Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Thing About NaNo is...

It's a blast, but it's also time consuming. If you have other stuff to do, or are busy, finding time can be a challenge, at best.

Hiya peeps. I'm going to vent for a minute. 

Most of you know, I'm an author as well as a reviewer. I've done NaNo two years previously, and this is my third. I love doing it! The rush from doing month-long writing sprints is fantastic, and a great way to end the year.

Thing is, November is also spectacularly busy. All the best books from the year get promoted, and review requests come out of every crack and corner. Of course, being a book lover, I do enjoy the reading and reviewing aspect of my book life. There are too many good books offered, I just can't say no!

It's difficult. And frustrating.

This month, I'm struggling with a schedule where I have two hours free to get both writing and reading/reviewing done, as well as making blog posts. Two. Hours. A day.

It takes time to get into the book I'm writing, mentally. I have to get my head into it, and can't write when other people are around. I have an office, yes, but my family is loud, to say the least. It's not fair to ask them to leave or stop having their own lives because of my writing - I'm not a selfish person, I just can't do that.

So, what's a girl to do? At the moment, I am somehow cramming everything my schedule demands me to get done, into that two hours a day. Ten hours a week, to get everything done.

If I hit the 50K word count and keep up with reviews, I will be amazed.

Okay, rant over. NaNo rocks, but oh my gosh, why does everything that happens, all happen at once? It's like crickets through October, then *bam* shit-storm in November. *sigh*

Anyone else doing NaNo this year? How do you find writing time? Let me know, because I could use some ideas!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Blog Update

Hiya peeps! I wanted to share a quick post, just to update ya'll.

In case you don't follow my PluggedIn blog, I've made some changes over there. Instead of being a book-focused blog, which it was never intended to be, I've decided to stick to just reviews there. Hence why I named it "Desert Rose Reviews" to begin with.

I want to share far more reviews than just my book reviews though. I actually critique things in several areas, and want to be able to share them somewhere, and am excited to finally get DRR back to it's roots! I do love books though, and always have. So, I did create a new book-focused blog - Desert Rose Word Candy, and I'm so glad to have that space available as well!

So, what does that mean for the UnPlugged blog? Well, basically the same thing. It's still going to be unplugged reviews, of whatever I want. I've always had this blog set up that way, and I'm going to be expanding beyond book reviews here, as well.

I will be posting more reviews once October comes around, and I'm able to focus on them. The next few weeks are majorly booked for me - family reunion of sorts, and all that fun.

Be sure to check out my book blog though, if you want a book-focused blog, and check back here for new reviews soon!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

"The Girl's Guide to the Apocalypse" by Daphne Lamb!

Wazup guys? Happy July! Can you believe July is already here? I can't. Good grief, this year is flying by!

Today on UnPlugged, I've got a Book Review. I read this book for a Book Tour last year, and luckily I liked it enough to give it 3 Roses, and post the review for the tour. It always sucks when I sign up to review a book for a tour, and end up not liking it. Oh well, what can ya do?

This book is called The Girl's Guide to the Apocalypse - sounds like it could be cool, right? Kind of a modern, possibly satirical comedy, common with any "guide" that is fictional and not actually a guide for anything.

Well, that's where my amusement with this book ended. If you're unfamiliar with this blog, it is an UnPlugged space, more like a book group than a professional review arena. This post will have spoilers, and will be a more honest, laid back look at my opinion of this book. If you'd like to see my "official, professional" PluggedIn review, see my original blog post here.

You've been warned.

Ok, so here we go.

 The Girl's Guide to the Apocalypse
~Released: August 11th, 2015

~Length: 218 Pages

~Publisher: Booktrope Publishing

~Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic

Welcome to the Apocalypse. Your forecast includes acid rain, roving gangs and misplaced priorities, in this comedic take on the end of the world as we know it, from debut author Daphne Lamb. As a self-entitled, self-involved, and ill equipped millennial, Verdell probably wouldn’t have ranked very high on the list of those most likely to survive the end of the world, but here she is anyway. Add in travelling with her work addicted boss, her boyfriend who she has “meh” feelings for, and a handful of others who had no businesses surviving as long as they have, and things aren’t exactly going as planned. But despite threats of cannibalism, infected water supplies, and possibly even mutants, Verdell is willing to put in as little effort as she can get away with to survive.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Review for "The Lucky One" by Sylvie Stewart!

Hiya peeps! I'm sharing a review today, for an adult romantic comedy. I signed up for the promo tour for this book, and selected to review - my post for that tour is up today on my PluggedIn blog, so the "official, professional" review is over there, sans spoilers.

If you want to check out the UnPlugged review, keep reading!

The Lucky One

Carolina Connections

 The Lucky One
~Published: May 11th 2017

~Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

~Parent's Guide: PG-17/R

When your luck runs out, do you run away—or do you stay and fight?

