Tag: books

8 Steps To Develop A Reading Habit

A lot of people love reading but when it comes to practising it on a regular basis most of them fail. Wonder why?

More often than not daily life, responsibilities and “important” things come in between you and your love for the written word. Oft times we get too involved or busy in other things that we have no time for something as “time-consuming” or as “frivolous” as reading. Right? WRONG. All these are nothing more than excuses! If you really want to read, you will read – simple as that.

If you love books then they should be important enough for you to make some place for them in your daily life. Reading is my first love and I manage to read anywhere from 5 to 8 books a month. I am a writer, editor in chief and  a manuscript critic, so sometimes work does come in the way, but so far as I can remember, in the last 7 years I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t reading something. Being a writer it is kind of a necessity for me, but the truth of the matter is that I would not have been a writer in the first place had it not been for my love of reading books.

Just like achieving anything else in life, it needs a bit of patience, effort and planning, and of course, the will to do it.

This article is for those book lovers who, for whatever reason, haven’t been able to cultivate a reading habit and need a little nudge, and for those who have somehow, fallen out of the habit of reading regularly and are looking for a way back in. This article is also for those parents who want to incorporate a reading habit in their child’s or teen’s routine.

8 Steps To Develop A Reading Habit

Reading should be fun, but sometimes to get into a habit you have to make a conscious effort until it comes naturally to you. As a writer, I have to do the same for writing in order to get work done and reading is no different. Please remember that this is only for those who actually love reading and want to develop a routine that’ll help them in reading the books they long to read and not for those who love the idea of reading and have no particular interest in it.

 

 

1) Make a reading list

Cultivating a consistent reading habit, or any other habit for that matter takes a bit of planning. Reading list, or as we bookworms call it TBR-list) is a list of books that you want to read. Preparing a list of books ahead would not only help you in knowing what exactly to buy, borrow or issue from the library but will also set the mood for a great start. Write down the names of books you’ve always wanted to read. They can be classics or the latest releases. Don’t forget to add the books whose movie adaptations you like because chances are the book would be a hundred times better than the movie.

Search the internet for the top ten books in genres you prefer and go through the first 5-10 lists you find and note down the books that catch your attention, or simply the ones that are common in all or most of the lists. If you want to research further, then read a couple of reviews of these books but be sure of spoilers. Throw some of these names too in your reading list. This way your list would have a nice mix of new and old books which will make reading more exciting for you.

 

2) Get the books in your reading list:

Check the pricing of the books on your reading list online, if you like what you see then buy the books in your preferred format. If the prices of paperbacks and hardbacks are too much, then try going for e-books; they are generally cheaper and can be read on any device including the most basic smartphones. If you don’t like what you see, then check your local bookstores or get the book from a library in your area (if you are in India, JustBooks is a very good library option and has a great online service too.)

Living in this amazing digital age provides us with so many options when it comes to book formats, so go crazy and try them all! You might love the snazzy new Electronic or Audio versions of books that you might have been sceptical about. Get at least two e-books and one audiobook. You can get free classic ebooks at Project Gutenberg (if you are in India, this link might not work, try this one instead.) For free classic audiobooks, you can visit LibriVox. Audiobooks are horrendously priced in India so this website is a great starting point if you are new to audiobooks. Though, you can try the free trial of Audible as well (I did and liked it so I buy a lot from there as they are pretty good.)

 

3) Create goals

Now that you have the books, chalk out your goals because without goals you won’t get far. Set a simple monthly goal or if you really want to be doing this, go for a yearly goal (once you get into the habit of reading, you can set weekly goals too.) For monthly goals, set the number of books you want to complete in a month and likewise for yearly goals. If you are just starting or re-starting after a long time, start with only one book as your goal. Then gradually go up from there. In setting an unreal goal you would only be setting yourself up for failure.

If you want to stick to one book a month only, then your yearly goal would be 12 books in a year, but that’s rarely the case because on your reading journey you’ll find some books you simply won’t be able to read fast enough and will end up finishing them earlier than planned and there will be some books that will turn out to be not as good as you expected them to be. Also, with each passing month, your speed will increase and so will your capacity, so there’s a good chance that you’ll be reading more than 12 books in the first year itself. I’d suggest setting 15 books a year as your first goal if you are serious about developing a consistent reading habit. A lot of my fellow book readers read 100, 200 and some even 500 books a year, so don’t underestimate yourself.

