03 July 2020

Kdrama Segue: Goblin


I've recently started watching Korean dramas because of quarantine (sorry, books!). 
I'm sharing my journey.


Synopsis from Asianwiki: In ancient times, Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is an unbeatable general in wars, but the young King (Kim Min-Jae) is jealous of Kim Shin and kills him. Kim Shin becomes Dokkaebi (Goblin), possessing an immortal life. At first he thinks that he is blessed, but he realizes that he is cursed.

Closer to the present day, Kim Shin has waited 900 years for a human bride to end his immortal life. One night, he saves a dying pregnant woman (Park Hee-Von) who is destined to die. Meanwhile, the Grim Reaper (Lee Dong-Wook) is unable to find the dead pregnant woman. The woman gives birth to a baby girl named Ji Eun-Tak (later played by Kim Go-Eun). 9 years later, Ji Eun-Tak lives with her mother and is able to see ghosts. One night, her mother suddenly dies. On that night, she meets the Grim Reaper.

In the present day, Ji Eun-Tak is a high school student. She still sees ghosts and hears their whisper of “Dokkaebi’s bride.” She now lives with her aunt’s family, but she is mistreated by them. On her birthday, Ji Eun-Tak sits by the sea with a lighted birthday cake. At that time, Kim Shin suddenly appears in front of her. Kim Shin does not know why, but he can hear her voice and appears in front of her against his will. Coincidentally, Kim Shin lives with the Grim Reaper at the same house.

Now, Kim Shin appears in front of her against his will, whenever she turns off the lights. One day, Ji Eun-Tak tells him that he is Dokkaebi and she is his bride.

Thoughts: Would’ve rated this lower had it not been for the second leads. I also liked the Goryeo backstory and the mythology of Grim Reaper and Goblin’s existence. Could not stand Gong Yoo and Kim Go-eun together, sorry. The chemistry felt forced. Oh and the storytelling is painfully slow. I normally expect kdramas to get interesting on the 8th or 9th episode but it didn’t happen here. There were far too many flashbacks and recurring problems. I got to episode 14 before I felt any sort of attachment to it.

Ad placement: noticeable, borderline awkward

Rating: 3/5 stars

22 April 2020

Don't Go Stealing My Heart by Kelly Siskind is OUT NOW!







Today we are celebrating the release of a romantic comedy title from Kelly Siskind! Don't Go Stealing My Heart just went live, and you won't want to miss this romance! CLICK HERE to grab your copy now, and make sure to follow Kelly for details about all of her books.

Check out the preorder links for the book below.

PURCHASE NOW

Amazon | Apple | Nook | Kobo

Don't Go Stealing My Heart by Kelly Siskind

A Standalone Romantic Comedy
Add it to Goodreads

Book Blurb:

She wants to steal his Van Gogh. He wants to steal her heart.

Some people would call Clementine Abernathy a criminal. She considers herself a modern day Robin Hood, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Not exactly on the up-and-up, but she knows what it's like to lose everything. Her latest heist involves swiping a priceless Van Gogh from its owner, who's supposed to be an egotistical trust-fund brat.

Turns out Jack David is a sexy, kind-hearted man...and Clementine is in trouble. Falling for her mark would make her the World's Dumbest Conwoman, but Jack is charmingly persistent, always singing sweet songs in her ear.

And that earth-shattering kiss? She never stood a chance.

Now she's imagining a fresh start with this dashing man, but that means telling Jack about her past. And other nefarious sorts are after the same painting. Too soon, Clementine learns what it means to risk it all for love.

PURCHASE NOW

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:



A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to enjoy the charm of northern Ontario. When she’s not out hiking with her husband or home devouring books, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head.
Her novels have been published internationally.

FIND KELLY SISKIND:

17 April 2020

Pride and Persuasion Blog Tour - Excerpt and Kick off


Today's the first day of the blog tour for Wrenn Montgomery’s PRIDE & PERSUASION. Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today! 


Title: PRIDE & PERSUASION
Author: Wrenn Montgomery 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

About Pride & Persuasion: 

Elliott James is a control freak. After being told she was nothing special by her ex, Baker Williams, she’s spent the last eight years proving him wrong. She’s built a life she loves— prominent attorney, partner at her firm, a luxurious penthouse, and the best friends a girl could ask for. After a harrowing encounter last year, she’s determined to get her life back on track. She’s succeeding, until a case brings her face to face with the one man that’s ever made her want to lose control. 

