Lenni Reviews: “Birthday Presents” by Dianne Hartsock

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+.

Murderer and rapist Crimson has had Kyle a prisoner for 7 months and his brother, Gene, a police officer, is determined to find the killer before his brother is found dead like so many others.

Well, this is ‘trigger warning the book.’ It is NOT an easy read. There are graphic depictions of torture, rape, child abuse, trauma… But I can’t slam the book or lower my rating because of that. Crimson is a damaged, sadistic monster and I don’t get the feeling I was supposed to be titillated by his actions. The entire time I was reading, I was hooked on how or if Crimson was ever going to be caught and if his victims would be saved. In that, I have to say this book succeeded. I may have predicted certain plot points right away but overall; if you can’t take the mature content or it is triggering for you, don’t read this. You will not be happy. As for me, I give it a 3.8 for the thriller elements that kept me going.

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Lenni Reviews: “Cat Zero” by Jennifer L. Rohn

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for mature readers.

*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.

Artemis “Artie” Marshall is a genius scientist studying feline viruses in a stuffy university. As she struggles to be taken seriously by many of her peers, a mysterious and virulent new virus surfaces; a virus so strong, it kills both cats and humans in a matter of days. It’s a race against time to find a treatment or cure even if it risks her own life in the face of a deeper conspiracy.

The best parts of this book are when Artemis and her team are actively working on the disease. Outside of her intellectual pursuits, Artemis comes off as too perfect. She’s just the prettiest, everyone wants to be her friend, no man can resist her charms, blah, blah, blah… Those scenes made me want there to be more dire circumstances around the virus so there would be no time for the side stories. I thought this would be a Contagion-like medical thriller but it all just fizzled out. More attention was paid to Artie’s anxiety about being alone – good character development, yes, but it didn’t play into the medical parts of the plot enough for me to feel like my time reading about it was invested wisely. In the end, I felt cheated despite how compelling the blurb and the premise are. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Thorns of the Past” by Gun Brooke

 

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Former police detective turned private investigator and security guard Darch Flynn is hired to protect Sabrina Hawk, an accountant who has a starker demanding information from her and threatening her. A past assault has left Sabrina with a poor opinion of law enforcement and Darcy has to hide the fact she left the force in disgrace all while Sabrina’s stalkers close in on them.

This book wasn’t bad. The romance between Darcy and Sabrina is good but it is SUPER sappy and had me cringing at the dialogue sometimes. I did enjoy how a relationship of necessity became something more as the story went on. I did, however, have the ‘mystery’ pegged pretty early on so I was sat there waiting for the characters to catch up. It’s all written well enough that I wasn’t annoyed or bored on the way to the climax but overall this book is just ok. 3.7 out of 5.

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New Short Story Cover Reveal

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Long ago in a submission call far away, I wrote a lesbian thriller story. A nice clean one, not like Sunburn (also at Amazon, B&N, and Kobo and SUPER 18+). While I did get accepted, I never did hear anything back about when the collection would come out and well, it’s been a very long time.

I rediscovered this story while going through some folders on my flash drive to clean some junk files out. When I saw this I felt it was just a shame that it was sitting there doing nothing so, it has a shiny new cover and some new edits.

Am I counting this towards my one story a month goal? Yes, yes I am. Because I did have to re-edit the whole thing and that pretty cover cost me some coin. I know I did say the goal was a finished story every month but not publishing every month but hey, I need the cash and people need more stories!

I hope you enjoy and leave a review.

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You could have heard about this earlier! Patrons get updates sooner than they appear on this blog! 😀

Lenni Reviews: “Iron Goddess” by Dharma Kelleher

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*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.

Reformed ex-con Shea Stevens has left a family history of crime behind her. Now the owner of Iron Goddess bike shop, Shea is content to build custom bikes, run her business, and enjoy her new relationship with her girlfriend. Things get complicated when not only is her shop robbed; an employee is shot, and her sister, Wendy, shows up after a decade of estrangement begging for help because her daughter has been kidnapped. Old ties come back to cause Shea much more trouble than just a couple stolen bikes.