 

4) Create a routine

In order to develop the habit of reading, set aside anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour daily as your ‘reading time.’ It can be while you have your morning coffee or your breakfast, or in the afternoon just before taking a nap or with the evening tea/coffee or, my favourite, just before sleeping in the night – bed-time reading. Do note that this is the time you will be consciously putting into reading – which means for your ‘reading time’ you will deliberately sit, preferably in a comfortable chair or sofa or bed, and put a conscious effort and read the book you’ve picked up. Initially, you might not enjoy reading this way every time, but it’s okay to feel that way, just make sure to read for the minimum amount of time you’ve set for yourself. As the days will pass by and as you’ll start to take interest in the book you are reading, you’ll settle into the routine nicely. You can even set a number of chapters or pages to read every day instead of setting time.
Note that your ‘reading time’ should not be affected by any other times you might decide to read the book during the rest of the day. Treat these extra opportunities as a bonus.

 

5) Utilize weekends and holidays

Read twice or thrice the number of pages or chapters or minutes you generally read on the weekdays. If you have a book that is not too long, say 100-150 pages, then try and finish it over the weekend. It’ll be a great boost to your confidence and will help you ward off boredom which might otherwise settle upon you if you keep on following your routine for long periods of months.
Same way, try and use any unexpected holidays and vacations as an opportunity to get some extra reading time and finishing the book you started. A great way to make use of holidays is to listen to audiobooks while doing something mundane such as doing the laundry or gardening or cooking.

 

6) Always carry a book

This is like a thumb rule or a ‘mantra’ for all bibliophiles. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to work or just taking a walk to the local park or going to school or college or the mall or the movies; always carry a book with you. You should have a book at hand when you are out in the real world in case if you have to wait for someone at a cafe or classroom or if you get some free time on your commute from one place to another or maybe if the queue you’re waiting on takes a really long time to move? These and many more opportunities will always knock on your doors when you are outdoors and it is the best thing to have a book to indulge in at hand. It can be the book you’re already reading or some other book entirely. If carrying a book is physically impossible, then carry ebooks or audiobooks on your smartphones or tablet.
Most of the time I read more than one book at one time so I always carry my Kindle with me whenever I go out in addition to the audiobooks and ebooks that I can access on my phone through LibriVox Audio Books and GuteBooks Ebooks apps respectively.

 

7) Check off the books read and add new ones to the list

Check off the books you’ve finished on your to-read list – strike them off and I bet you’ll feel ecstatic doing it. Don’t forget to add new books to your list that you find along the way or that someone recommends you, but keep in mind not to add ten new books for every one book you read. It’ll only lead you down a path where you might get unnecessarily overwhelmed. Cut off one book and add another. Stick to this as much as you can. But again, don’t limit yourself entirely.
Once in a while, ditch your to-read list and pick up some random good book that you come across in a bookstore or a friend’s place or maybe a book whose adaptation is going to be released in the coming weeks.

 

8) Explore, experiment and enjoy

Once you have developed or at least have started with a reading habit, try to go for different genres. Explore new genres and revisit the old ones from your past. It’ll add another layer of self-indulgence to your reading experience. Also, try and connect with other readers amongst your friends or join online or local book clubs to be in the know of new releases and to discuss books you’re reading or want to read. I highly recommend that you join Goodreads because it is the best place to be online for any book aficionado. I myself run an online book club on Goodreads – RMFAO, and it has helped me and many others tremendously in reading a lot more and better books. I am also a member of a couple of book-dedicated Facebook pages and groups, such as Did You Read Today, and they are amazing and the interacting makes reading more fun as we share our progress, book hauls and random reading-related thoughts there with other like-minded bibliophiles.
Apart from that you can even join various reading challenges on Instagram (if yoou are a regular ‘grammer.) They greatly help in making the to-read lists more fun and diverse. You can also follow book-related accounts and hashtags like #bookstagrammers, #readingislife, and many, many more in order to get creative and fun ideas to make your reading a bit more rewarding.