Let’s get one thing straight. I am not your typical girl. Sure I’ve got all the parts, but I’ve been a stubborn, irreverent tomboy since the womb, as my Irish father would proudly attest. Despite my Irish blood, I’ve had a bit of bad luck here and there—I recently trusted the wrong guy and got derailed in my professional pursuits. But I’ve bounced back. With my shields firmly in place, I thought nothing, or no one, could touch me again. Until he did. And he just might make this tomboy do the girliest thing in the world—fall head over heels in love. Of all the damn luck…

I’m a pretty lucky guy. I have a phenomenal family, a career I love, and I’m building a brand-new life back in my hometown. And, not to be a jerk about it, but I do more than all right with the ladies. Everything’s been going according to plan—like I said, I’m a lucky guy.

That was, until my luck ran out.

Until I met the girl I call “Irish.”

Irony can go kiss my a$$.

-The first two chapters of The Lucky One are available for free download on Instafreebie!

-Sylvie just won the National Indie Excellence Award for Romantic Comedy!

*Book Review* "Cossacks In Paris" by Jeffrey Perren!

Hiya guys! I'm excited to share a review with you today. It's for an awesome historical fiction novel, set around the time of Napoleon's rise to power. I actually read and reviewed this book several years back, but wanted to add an UnPlugged review for this one, so here it is!


Cossacks In Paris

~AuthorJeffrey Perren

~Published: November 25th, 2012

~Publisher: ClioStory Publishing

~Length: 389 Pages

~Genres: Historical Fiction, Adult, Cultural

~Parent's Rating: PG-17

How far can one man go for his freedom?

Rebellious Breutier Armande, a rising young civil engineer in Paris, is drafted into the Grande Armeé on the eve of Napoleon's 1812 Russian campaign.

On a scouting mission in St. Petersburg he meets Kaarina, a Finnish mathematician and daughter of the counselor to Tsar Alexander I. The pair soon fall in love. But Kaarina is betrothed to Agripin, a vicious Cossack and a favorite of the Tsar.

When she refuses him, Agripin kidnaps her, aided by Kaarina's envious twin sister, Kaisa. At a time of Europe's brief, uneasy truce Breutier deserts Napoleon's army and the Tsar's employ to reclaim Kaarina. Dodging the vengeance of the world's most powerful rulers sends Breutier on a perilous quest to hunt down the era's most ruthless Cossack.

Interweaving the characters' personal dramas with the epochal events of the following two years forms the core of the story. Historically accurate, the novel climaxes at the moment when, for the first time in 400 years, foreign armies invaded France, leaving behind Cossacks in Paris.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

"The Bad Boy's Girl" - Rant Review

Hiya guys. I've got a review today, and be warned - it's a doozy. I do rant a bit, but I'm so torn up about this book, I just can't help it! Writing the professional version was damn near impossible, because holding my tongue on this one takes physical effort.

I don't intend to hurt the author or the book, but I do talk openly on this site about my reactions to books, good and bad. I respect the author's efforts to write and publish her book, and as an author myself, know the bummer of having someone not like it. Still, not everyone will like a book, and for me, I am torn up about this one.

Check it out, and lemme know what you think in the comments below.

The Bad Boy's Girl

 The Bad Boy's Girl
~Author: Blair Holden

~Released: February 21st 2017

~Length: 395 Pages

~Genres: Young Adult, Romance

Tessa O’Connell is a girl as ordinary as they come-or so she thinks. Her aim for senior year is to keep her head down yet somehow manage to convince her childhood love Jay Stone to love her back. What she isn’t prepared for is for Jay’s brother, Cole to return to town and change the life she’s always been seemingly content to live. Tall, gorgeous as all hell and a bad boy with ocean blue eyes and the perfect edge of adorability, he was her greatest tormentor, her number one enemy.But the guy that’s come back is like no one Tessa’s ever come across. He challenges her, he tests her limits, he forces her to bring out the girl she’s long ago buried under a veil of mediocrity and most of all he compels her to consider that perhaps the boy that infuriates her to the point of no return might just her guardian angel. This new edition contains never before seen, exclusive content!

Monday, May 15, 2017

"Chasing the Dollar" UnPlugged Review!

Hiya guys! Hope you've all been doing amazing!

I've got a pretty awesome series to review this week, and it's an audiobook series! I'm actually really loving the whole audiobook thing, because I can multi-task and keep working. Perfect!! I'm sooooo glad Jess at Audiobookworm Promotions reached out to Desert Rose Reviews for event invites, because it's been such a blessing. I honestly wouldn't have ever looked into audiobooks otherwise, I don't think.

Anyway, I signed up for a tour for them, for a whole trilogy! It's a cozy mystery, comedy series, and I had so much fun with it! Check out my UnPlugged review for the first book in the series below, and be sure to keep an eye out for my review of the other two books coming soon!

Chasing the Dollar

(Miranda Vaughn Mysteries #1)

 Chasing the Dollar
~Narrator: Teri Schnaubelt

~Released: July 15, 2015

~Length: 7 hours 23 minutes

~Publisher: Ellie Ashe

~Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Miranda Vaughn has spent the last year and a half fighting for her freedom. Arrested for a fraud scheme involving her supervisors, she's lost her job at a prestigious investment firm, her fiancé, and her reputation. She walks out of the courtroom a free woman, only to find that life has a few more curve balls to throw her way. The jury may have found her not guilty, but Miranda is broke, in debt to her beloved aunt, and can't find a job because of the cloud of suspicion still swirling around her. She's not going to be able to move forward with her life until she finds out who set her up.

