Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Dusty Pages Review: Dragon's Love

Our ship crashed months ago and those of us left are struggling to survive the boiling heat in barbaric living conditions. The only reason we're not all dead is one of my friends got knocked up by a native alien and he lets us live in his ruined city. We should be grateful but a lot of the humans hate the dragons and the girls who mate with them.

The natives are huge, seven foot tall dragon-men with wings and tails and scales. Surly and overly protective, who needs that? Not me. Alien baby fever is the new in thing, but I'm not falling for the hype. I've always survived being alone and I don't need anyone to change that. Try telling that to Shidan, the most annoyingly persistent alien male around.

Thanks to the primitive nature of the destroyed planet, we have no idea what's happening when things go wrong with my friend's pregnancy. I'm sure I can salvage something from our crashed ship that will help, but to get there I'll have to leave the city's protection and go out in the sweltering heat where everything wants to kill me. The only way I'll survive is if Shidan comes too and he's made it clear he wants only one thing. Love.
This is book 3/13 in total. I enjoyed the story telling as I had with the first two books in the series I'd read but found that I don't have the urge to continue. The first three books cover the three roommates the original story sort of starts with. After that, I think its generally just going to start picking through the female population the author has named and matching them with a Dragon, though there is only one named dragon left as more haven't arrived by the end of book three.

Amara's story is a little different from the first two as it is the only one to feature proper flashbacks to life on the ship as a way to explain her surly attitude and reluctance to fall into the arms of the Dragon that is chasing her affection. It turned out to be a very typical story of a woman breaking into a man's world and constantly feeling the need to prove that she deserves to be there, that she just as tough, and she doesn't need to be cared for or protected.

Shidan seems to be very much younger than the other dragon's we've met thus far. He doesn't really remember anything before the war and he seems confused more often than not about how he is supposed to act or what he is supposed to do with regards to many things, not just trying to win Amara's affections. Mostly he seemed like a love sick teen boy if I'm honest.

I give it

(Small correction - there are now 14 books in the series, the latest published 6/2/19)

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Dusty Pages Review: Bad Teacher

My name is Thomas and I’m always hard.
No really, that’s my last name. Thomas Hard, the pleasure is all mine … literally.
I can’t help it that my name suits me well.
You know what else suits me well? That girl sitting across the bar, with her lips right where I tell them to be. I want her, and when I want something, it’s gonna be mine.
One night. No names. No phone numbers. Just me, her, and pure pleasure.
Except, that one girl turns out to be the biggest mistake of my life.
Because I broke my cardinal rule …
Never b*ng a student.

I got half way through this book before I put it down and was unable to pick it up. I don't know what it was that really turned me off about this book. Maybe it was just because I've read this story so many times before, about the forbidden teacher student relationship, or because he went all Christian Grey on her - similarities here included the love paddling, the use of the word fuck, and the female lead being a virgin to start.

I was enjoying the story at first until it got to the date, I thought it was turning into a proper romance, then it didn't. I put it down. I can't say it was a bad book, it just wasn't for me. This by no means says that I wouldn't possibly look at reading something else by this author as the style of writing was very good, I just wish the story wasn't going in the direction I knew it was.

I give it

Monday, 11 February 2019

Meet a Writer Monday Presents...

... Kayla Hoyet

1. Tell me about your book, Ghost in the Machine, and where you got your inspiration for it?

The book is set in a dystopian society where most of the choices have basically been taken away from the people—where they work, where they live, who they marry, to name a few things. Many aspects of the peoples’ lives are also monitored through RFID chips implanted into their hands. It’s the first book in a series, and it follows a girl named Tyler who ends up in hot water when the technology driving this society backfires. If I’m completely honest, the book was inspired in part by my own fears of what could happen if the government were to take too much control, if we as a society were to rely a little too much on technology, and all of the ways that could go horribly wrong. It’s also partly inspired by my dog. He’s chipped, and I wanted to take that concept and apply it to humans because it really seemed to fit the level of control that the governing body has over these people in my book.

2. Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so what was it?

Patience. This was one of the first projects that ever reached that “finished” state for me, and it was really frustrating getting to that point. There were ups and downs throughout the process, and while nothing is ever perfect, I was pretty hard on myself. I eventually learned to take a deep breath and let the whole process just happen.

3. If your book was made into a film, who would you like to see play the lead?

Oh wow! I’ve never actually considered something like that, but it’s really fun to think about. If it were ever to happen, I think I’d love to see someone like Hailee Steinfeld as Tyler – she looks the part and some of her recent roles make me think she’d really bring Tyler to life. For Aidan, I’d pick Jeremy Irvine. He is basically a real-world representation of what Aidan looks like in my brain (minus the glasses) and I’ve been a fan of pretty much anything he’s acted in.