Baker Williams started with nothing but determination to make a better life for himself. He’s built an empire he’s proud of, by acquiring companies and working his way up. So when a rogue employee threatens to bring his kingdom tumbling down, he hires the best to defend his case. His only fault is not realizing that the best is Elliott James, and she’s ready to remind him of all the damage he did years ago.

Eight years ago, Elliott and Baker were matches and gasoline. Explosive and hot. Back then, they both walked away burned. When they’re forced to work together long after the flames have died down, they discover they’re just as combustible as ever. Now, they have to figure out how to save each other without their spark burning down everything they’ve worked so hard for in the process.


About Wrenn: 

Wrenn Montgomery resides in North Carolina with her husband and three daughters. She spends her time psychoanalyzing strangers and writing about them in steamy romances.

Connect with Wrenn: 


Excerpt:

My eyes fly open but there’s nothing but blackness, thanks to the sleep mask on my face. I jerk it off, looking around for what pulled me out of a nice, dreamless sleep for once. My phone is lit up on my nightstand and there’s one missed call. Panic floods my veins and I take a deep breath. One of my biggest fears is getting a phone call in the middle of the night about someone I love being hurt or in trouble. The panic increases as I see the missed call from a number I don’t have stored in my phone. 
I jump out of bed. 

Oh my god. Someone’s hurt. 

That’s the hospital calling me to tell me. 

Okay, gather yourself together, Elliott. 

I hit send on my phone and bite my thumbnail as I rush to my closet to get dressed, sure that I’m going to have to go the ER or it’s something equally as urgent. 

“Hello?” 

The male voice on the other end of the line sounds sleepy and I stumble over my words. “Uh, hi. This is Elliott James, I received a call—”

“Ell, fuck.”

Realization hits me like a ton of bricks. “Baker?” 

“I’m sorry, I—” 

“You better have a damn good reason for calling me this late. Are you dying?” I ask. 

“No.” 

“Are you in the hospital?”

“No, Elliott.” 

“So, this isn’t an emergency?” I sit back on my bed, the panic and adrenaline fading. 

“No. And I’m sorry. I had too much to drink and I wanted to talk to you—”

I can’t stop the sarcastic laugh from bubbling out. “Oh, you did? And what would you need to talk to me about, Baker?” 

There’s a long pause before he mumbles, “The case.”

“You called me, at three in the morning, to talk about your case?”

“Well, technically, I called you an hour ago.” 

I look back at my clock and shake my head. It wasn’t his call that woke me. “Regardless.” 

“Like I said, I had too much to drink. It happens. Don’t flatter yourself,” he says. 

The fucking nerve of this man. 

“Goodnight, Baker. And please, only use my number for professional reasons from here on out.” 

“You got it, EJ.” 

I startle at the nickname he called me all those years ago. “Fuck off, Baker.” 

I hear him chuckle and I hang up, throwing my phone across the room and hearing it land on the chaise lounge. 

It takes me hours to fall back asleep, and when I do, I dream of Baker Williams and watching his sexy-as-sin back walk away from me. 

Just like old times.

28 March 2020

Audiobook Adventures: The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg


Max: Chill. Sports. Video games. Gay and not a big deal, not to him, not to his mom, not to his buddies. And a secret: An encounter with an older kid that makes it hard to breathe, one that he doesn't want to think about, ever.

Jordan: The opposite of chill. Poetry. His "wives" and the Chandler Mall. Never been kissed and searching for Mr. Right, who probably won't like him anyway. And a secret: A spiraling out of control mother, and the knowledge that he's the only one who can keep the family from falling apart.

Throw in a rickety, 1980s-era food truck called Coq Au Vinny. Add in prickly pears, cloud eggs, and a murky idea of what's considered locally sourced and organic. Place it all in Mesa, Arizona, in June, where the temp regularly hits 114. And top it off with a touch of undeniable chemistry between utter opposites.

Over the course of one summer, two boys will have to face their biggest fears and decide what they're willing to risk -- to get the thing they want the most.

From Goodreads

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The romance was cute. I like how the attraction was gradually built. It really kept me cheering for them every chapter. The moment they finally got together was truly satisfying. I also appreciate how the author tackled the serious issues in the book like dealing with addiction, having a difficult home life, and what consent means. It never felt preachy at any point. I was right there with them, feeling their pain and hoping they overcome it. I loved it!