 

In a couple of months, before you even know it, you’d be reading more than you ever imagined you could and that too without even trying too hard. You’ll just have to put in a little effort at the beginning and then once you develop the habit, you won’t even have to try at all. I followed these steps when I re-started reading 7 years ago and haven’t looked back since. I started with reading 1 book in 2-3 months and now can read up to 10 books in a month.

Reading is a beautiful adventure and it should be enjoyed thoroughly in order to experience it completely. keep these steps in mind only at the beginning, later, when you develop your reading routine, forget all the preconceived notions and follow your instincts. This article is just to get you started on the right track.

If you have any questions related to reading or want any book recommendations or want to share your bookish thoughts then feel free to comment below.

Happy Reading!

Ciao ❤

Note: All the images used in this article are my own (except for the featured image which was taken from Pixabay). Visit me @crazycatwriter on Instagram.

RMFAO 2018 Classics Catchup

Want to read more classics? Re-read an old favourite? A book you missed by a favourite author? Or just browse and discover a forgotten author? This year we are moving the general guideline up to pre-1950, but there are quite a few later books (mainly from the 1960s) that are also acceptable.

A wonderful bonus advantage for this Challenge is that it is easy on the budget since so many are available free in numerous formats (including audio!) from such sites as Project Gutenberg, ManyBooks and LibriVox. You do not need to choose your books ahead of time, you’ve got all year. Late-comers are welcome.

Please note that Classics Catchup was created and is run by RMFAO’s first moderator, Dagny. You can find here on Goodreads here or at her amazingly bookish blog, Vauquer Boarding House

We have different yearly levels for which you can go for. These are listed below.

Levels:

  • Level 1: Casual Reader: 2 books
  • Level 2: Frequent Reader: 3 – 5 books
  • Level 3: Bookworm: 6 – 8 books
  • Level 4: Scholar: 9 – 11 books
  • Level 5: Professor: 12 or more books

Who’s joining? All you have to do is post here saying you plan to participate. You can choose the Level you hope to achieve now, or wait and see how it goes. Don’t know what to read and need suggestions? Just ask!

RMFAO 2018 Classics Catchup Thread

Other challenges that you can participate in are:

If you’re as crazy about reading and books as we are then go wild combining all or any challenges to spice up your reading lists!

One of the coolest things about this challenge is that the mods are so awesome that they even tell you the sources and links to obtain free books available online legally. What else can a bookworm ask for!?

Join RMFAO

In order to participate, simply announce your participation on the main board of RMFAO 2018 Genre Challenge. Or if you have a blog just do a simple post announcing your participation and sharing details of the challenge (you can freely copy and paste from here with a due credit or reblog this post.) Don’t forget to leave a link back here.

Book Tag: Questions And Answers

It’s been over a year since I’ve done any tags. I love doing them (they’re so much fun), but early last year life got real busy and so many tags piled up on top of other blog posts that I decided to pass on all of them. But recently I was tagged by one of my favorite authors, John A. Heldt, and I simply couldn’t resist.

John, the author of critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series, is a longtime friend, and I always look forward to reading his books. He blogs quite regularly, so if you have a few minutes, do check out his blog and books.

Q & A

What book has been on your shelf the longest?

The Shinning by Stephen King. I’m a big Stephen King fan, but for some reason, I never got around to reading this masterpiece by him. I bought the book 2 years back but still haven’t got around to reading it.

What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Currently, I’m reading Hanna’s Moon by John A. Heldt. My last read was The Beekeeper’s Daughter and my next read is going to be Under The Dome by Stephen King

What book did everyone like but you hated?

Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. I won’t say I hated the book, but I was simply not able to get into it in spite of most of my friends loving it.

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read but you probably won’t?

Fifty Shades Of Grey by E.L. James and 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz. Both are horrific reads, first one figuratively and the second one literally.

What book are you saving for retirement?

Life’s too short to wait to read a book, but I do plan on re-reading several books after my “retirement” – ASOIF Series, HP Series, etc.

Last page: Read it first or save until the end?

Always save it until the end. Who the hell reads the last page anyway. If won’t make any sense, to say the least, and it would just end up revealing the end. Two big no-nos for me.

Acknowledgement: Waste of paper and ink or interesting aside?

Being a writer myself, I know how much hard work goes into a book and that is why I love reading acknowledgments page of every single book I read. It makes me feel more connected to the author and the people involved in the making of the book.