Buried in the evidence against her, Miranda finds a larger scheme, one involving far more money than the $37 million her boss fleeced from unsuspecting investors. Determined to uncover the truth, Miranda begins her own investigation - leading her to Macau and Belize, and into the arms of one sexy FBI agent, who may or may not prove to be trustworthy. When the danger heats up, Miranda finds herself in a race against time to find the person behind it all. Before he finds her....

Saturday, April 22, 2017

"Wickedly They Come" Audiobook Review!

Hiya peeps! I've got another audiobook review to share with you today!

I've been looking forward to posting about this book on my UnPlugged blog, because this one was just...ugh...*facepalm*

Just, check it out below...

Wickedly They Come

 Wickedly They Come
~Released: January 22nd, 2017
(Audiobook Edition)

~Length: 7 hours and 46 minutes

~Parent's Guide: PG-13

~Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Dark Fantasy

A gripping, dark fantasy!

A Destined Prophecy: “The White Warrior will be one with Lucifer and God will weep.”

Haunting visions and supernatural talents are the norm for the sixteen-year-old warrior, Jordan and her mother Seeley. Together with their formidable angels they find themselves in peril when a wicked sorcerer is determined to fulfill the prophecy to his lord, Lucifer.

After an ominous vision of spirits inhabiting teenagers in a local school, Jordan enrolls in the social culture of teendom at Elma High to combat soulless demons. She encounters Mark, a mysterious new classmate, who is hell bent on keeping her unscathed from the forces of evil.

The battle between Heaven and Hell is escalating—and Earth is their battleground.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

Hiya guys! I've got a fun one for you today!

I recently participated in an audiobook tour, and now that it's ended and some time has passed, I wanted to share a more candid review of this story! My official review is up and posted, and is super long! This story is just so deep, I couldn't help myself - I've gotta go deeper!

As a reminder, this blog is set up as more of a candid, unofficial place for me to share reviews that I don't want to use as promotional or official material. It's a place for my thoughts, free from the restraints of my otherwise "professional" reviewer badge. I'm not getting anything for the content on this blog, simply sharing my thoughts as I would in a book club or discussion forum.

If you want to avoid spoilers, or want a more "traditional" review, you can check that out on my official review blog here. Otherwise, check out the book, author & narrator, and see what I thought of this story!


 The Secret Life of Anna Blanc
~Released: Nov. 14, 2016

~Author: Jennifer Kincheloe

~Narrator: Moira Quirk

~Length: 12h 44m

~Publisher: Jennifer R. Kincheloe, Ltd 2016

~Genres: Historical, Mystery, Thriller

It's 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals. Determined to break free of the era's rigid social roles, she buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are covering up. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself. 

If the police find out, she'll get fired; if her father finds out, he'll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he'll cancel the wedding.

Anna must choose--either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.

Friday, March 17, 2017

"Mindspeak" Review ~ Friday Fun!

Hiya guys! TGIF! Anyone else loving today? Happy St. Patrick's Day!! Are you wearing green? I know I am!

I've got a new review to share with you today! It's one I actually read for fun, instead of for a tour or R4R request.

That's probably part of what disappointed me so much. =/

Check it out, and see what I thought! This review is an UnPlugged review, which does have spoilers, and a bit deeper look into my thoughts and reactions for the book. It's not meant for professional use or opinions, simply coffee-shop discussing. The one I'm posting on Goodreads & Amazon, is my "plugged in" (professional) review, sans spoilers. You can find that one here.

It is a slightly bummed review, just a heads up. If you'd rather skip this post, please feel free! =)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Why All the High School Drama??
*Review of "The Mind Readers"*

Hiya guys! Been a while since I've posted anything, but I'm starting this blog back up!

As you may or may not know, one of my goals this year is to read a book a week, and get myself back into the habit of reading. Part of that means I am hoping to have a review a week to post here!

Anyway, the book I read last week was one I've been wanting to read for a couple of years, and I love the cover! I just wish I would have enjoyed it as much as I enjoy the cover. =/

The Mind Readers

 The Mind Readers
~ReleasedDecember 7th, 2010

~Length: 238 Pages

~Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Supernatural, Romance

Cameron Winters is a freak. Fortunately, no one but her family knows the truth …that Cameron can read minds. For years Cameron has hidden behind a facade of normalcy, warned that there are those who would do her harm. When gorgeous and mysterious Lewis Douglas arrives he destroys everything Cameron has ever believed and tempts her with possibilities of freedom. Determined to embrace her hidden talents, Cameron heads to a secret haven with Lewis; a place where she meets others like her, Mind Readers.

But as Cameron soon finds out some things are too good to be true. When the Mind Readers realize the extent of Cameron’s abilities, they want to use her powers for their own needs. Cameron suddenly finds herself involved in a war in which her idea of what is right and wrong is greatly tested. In the end she’ll be forced to make a choice that will not only threaten her relationship with Lewis, but her very life.

Check out my review below!