But then the bad parts often bothered me too. The protagonists have separate groups of friends. Max has his dude bros and Jordan has his wives. Both groups felt all too... straight. Now I don't mind straight characters. Heck, I'm a straight woman! But it was as if the author wanted polar opposites to to show the stark difference between gay and straight. 

Side note: although... if I'm being honest, it made me question how the LGBTQ is represented in books with straight leads.

Another thing I didn't particularly like was the narrator for Jordan. The actor's voice often sounded shaky though I don't know if this was deliberate. It made Jordan sound frail. He would also read Max's lines whenever they appeared in Jordan's chapters and boy did he sound like a caveman. It's bad enough that he constantly used the words dude bro, the voice acting just made it worse. Is that mean? Oh! And the volume levels weren't consistent. Jordan's was always loud while Max's was just right. Why didn't they catch this in production?

So yeah, I'm in the middle with this book. I wonder if I would've had a better time had I experienced this in book format and not audio. 

27 March 2020

Blog Guest: Author Brendan Noble

There’s something special about having the opportunity to create a world and the characters within it. The world of my debut series, The Prism Files, has allowed me to almost become an observer more than the storyteller, as I watch the characters within the world act and react to one another. Playing with the features of this world has made me a discovery writer, and I’m as surprised by many events within the books as the reader is, if not more. The first book in series, The Fractured Prism, allows the reader to see the first bits of the extensive alternate America and world that the series takes place in. 

The main character of the series is Ivan 181375, an outcast and slave to the socialist government of Northern Mississippi. He is a Red, the lowest level on the color-coded class system created by the government’s Prism Test, which every citizen must take on their 16th birthday. The test, while initially intended to create an equal chance for anyone to succeed, has turned into a loyalty check by the government, and anyone who shows an ounce of disloyalty is quickly moved down a color. For thirteen years, Ivan has fought under the codename “Coyote” as part of the Militia, a group of anti-Prism Orange and Red Tags trying end the government’s tyranny. Every day of his life is a struggle to survive in the ghettos of St. Paul while the elite Purples and Blues look down on him from their towers in Minneapolis.

Everything changes for Ivan when he saves the life of a princess caught in the wrong part of town. Quickly, Ivan finds himself at the center of battles for power within the divided royal ranks. His allegiances will be tested as he becomes caught between the world of the Reds and that of the royals. A Red in the palace is unheard of. A Red in love with a princess is unacceptable. 

Northern Mississippi has a complicated history, one that the book begins to explain. The Fractured Prism takes place in 2020, but America’s history is very different than our own. Instead of being a republic, the country became the Kingdom of America after the revolutionary war. Divisions and corruption were rampant, though, and ninety-nine years before the book’s story, the massive Third Civil War divided the country between socialists and monarchists. In the end, America split up, and Northern Mississippi was formed out of what had been Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The monarchists were strong in the region, but they surrendered to the socialists on the terms that they and their descendants would be exempt from the Prism. This fracture in the Prism, allowing the royals to be unfiltered, is the inspiration for the book’s name.

In the writing process for the start of this series, I wanted to make the world feel alive. Too often in books, it seems that everything in the world revolves around the main characters, even if they’re very young. Part of the elements you will see if you read the book is an ever changing struggle for power within the various factions within the country and beyond. Some of these struggles occur outside Ivan’s control or even knowledge, creating a dynamic world he must operate in. Every character has their own interests in mind, whether Ivan knows it or not, and the fascinating part about the world is that it’s so extensive that I can only put tiny pieces of it in the series, let alone just the first book. The Fractured Prism has dystopian strife, royal intrigue, forbidden love, and a fight for survival, but its world is far more than that, and to me, experiencing and sharing that world and the stories within it is the best thing about being an author.

The Prism Files series is available now on Amazon.

About the Author



Brendan Noble is a Polish and German-American author who loves creating alternate histories and crafting the stories of people within those timelines. He is fascinated with history, economics, and politics in both reality and fiction.

Brendan is a recent graduate in Economics from Hillsdale College in Michigan. In 2019, he moved from his hometown of Canton, Michigan to Rockford, Illinois when he married his wife, Andrea. Brendan began his writing career in November of 2018 with a challenge from his wife to complete NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where new authors attempt to write an at least 50,000 word book in a month. At first, he was hesitant to take the first step, but he quickly fell in love with writing, and by the end of November, the first book, The Fractured Prism, was born. In addition to writing, he is a data analyst and soccer referee.

Outside of writing, his top interests include watching both German and American soccer, analyzing political elections across the world, playing extremely nerdy strategy video games, exploring with his wife, and reading.