Which book character would you switch places with?

Arya Stark of ASOIAF series. It would be hard, but I’d do it anyway.

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

Game Of Thrones (ASOIAF #1)  by George R.R. Martin. I won’t go into the details but Ned Stark reminds me of my father a lot and the things that happened to him do too.

Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

I almost always buy my own books, so the most interesting way was getting 3 to 4 books delivered by my library at my doorstep every month for an entire year while I was a member. I’m not a member anymore as I realized that libraries are not for me as I hate returning books I love. So I buy them now.

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Yes. I’ve given the first copy of my debut novel to my husband. And will keep on giving him the first copy of all my novels.

Which book has been with you most places?

The World’s Best Fairytales by Reader’s Digest Association. It is a big book of fairy tales passed on to me by my grandfather. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember.

Any required reading that you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later? 

I’ve not yet read any of Shakespear’s plays because I never enjoyed them in high school.

Used or brand new?

Brand new only. I like my books to be mine and mine alone.

Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Yes, I’ve read three of his books: The Da Vinci CodeThe Lost Symbol, and Inferno.

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

Not better than the book, but equally good – The Hobbit (all three movies.)

Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

I love cooking (baking to be specific) and I bought The Chocolate And Coffee Bible a few years back. It has some amazing chocolate and coffee recipes and it still makes me hungry every time I flip through its pages.

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

My blogging book friend Kim.

Is there a book outside your comfort zone you ended up loving?

None so far.

Okay, now for tagging others…

Kim at By Hook Or By Book

Phoenix at Phoenix Grey

Galit at Coffee n’ Notes

Kate M. Colby at her Fiction Blog

If anyone other than the above mentions wants to do this tag then feel free to consider yourself tagged.

Hope you all having a great start to your week!

RMFAO 2017 Reading Challenges

Hey, everyone. 2017 is almost upon us! It is December, the most magical time of the year, and more so because this is the month we decide and announce the RMFAO Reading Challenges for the coming year!

If you don’t already know, RMFAO is my reading group on Goodreads and it is co-moderated by my very dear friend, Dagny. We have quite a few reading challenges there and have around 300 members. We talk about books and reading related stuff and recommend absolutely amazeballs books to each other. It is a place to be for all the book lovers as you’ll meet some serious bookaholic bibliophiles there.

Back to the point, we just announced the 3rd installment of our most popular challenge on RMFAO – RMFAO 2017 Genre Challenge. In this challenge, we read as per the pre-decided Genre-List that changes every year. This year we’re doing it our old way by having 1 unique mainstream genre per month. The participants will just have to refer their TBRs and pick up the books of that genre for that month. This way you get to read 12 genres in one year while finishing off your TBR.7

The participants will just have to refer their TBRs and pick up the books of that genre for that month. This way you get to read 12 genres in one year while finishing off your TBR. Most of the times we end up reading the new recommendations and our TBR pile grows more than ever, but that’s how the life of a book lover is, isn’t it?

Anyway, in case if you guys want to participate, just join the group (if you haven’t already) and announce your participation on the main challenge thread. It can be found here: RMFAO 2017 Genre Challenge.

Apart from this, we have other fun Challenges too:

  • Classic Catchup:
    Hosted by RMFAO’s Classics’ Professor Dagny, this challenge gives you a chance to read the Classics. But the best part for me about this challenge is Dagny’s Classic recommendations. I’ve read so many different classics (so much more than I’d have ever read on my own) since I started joining this challenge. So if you’re a classic lover then this place is definitely for you, but in case if you’re like me who is not into classics and have no clue what to read, then is the place to start.classics-catchup
  • RMFAO 2017 Series Challenge:
    This challenge focuses on completing book series. You can either complete a series your started earlier and never got around to finishing it, or you can start a new one and try to finish it within the year.
    To participate all you have to do is drop by the thread (click the name of the challenge above) and announce your participation.series
  • RMFAO 2017 NetGalley Challenge: This challenge needs no explanation. If you are on NetGalley then you should definitely check this one out! The challenge will help you finish all those books that you requested and were accepted for once upon a time, and as a result, it will help you improve your Ratio. It can’t get better than this, can it?!netgalley

New members are welcome to join any time of the year, so don’t forget to drop by and have a look around! Also, feel free to share about these challenges with your friends and reading buddies. The more, the merrier.