4. What are the top three books in you TBR pile?

1) Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

2) Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

3) The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle

5. What is the longest you’ve gone without writing?

A couple days at most, after I had surgery a few years ago. I try to write a little bit every day no matter what’s going on in my life at the time. It’s important to me not only because I want to make sure it stays part of my routine, but because I love to write. It relaxes me.

6. Which do you use more often, dictionary or thesaurus?

Definitely the thesaurus. I like to pull one out during the editing process if I can to try and vary my word use a bit. I usually only pull out a dictionary if I’m reading something else and find myself baffled in the middle of a sentence.

7. You’ve just been kidnapped and the people from the last TV Show/Movie you watched have to save you. Who is it?

It’s the crew from Shadowhunters on Freeform. I absolutely love that show and started binging it yesterday in preparation for (sadly) the final season airing soon. If they had to save me, I think I’d be okay with that.

8. How would you survive a Zombie apocalypse?

I’d hang out with the cool kids. But, no. In reality, if we ever find ourselves faced with a zombie apocalypse, I have already made peace with the fact that I’d probably be one of the first to die. I’m slower than most of my friends, and I’d probably be one of those, “We should try to help!” people… and we all know what happens to them in the zombie movies.

9. What genre do you write in and what draws you into this genre?

I prefer writing light sci-fi and urban fantasy, mostly, though I do branch out on occasion when I’m feeling brave. I think the biggest draw for me to the sci-fi/fantasy genres is the ability to explore the unknown and the opportunity to get to create these worlds where we can essentially take everything we know to be fact or fiction and turn it on its head.

10. Have you ever considered collaborating with another writer? If Yes who, if no why not?

Yes! I’ve considered it, but I’ve never actually collaborated with anyone before, so, to be honest, I’m not sure how it would work out. If I could, I’d collaborate with R.R. Virdi or S.E. Anderson. Virdi has a stellar attitude and has built up a really amazing universe in his Grave Report series, and Anderson does my book covers, but her Starstruck series is such a fun read. I love her style. I’d love to work with either of them, and so many others that I can’t even name.

11. Do you let a book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

Definitely. By the time I was finished with Ghost in the Machine, I already knew how Ghost in the Mirror was going to end. This whole time, I’d had a finished urban fantasy literally sitting in my files collecting almost two years of pixel-dust. I went back to it earlier this year, actually rewrote a large chunk of it when I went through it to do edits, and I’m much happier with it now. I’m a huge advocate of taking a break if you find yourself frustrated or out-of-steam on a particular project.

12. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

I’m not sure how this will be taken by other authors, but I don’t really think there are “bad” reviews. All reviews are a learning experience for me, and I celebrate every one of them. You can’t please everyone, and what you write isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but reviews aren’t the easiest thing to come by, so whether they are good or more critical, I think it’s important to celebrate them.

13. Have you written any other books that are not published? Do you intend to publish them?

Yes. I have several finished that are sitting in wait. One is the urban fantasy I mentioned earlier, and I am super excited about it. It’s been sitting forever, but it’s done, and the cover is beautiful, and I’m so proud of how it turned out. I should be introducing it to the world as soon as I decide on a release date. I’ve got another finished book that I’m really proud of as well, but I’m hesitant about what to do with it – it’s outside of my normal genre comfort-zone, and I don’t know how to tackle introducing it to the world yet..

14. Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

I like to think that I plan things and that I am in control, but that is seldom the case. Often, what I initially plan will happen and what actually happens end up being two different things. Ghost in the Machine is a really good example, actually. See, if I had my way, the ending of the first book would have been a lot different, but there are entire scenes in that book that weren’t in my initial plans, and I ended up with a different ending because of that.


Eighteen-year-old Tyler Gaines has always followed the rules--in part because it's too much trouble to break them, but mostly because her father's bedtime stories about the Sphere's elite red-coat Enforcers scared her senseless as a child. She does what she's told, just like everyone else, so when she goes to see the Broker--a woman whose sole purpose is to assign a match to everyone in the Sphere--and gets paired with a red-coat Enforcer named Aidan, she tries her best to put her father's stories to rest and adapt to her new family. When Tyler's best friend is killed and both fingers and technology point to Tyler as the main suspect, Tyler begins to think that her nightmares are coming to life.

Aidan knows Tyler is innocent, but there's one big problem: Proving Tyler's innocence rests on proving that the government's high-tech system, the system on which the entire population depends, has a problem the likes of which it has never had before. Aidan doesn't have a lot of time to make his case. If he can't figure out what's wrong with the system soon, Tyler may end up paying the ultimate price for a crime she didn't commit.

About Kayla

Kayla Hoyet lives in Indiana with her family and her dogs. She studied Creative Writing at Ball State University. When Kayla isn’t writing or day-dreaming about her next project, she works with several volunteer and charity organizations as a blogger, fundraiser, and promotion assistant.

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