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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.

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“Fangirl” thoughts

It’s been a minute since I last made a YouTube video, but I didn’t want to leave out my third and last BTR review from my first set. I’m not sure if I’m going to make this into a tradition of some sort and keep making BTR videos or I’m just going to review books as I read them. We shall see. But as usual, I stuck to my crazy writer talking self and just let my raw ramble loose.

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Fred Colton’s New Story Is Out

Oops! He did it again. Books are just flying out his fingers these days.

Fred Colton

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I made some more stuff up and now it’s a story. You can get it right here. Tell your friends. Especially if they have a Kindle.

What it is:

Fatal. It’s an action-thriller set in the near future. One of the leads of my first book,The Colony, is a Marine-turned-vigilante named Pace Warner. Fatal is his story, and the prequel to The Colony.

If The Colony was a summer blockbuster then Fatal is a short film. Technically I guess it’s a novella, because it’s 16,000 words, but I hate the word novella.

In this story Pace goes to Juba, South Sudan to assassinate a warlord who’s staging a bloody coup in the region. Does it work? Does he succeed? Man, I can’t tell you. But I can promise you sniper rifles and drones and explosions and a battalion of soldiers who get very, very angry at him…

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