Ciao ❤

Deceived Cover Release!

Hello, everyone. Today is a very big day for me, as it is the Cover Release day of Deceived! Without saying anything else, I’d like to present to you the cover of my debut novel – Deceived.
Please feel free to share the cover image on your social media accounts and blogs. Reblogs are also welcome. 🙂

deceived-final
Designed by Bhavi Mehta
PUBLISHING: FEBRUARY 2017 BY CITRUS PUBLISHERS

Blurb:

How well do you know your loved ones?

A girl who’s trying to cope with the murders of her mother and five-year-old brother.

A journalist who is chasing the ghost of a potential serial killer.

A thirteen-year-old girl who slaughters her parents.

And a revenge-driven psychopath who is about to destroy everyone’s life.

A psychological thriller that weaves its way through the sadistic past of a traumatized child to the snare of dark mysteries of a beloved father.

Add Deceived your Goodreads to-read shelf 


About Heena Rathore P.:

Small oneHeena Rathore P. is a 25-year-old full-time novelist, part-time Social Media Strategist, Novel Critic, Book Reviewer and a YouTube Podcaster.

She draws her inspiration from the works of legendary Stephen King and Sidney Sheldon.

She is an introvert, a thinker, a neat freak, a voracious reader and a GSD-lover. In her free time, she loves watching apocalyptic, thriller and slasher movies and series.

She lives in Pune with her beloved husband in a house full of books, music, and love.

She loves creating fictional worlds, but more than that she loves living in them.

 

WEBSITE | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK

Writing Manifesto – A Gift

Hello everyone,

You can grab a free copy of my e-book Writing Manifesto by subscribing to my Newsletter.

In this book, you’ll find the inspiration to stay focused on your writing and the confidence to call yourself a writer without any hesitation.

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This book is not for sale and has been written only as an exclusive gift for all my Newsletter subscribers.

So what are you waiting for?

Subscribe to my Newsletter today and grab your free copy of Writing Manifesto:

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Have a great day!

My New WIP- Sinister Town

Exactly a year before, Deceived was only an idea in my head which kept on brewing constantly until I finally decided to get it on paper. And today here I am with Deceived getting published and another book’s first draft in hand. This sure has been one hell of a year for me.

Let me start by telling  you a little about my current WIP, which will be my second novel- Sinister Town. I have this irrational liking for the dark side of human nature and, after exploring the themes of psychopaths and sociopaths, I wanted to do something entirely different for my next book. As they say, variety is the spice of life…

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The blub in my brain going pong!

I had a very basic idea last year, that I wanted to work on for my first book, but while writing the FD the entire plan changed and I ended up writing an entirely different plot. But the initial idea stuck with me. So what did I do? I left it at that to simmer on the back stove while I worked on the first book and, after a few months, I had the perfect plot in mind fot that initial idea.

Hence, I present my second novel Sinister Town.

Like last time, I’ve created a cover for this book for my vision board and also to tell my pub. (God, I love saying that!) how the book cover should be like. So here’s the cover that I designed:

Sinister Town-2

Genre: Crime & Thriller Fiction
Words (approx.): 65,000
Working blurb:

After hitting a rough patch of 3 years, Nick and Eva’s marriage is finally saved by the arrival of their first child. In order to forget all the bitterness amongst them, they want to start over their new life by picking up the pieces of their broken relationship and shifting to a small new town.
Nic is ready to make the sacrifice of leaving the luxuries of big city and his drowning career in order to take care of his family and Eva is ready to give this marriage another chance, but what they don’t know is that the Town they want to make their home is waiting for them eagerly… for all the wrong reasons.


Right now I’m working on a new draft as I have to make a lot of changes. So, basically I’m on the FD stage. And from past experience I know that the best way to write a FD is to participate in a WriMo. Fortunately, I received an email 2 days back saying that Camp NaNo is starting in April (next month.)

