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“Fatal” by Fred Colton

Fatal

If you don’t know who Pace Warner is, you are seriously missing out. If you are like me and have always wondered what it would be like to put action scenes into words, this is for you. Colton has some sort of sniper experience for sure. Only someone who has been one or observed one or talked to one can describe it from the first person point of view. The only downside to this book is it is so short. You get to the last page and you’re like, “Nooo, that’s it?! Tell me more!” The length is not really a downside at all though, as all good things must come to an end and it leaves you wanting more. I’m not going to say anyone can enjoy this book, but I will say anyone who’s watched an action/thriller film or is in any way remotely interested in this genre will enjoy this book. As previously mentioned, I haven’t read nearly as many thriller books as the average thriller fan, but I don’t care about numbers. If you are a thriller fan, you have got to check out Colton. Plus, if you have read The Colony, this will give you the backstory. Who doesn’t love backstories?

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“The Singles Game” by Lauren Weisberger

The Singles Game

I don’t know what it’s like to be a professional tennis player, but Lauren Weisberger’s The Singles Game is what I imagine it to be like. I have to admit though, I think the title has a double meaning. The first thing that came to mind was love and relationships and not just because Cosmopolitan recommended this read. I had to look closer at the cover a second time to see it was about tennis.

I loved The Devil Wears Prada so I went in with great expectations. It is safe to say Weisberger delivered with this one as well. It could be made into a movie if she wanted. You can tell she did her research.

It turns out it was about tennis and relationships at the same time, so maybe that was her intention all along. It’s a very fluffy story, but I liked learning about the behind-the-scenes in tennis and seeing just how Todd Feltner was like a male version of Miranda Priestly. It’s basically a story about a girl named Charlotte “Charlie” Silver who devoted her whole life to tennis and really wants to be number one, but once she makes the decision to sacrifice everything outside of tennis for the sake of winning, she realizes she wants all the real people back, like her former coach Marcy and her hitting partner Dan, and not the celebrities who only add glitter to her life, something sparkly that later lands and creates a huge mess.

Like Andy Sachs, Charlie is a determined girl. She is willing to change her whole image into this “warrior princess” type to not only please Feltner, but to realize her ultimate goal. But like any person who’s ever chased a dream so hard it hurts, Charlie comes to her senses and focuses on staying true to her heart and to the people who helped her do just that.

The story is simple, but it’s a fun read to be enjoyed at any time.

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“Luckiest Girl Alive” by Jessica Knoll

Luckiest

Book Riot recommended this novel via their YouTube channel several months ago and I ended up picking up my copy at the airport on the way to Cancún. I finished it within the week I spent on vacation last Thanksgiving with my parents. Yes, even while in Cancún, the novel grabbed my attention enough for me to make time to find out how it ends.

Where do I begin? I don’t want to say, “it’s sooooooo good,” and sound so basic, if you will, for lack of a better word, but that is one way to describe it. Now I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before and I haven’t searched my own blog to check, but thrillers are not my favorite thing to read or watch. Needless to say, I made an exception for this book. That black rose on the cover intrigued me, to say the least, in a way that I was drawn to the idea that pretty things like pretty girls have not just a layer of dark secrets, but a layer of ugly. This layer is hidden underneath, waiting to be pulled back. So you see, I had to turn the pages to find what I was looking for, especially when the back cover claimed this girl had the perfect life.

Spoiler alert: she did not. But she does break it down to you slowly what happened in her past, using flashbacks and jumping back and forth between the past and the present. When she gets to the “aha!” moment, you feel so bad for what happened to her, her secret layer, you wish no girl has to ever go through what she went through as a teen and you wonder if a girl like her is really lucky to be alive. But then again, if she had not survived, there’d be no girls out there who could lend a voice to all the other girls out there who experienced the same kind of horror.

Because you see, this book may have been fiction, and I have never met the author or was present in her life when she was younger, but there is some raw truth in here that if you have not gone through what she has gone through you would want to listen and reach out.

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“The Colony” by Fred Colton

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Watch out for Fred Colton. This guy is a beast in the thriller world of words and takes Word Hustler to a whole new level with his debut novel, The Colony. As someone who hasn’t read many thrillers, I found this one to have a “Mission Impossible” and “007” vibe that brings the big screen onto the page. I want to be best friends with some of these people, ones who run super fast in space and get face transplants to turn into an exact copy of another person and run around on the moon and deceive the government and…trust me, you just have to read the book to find out if America or China wins when it comes to colonizing up there.

Not going to lie. There are a lot of characters and a lot going on that sometimes makes it hard to keep track of everything, but this may just be a personal thing for me as well as I tend to have trouble keeping up with the haps with books with many characters. This is still kudos to Colton, though, as he seems knowledgeable about the technology, the space terms, and how politics and the government would run such a hypothetical global future so boy did his research for sure.

I could see Colton took aspects of his love of running in his real life into this story. I enjoyed the backstory about the brothers, Tom and Kyle, and the surprise at the end when it all comes together, truly a mesh of imagination, creativity, and reality at its best.

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in fashion

Screw it all. You try to eat healthy and exercise to stay in shape and then you lose out on writing time. You try to maximize your writing time by setting goals and meeting a word count every day and then you lose out on staying in shape. It’s one or the other. You can’t please everybody or you’ll turn into a donkey. I’ll just get fat and TB and write the best novel I have written in a long time and then croak and only become famous posthumously because I couldn’t do it all. That’s in right now, isn’t it?

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My second author reading ever

I wanted to share with you guys my second author reading ever. It was at Orr Street Studios in downtown Columbia, MO and it was on February 17, 2015. It was part of their Hearing Voices Seeing Visions event and I remember we had a huge snowstorm right before. I sold a couple of books that night and one guy from the audience came up to me and gave me a hug after. I was so nervous I could barely look at the audience. (I was also a bit emotional as this was right before I moved to Kansas City, MO and I was cleaning out my apartment and all that jazz that comes with saying good-bye to friends.) I read from my debut YA novel, “Oil in the Wok” and my Seventeen short story, “Team Bonding.” This is not the whole reading and you’ll probably need to turn the volume up to hear it, but it’s a taste of what my first baby sounds like.