time for (another) rant

Last year, I posted this big rant about one of my indie book reviews being [kind of] censored.  I’m not going to link to it because it turned into a mess, but I’m here today with another rant centered around an indie author. (Not naming her, fyi.)

And it’s worse?

Earlier this year I had the privilege of beta-reading a dystopian trilogy for an indie author whose books I enjoy.  She’s not my favorite indie author, but she’s written some good stuff and created at least one character I really like so I jumped at the chance to help her out in the beta-ing department.  I read all three books, gave her my comments, and that was that.

Until yesterday, when I saw that she’d posted the final book to Goodreads (so it was now available for rating/reviewing).  I added it to my shelves and rated it two stars. 

EXPLANATION: I was stressed yesterday about completely unrelated things.  I was in a hurry to get the book on my shelves, wasn’t really thinking, and since the book left almost no impression on me…I rated it two stars.  I admit that I should have taken more time to think about my rating and maybe leave a short review, but I didn’t. (And, I mean, it’s not like I’m required to by law.)

Later that night, I opened up Facebook Messenger to find a super long message from the author in question.  Why, she asked, did I dare to rate her book only two stars?  If I had issues with it, why didn’t I bring them up when I beta read? (To be completely open with y’all, I pointed out any typos I found when I first read the book and honestly answered all the questions she had for the beta readers.  It’s just that the story/characters didn’t connect with me and I definitely didn’t like it as much as some of her other books.)

“I was planning on offering my beta readers paperback copies in reward for their assistance during the process.  Sorely disappointed I can’t do that for everyone involved now,” she said, passive-aggressively. (Spoiler alert: I’m grateful for the gesture but I have limited shelf space and that offer doesn’t tempt me to raise my rating.)

Still, none of the above would have been enough to prompt this blog post.  Yeah, I’ve bought all of her books and reviewed some and helped her in any way I could and micro-managing reviews and ratings is Bad Form, but…I would have let it go.

Except that she blocked me on Messenger directly after sending the message.

I had a thoughtful response planned out, explaining that I’d not really been thinking and that maybe I could see my way to bumping my rating up to three stars.  But then I tried to send that message and, yeah, it didn’t go through.  I was ‘no longer able to reply to this conversation’.  In one of the most juvenile moves imaginable, she blocked me from her author page’s messaging system so I couldn’t defend myself.

So, yeah.  I’m kind of mad about that.

I’d been reading a different book by the same author and was really enjoying it until all of this happen.  I’ll still finish it, but the whole thing has gone sour for me.  Indie authors, please don’t try to keep your rankings high by following up with every single reader and asking them why they didn’t rate your book higher.  As a reader, I’m not required to post a positive review – or any review.  I’m sure that when I become a published author, I’ll get reviews that will make me shake my head.  But I’m not going to engage.

I’m not quite sure what the point of all this was, except to get my response out there since I couldn’t do it in private.  I’ll probably look back on this post in a couple weeks and roll my eyes because I thought this was such a big deal, but I’m honestly angry right now.


Have you ever had a similar experience with an author (indie or otherwise)?  Or do you have a happy author interaction story to share?  Let me know in the comments!



book review: wooing cadie mccaffrey


After four years with her boyfriend, Cadie McCaffrey is thinking of ending things. Convinced Will doesn’t love her in the “forever” way she loves him, Cadie believes it’s time for her to let him go before life passes her by. When a misunderstanding leads to a mistake, leaving her hurt, disappointed, and full of regret, she finally sends him packing.

But for Will, the end of their relationship is only the beginning of his quest to figure out how to be the man Cadie wanted him to be. With the dubious guidance of his former pro-athlete work friends and tactics drawn from Cadie’s favorite romantic comedies, Will attempts to win her back. It’s a foolproof plan. What could possibly go wrong?


What I was expecting (based on the cover/blurb): a sweet, fluffy, quirky contemporary romance.

What I got: a complicated, honest, heartwarming contemporary romance.

Romance isn’t one of my favorite genres but when the opportunity to review this book came up, I couldn’t pass up the cute cover and a story that centered around classic rom-coms.  Only, it isn’t really?  Rom-coms are definitely integral to the story, but in an almost harmful way and I much prefer the real, human side of Wooing.  If that makes any sense. 

To put it another way, there was enough authentic emotion in this book to make me forgive the gushy, unrealistic romantic stuff.

I liked Cadie, as a heroine.  I liked how she owned up to her mistakes, had a career/knew what she wanted from life, and was vulnerable and open in the moments where it counted.  I struggle with showing my emotions so she was a bit of an inspiration in that regard.  I didn’t like Will as much.  He was kind of pushy?  And a bit insensitive?  But the last couple of chapters went a long way toward clearing up confusion around some of his actions, which was nice.

Overall, I think Wooing Cadie McCaffrey is pretty much the perfect romantic novel: a little serious, a little fun, and a very fast read.  I don’t read the genre a lot but when I pick up a romance novel, I want it to be just like this. ❤

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


the sunshine blogger award!

(Annlyel Online nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award.  Thanks, Annlyel!)



  • Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
  • Answer the questions provided by the nominator.
  • Create eleven questions of your own for tagees.
  • Tag eleven people and notify them. (Skipping this one.  If you like my questions and want to participate, feel free to do so!  I simply don’t have the time right now.)

Annlyel’s Questions:

If you can, which movie is your favorite of all time?