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So, I’ve already cleared up my schedule for April as I won’t be able to take part in Camp NaNo July this year (I’ll be busy with the publishing of Deceived.) That means I’ll be busy next month like crazy and in order to save myself from added pressure, I’ll be talking a break from WOW posts for 2 months. I’ll rsume with it in May. 🙂 (Bye bye WOW! I’ll miss you 😦 )

Please feel free to voice out your thoughts on the cover and the blurb of my second novel. I’d love to know what you think about Sinister Town. If it creeps you out, I’ll consider myself a winner. 😀

Hope you guys are having a great day!

Ciao ❤

 

The Book Courtship Book Tag

Thank you, Marje, for tagging me for the Book Courtship Book Tag.

Marje is one of my really close (and favourite) blogger buddies and is an amazing writer. Do visit her blog, Kyrosmagica, if you want to befriend an insightful and talented author.  

Here’s a link to Marje’s blog post about the tag:

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/the-book-courtship-book-tag/

Phase 1 – Initial Attraction:

A book that you bought because of the cover?

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Phase 2 – First Impressions:

A book that you got because of the summary?DSC05326

Phase 3 – Sweet Talk:

A book with great writing?

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Phase 4 – First Date:

A first book of a series which made you want to pick up the rest of the series?

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Phase 5 – Late Night Phone Calls:

A book that kept you up all night?

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Phase 6 – Always on my mind:

A book you could not stop thinking about?

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Phase 7 – Getting Physical:

A book which you love the way it feels?

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Phase 8 – Meeting the parents:

A book which you would recommend to your family and friends?

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Phase 9 – Thinking about the future:

A book or series you know you will re-read many times in the future?

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Phase 10 – Share the love: Who do you tag?

Galit Balli

Phoenix Grey

Molly Mortensen

Bruce

Heather Mostella

Rosema 

Michelle James

Dagny

Please don’t feel obliged to do this tag. And if you aren’t tagged and want to do it, then go ahead and consider yourself tagged by me 🙂

Have a great day!

Ciao ❤

Book Review: Cold Girl (West Coast Crime #1)

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Author: R.M. Greenaway 
Release Date: March 26, 2016 
Series: None
Genre: Mystery|Thriller|Suspense|Crime Fiction
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 336
Publisher:  
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

It’s too cold to go missing in northern B.C., as a mismatched team of investigators battle the clock while the disappearances add up.

Smart urbanite RCMP Constable Cal Dion isn’t designed for snow, silence, and deep, dark woods. But that’s where he finds himself after a life-altering car crash: coping with brain damage and posted in the snowbound Hazeltons of northern B.C. But how can he find his footing in a new life when he can’t find his own keys?

Detective David Leith has his own demons to tackle. Forty-two years old and a dogged investigator, he’s seen a lifetime’s worth of cruelty on the job, and his conscience has taken a battering. And now a monster is murdering young women on his turf.

Kiera Rilkoff, a popular young singer, is missing. Has she also fallen victim to the so-called Pickup Killer? The urgency ramps up as one missing woman becomes two. It isn’t until the bitter end that Leith discovers who is the coldest girl of all.

Rating

4half-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Cold Girl is one of those books that you can either love or hate. And for me, fortunately, it’s the first one. I really enjoyed the story and relished the way it ended. The plot is not only outright gripping but quite unique as well but in its own subtle way. Cold Girl has a character driven plotline and the author successfully pulls it off. The plot line is simple enough, but the twists and the turns scattered throughout the book makes it a fairly complicated one but in a good way.

The writing is a little different, which took me a fair amount of time to get used to, but by the end I got the hang of it. The story flowed well and the pace of the story was also good. But, in spite of everything being great, I thought that the book was exceptionally lengthy. In my opinion, it can be reduced to 3/4th of its length and still have the same impact. This little fact bugged me to no end because it was a really, really time-consuming read.

So, if you have enough time on your hands, then go ahead and read Cold Girl, as it’s a superb detective fiction.

Characters:

As I just said Cold Girl is a character-driven book and the author has managed to create something that I call as “awesomeness.” The main characters, Leith and Dion, are the life of this book and I can still picture them moving around and doing stuff in their daily lives –  that’s how powerful the characterization in this book is. I was totally able to connect with them and the bond that formed is a really strong one.

When we have two male leads who hate each other there is bound to a favorite. Mine is Dion. His vulnerability is what draws me to him and I’m sure in the coming books he’ll emerge as a really strong lead, even more than Leith.