I gotta say, this book was badass. There are straight, gay, and trans characters and they are people first. Their gender or sexuality are not used as tools to advance the plot, it is simply part of who they are as a complete character; not stereotypes at all.

Even though the motorcycle gangs were over the top with their racism, sexism, and at times an overt lack of logic, I’m not going to claim any knowledge of gang culture to call the book out on its portrayal of them. Overall, Shea was a believable character making the best of a shitty situation and everything works out as best she can manage without getting killed. A non-stop ride from start to finish, I give this book a 4 out of 5.

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And now, we wait.

I sent in the query for the lesbian thriller anthology today. Even though you’re supposed to query with the idea first before beginning work on the story, I personally felt better having it nearly complete beforehand. Even if the idea is a bust with the editor, I still have a story I can use elsewhere. I have a few final edits to make but I’m holding off to hear from the editor.

I’ve been getting back to work on GH and having a complete ball with it. It’s SO much fun working on it again, I can’t even tell you. XD Of course getting another 5 star review on Dreamhunter doesn’t hurt, either. 😉

I also have become enamored with this video:

As a fan of Gaga and Judas Priest, I had a complete fangirlgasm. It’s really well done. 0.0

Won’t some generous fan make a fanvid or fanfic of my characters one day? A girl can dream… 😉

One step down! And more on those crazy books.

The typed rough draft of the lesbian thriller entry is complete!! MwahaHA!!

Oh, it needs so much editing it’s not even funny; but it’s there and I’m happy. ^_^ Because I can work on Greenhouse again! YAYZ!

But looking at how things are going I may be able to submit on Saturday.  If I’ve learned anything is that I’m not exactly the best at writing mysteries/thrillers/noir-thingz but that could change if I ever decided to do another one.

If I do? There will be dragons in it or SOMETHING!!

On a slightly less productive note, I finished my first foray in to 10 Fantasy Sagas That Are Wronger Than Twilight with The Cat’s Fancy and yeah, typical romance. Nothing overtly horrid. Nothing to see here. I also finished Pleasure Unbound, by Larissa Ione and, again, another ‘meh’ on the "wrong" factor scale. I mean, I can see where someone who hasn’t read supernatural romance may be put off by the "Wow, it’s page 5 and they’re screwing already cause he’s an incubus but she’s just had her guts stitched back together" thing but after about 10 of these, you expect it. Especially if you’ve written and read about incubi before. It’s as if a shark bit you, it’s what they DO: Have sex with women. Give me an incubus who’s made a vow of celibacy. Now THAT would be odd.

Now I’m reading Touched by Venom, by Janine Cross and already we’ve got people getting high on dragon venom and whipping each other with their junk hanging out so I’m already heading towards "What have I done to my brain" territory. Not quite. That’s reserved for the Beauty books. XD Yes, I will keep linking back to that and YES, there are spoilers for the series there.

As for my Mom, things are still going the same. It’s day by day, week by week. So, there really is no sense being overly depressed about it. She’s here NOW and that’s what matters. 🙂

Better get back to work then, eh? Time waits for no one! 😀

De-lurking? Maybe…

Since I seem to be meeting so many interesting people on Twitter, I’m going to really try and comment on more of their blogs. I’ve added a good chunk of my Twitter follower’s blogs to my Google reader and if you see a comment from some crazy chick named "Lenni" do not me alarmed. It’s my lame assed attempt to be social.

Other than that, I am still working on my second novel for the First Brood series and the lesbian thriller for that anthology query. I am also thinking about posting the rejected steampunk lesbian story I wrote. I still get a kick about an anthology out there for a concept I was already working on, but it’s awesome that it’s out there even if I’m not a part of it. ^_^

I think a LOT about types of characters which are underrepresented or represented poorly. Where are the bisexual, biracial, career women who are in stable relationships? And I don’t think of this just cause I wanna see more people like myself, I really think there’s a terrible stigma against bisexuals to this day. It sucks, but it’s there.

So, I guess that’s my indie writer’s advice of the day: If you don’t see enough of it? Write it. XD

Now, back to work for me. 😉