lovely smiling back-stabbers 🙂 then Howard, Rosanna and the lovely lovely Jake, author Michael and Jillian who lived in her apartment. Each seemed one thing on first meeting, made an impression and yet behind it was so so much more.

Its a great book, full of romance of course, but wrapped up in so much psychology, musing over what we do, how we react differently and learning along with Alexa how to find solutions within us. I loved this book, would happily read it again and the ending was perfect! It’s £3.22 for 247 pages and is one for my keepers file.

Stars: five

ARC supplied via Netgalley

Wrede on Writing: Tips, Hints, and Opinions on Writing .Patricia C. Wrede

Wrede on Writing: Tips, Hints, and Opinions on Writing


Wrede on Writing: Tips, Hints, and Opinions on Writing .Patricia C. Wrede
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews.

Like many many people I’ve always had a desire to write – many years ago I even started one of those online writing classes…but to be honest even I was bored reading what I’d written, so the rejection slips were no surprise. Looking back though I can see one huge mistake – I’d followed the course instructions to write short stories and articles, but I never read those, I love to read but novellas and short stories don’t work for me, so how on earth did I think I could write them? Well, I’ve never got any further but seeing this book for review brought back that desire and I hoped I could learn from it. Like most would be writers I’ve no idea where to start, and so never actually get further than a few vague plots or snippets of what a want to write.

Anyway I’ve not read this cover to cover, but browsed through looking for what I need. And its full of such useful and encouraging information about where to start – not a 1-10 steps, but a series of ideas and the advice there isn’t a blue print but try this, or this, or this 🙂 Then having thought about where to start its got so much useful information on the actuality – the character building, creating worlds both real and fantasy, plotting and pitfalls. It’s just so easy to read and understand. I felt as if Patricia was at my shoulder giving advice.
Then having written your best-seller (!!) she advises about such necessary – especially in today’s market, things to do like contacting agents and publishers, marketing, the finance side – and unless you’re writing just to write and not to make money that’s essential. Looking back to my own experiences I can see so well where I went wrong, the acid test is will I manage to do it better this time round? Well, armed with this book I feel much more confident, just need to squeeze a few more hours in the day 🙂 …. Where before I felt as if I was floundering in the dark, now I feel that I’ve some solid references for when I get stuck. Not to spoon feed me an answer, but to show me where to look next, how to research, what to add and really, really important – what to leave out. As a reader/reviewer I’ve read too many books that contain whole chapters that when I get to the end I think “ what happened to/why was that mentioned/how did x get out of that?” you know – the stuff that’s in the book but doesn’t add to the plot, the characters, the background, and is just filler and fluff taking up pages and reading time and is wasted effort for both reader and writer really. Somewhere in the beginning Patricia quotes advice given to her – and it’s really apt to what I’ve read too many times. Three things a scene can do “1) advance the plot 2) explain the back story 3) deepen the characterisation. “ If it doesn’t do any of those it isn’t needed.
A skim through the index gives an idea of just how comprehensive this book is, it really does have a chapter about almost everything writers need to know, I reckon its should be the Writing Bible of all would be authors. At £3.14 for 263 pages its a bargain. No fluff, no unnecessary fillers just good solid advice and research tools.
Stars: five

ARC supplied via Netgalley

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