The other characters such as the Law brothers, other constables and DCs, the victims and the suspects, each and everyone had a unique personality and surprisingly I was able to relate to them all. Full marks for characterization!

Romance/Kills:

There is no romance as such, but a major part of the investigation revolves around the relationship of the deceased and the suspect.

There is also a considerable number of killings prior to the main case which involves a serial killer. It serves as a great diversion initially and later on connects beautifully to the case-at-hand.

Writing:

The writing in this book is a little different than what I’m normally used to. Some of the sentences felt a little awkward at times but later I realized that it had more to do with the author’s style of writing than glitches. Fortunately, after reading half of the book I found myself getting used to it.

Having said that I would have definitely enjoyed the book more if the editor had straightened out those awkward sentences and made them a little less painful to read.

Still, I enjoyed the book and the amazing characterization totally made up for whatever problems I had with the writing in the first half of the book.

Beginning:

The book started off perfectly well with an intriguing prologue and then continued on a high note that kept me engaged the entire time. I enjoyed the detailed insight into the police procedurals and enjoyed the overall suspense that kept on building till the end.

Ending:

The ending of the book was perfect considering that it’s a part of a series. In fact, I’m really looking forward to how things are going to shape up in the next part. The mystery also ended well. A classic example of a simple situation going out of hands.

Blurb:

The blurb is apt and gives a really clear idea about what to expect from the book. If I had come across this book in a bookstore then I would have definitely grabbed it after reading the blurb.

Cover Art:

The cover art is good but not excellent. It could have a been a lot better.

You can also read this review at:
Goodreads and NetGalley

Other Stuff

Opening Line: She was the only patch of stillness on the planet, to Dion, the dark-haired girl sitting on the far wing of the bleachers, second to lowest tier, watching the band play.

Highlights: Exceptional characterization.

Lowlights: Length of the book.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant but lengthy read.

Novella Review: Home Is Where The Start Is (Roseland #1)

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Author: Eric Ugland
Release Date: January 29, 2015 
Series: Roseland Series
Book: Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Detective Fiction | Cozy Mystery | Cozy Paranormal 
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 113
Publisher: Air Quites Publishing 
Source: Author 
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

When Ginger Mitchell finds out her mother committed suicide, she packs up her life as a Vegas “dancer” (hey, somebody’s gotta do it) and drives her cherry-red SUV straight home to Portland. Without a disapproving mom to rebel against, what was the point?
But things aren’t what they seem once Ginger gets to the City of Roses. For one, nothing about her mother’s suicide adds up, but no one else even wants to entertain the idea that it could’ve been murder. No one that is, except the ghost of Ginger’s mother, who keeps scaring the crap out of her. It’s probably just a psychotic break because of the grief, right? Sure.
In any case, it’s during one of these visits from Ghost Mom that Ginger decides to solve the murder on her own. She really only ever wanted to be a cop, so maybe she should start a private detective business and see where it takes her. And look, that hippie kid running down the street after a muscle car right now probably needs help. Another case!

Rating

4-stars

Review

Home Is Where The Start Is started off pretty well. I really liked the don’t-give-a-damn attitude of Ginger and most of all the first line that really kick started the book. As I went along it kept on getting more and more interesting. As it’s the first book in Roseland series, it dedicated a good amount of time in setting up the basics (characters, locations, situations, etc.) and honestly, I  enjoyed reading every bit of it.

The writing is exceptional and packs a big dose of humor. I loved the imagery and at more than a dozen occasions it made me laugh out loud.

The book ended on a high note and left me craving for more. I had low expectations from the book considering that it borders on the paranormal realm, but I really enjoyed the ghost angle. Though what I really found strange was Ginger’s mother’s personality. She seemed a little opposite of what was expecting her to be especially  considering her profession. Maybe in the next book it’ll be clearer.

For a novella, this book really packs a punch and is totally worth the time spent on reading it. I’d recommend it to anyone really as it’s a nice cozy mystery to read and enjoy.

You can also read this review at: 
Goodreads and Amazon

Other Stuff

Opening Line: I wish I hadn’t been sucking cock when my mother died, but I was.

Highlights: Storytelling

Lowlights: 

Final Thoughts: A nice and cozy mystery.