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Ah!  That’s so hard!  I love so many different genres!  My top three current favorites would probably be ‘Mary Poppins Returns’, ‘Batman Begins’, and ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (1960 version, not 2016).  But, honestly, I watch so many movies and I love so many of them…it’s extremely hard to narrow them down.

Have you been to Disney World? If so, what’s your favorite park?

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No, I haven’t.  But it’s a dream of mine because I’m probably one of the most enthusiastic Disney fans out there.

Who’s your favorite Star Wars character?

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another fav.

I haven’t seen many Star Wars movies but my favorite characters, out of the ones I have seen, would either be Jyn Erso or Bodhi Rook.  Jyn reminds me of myself and I like that she’s not your typical heroine.  She has strengths and weaknesses in equal measure and her character arc throughout ‘Rogue One’ is amazing.  And I have a soft spot for Bodhi because a) I feel like he gets very little recognition and b) he was trying SO HARD to do the right thing and it gives me so many feels.

Who’s your favorite Marvel superhero?

“Who’s strong and brave, here to save the American way?”

In other words, CAPTAIN AMERICA.  Forever and always.  He was my first favorite superhero and that’s a place he’ll always hold in my heart.  I know that everyone is freaking out about him in Infinity War and Endgame (no spoilers here, don’t worry!) but sometimes you have to go back to “Is this a test?” and “The right partner” (said with such conviction) and “I’d hate to step on your-“.

I love him so much. ❤

Who’s your favorite DC Comics superhero?

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Nailed it.

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure, pertaining to food?

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Iced capps from Tim Hortons.  They are really fattening but soooooo good. 😛

What city is on your bucket list to visit?

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Dublin, Ireland.  But I think I’d only like to go if I was Irish and didn’t stick out like the gawking tourist I’d totally be.  If that makes sense.

What’s your favorite pastime activity?

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Reading.  I was recently in a bit of a reading slump and I might have said “watching Hallmark movies” but then I read Finale by Stephanie Garber and it was perfect and I love reading again.

Wakanda, Coruscant, or Hogwarts; which of these fictional worlds would you love to visit?

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When I watched Clone Wars (the animated series) I always loved the bits that took place on Coruscant because it looked so cool.  Plus, I’m all about sci-fi stuff, so Coruscant it is. (Though Wakanda is INSANELY awesome.  And sci-fi too.  So idek?)

What’s your favorite novel of all time?

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i’m in love with this poster for the musical.

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.  I’m due for a re-read.

What’s your favorite sporting event?

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Nothing. 😛  I don’t keep up with sports and sporting events.

My questions:

  • Pens or pencils?
  • Fictional death that makes you cry the hardest?
  • Favorite Pixar character?
  • Psych or Monk?
  • What’s your middle name?
  • Last Youtube video you watched? (Only if you want to share, lol.)
  • Weirdest movie you’ve ever seen?
  • Weirdest book you’ve ever read?
  • Horror or comedy?
  • Do you enjoy baking or cooking food?
  • Who’s your favorite classical composer?

Can’t wait to see y’all’s answers! (I honestly feel like answering these questions myself…)


the ‘Name the Cat!’ contest

So, remember how I said I was going to do some kind of giveaway thing to celebrate reaching 400 followers? (402 now, by the way!)  Well, I thought about it quite a bit and couldn’t come up with a good giveaway prize that wasn’t an Amazon gift card because you all have such varying tastes and interests.  I have varying tastes and interests.

But I was thinking about my novel yesterday (The Darkness is Past – working title) and I thought that my main character should have a cat and then I thought “Oh, what should I name it?” and then I thought “Why not make it into a contest?”

So here we are.

the 'Name the Cat!' contest.jpg


-You can submit up to five names through this form.

-Like the form says, identify yourself by a pseudonym so that I’m not biased.  And since I won’t have your email, make sure to check back here in a couple weeks to see if you won the contest.

The contest ends June 25th.

-That’s about it?

Other Important Information:

-My main character is a guy in his mid-twenties who has never owned a pet before.  The cat’s gender/color/breed are undetermined (probably going to be a random stray, tbh) so you can submit male, female, and gender neutral names.  Basically, I’ll pick the one I like most and figure out the cat’s gender after.

-The story world is dystopian America (though my MC finds the cat in Russia).  MC is American himself.  So futuristic sounding names are a good call. 😉 (Though not required.)

-This book is a dystopian retelling of the Apostle Paul’s life, so that might give you a few good ideas.

-Literary reference names are also awesome.


-The name you submitted will be used in the book – obviously. (If, for some reason, the cat ends up getting cut from the story [which I can’t imagine happening, but it could] I will use the name for something else.  Not sure what, but it will be in the book.)

-$5 Amazon gift card!

-An autographed copy of the book sent to you when it’s published. (I don’t know when that will happen, but it will happen and one day you’ll check your mail and there’ll be a mysterious package inside and then you’ll remember winning this contest…)

Contest is open to residents of Canada and the continental US.

That’s about it!  If you have any other questions for me about my main character or whatever, let me know in the comments. 🙂


thanks for a great blogathon!


When Hamlette and I set out to host the D-Day Blogathon, we hoped that we’d get at least some participation…and, man, you guys delivered!  I’ve loved every single post written for this blogathon (and I’m not just saying that).  I learned some new things, teared up over some of the more emotional posts, and overall had a great time commemorating the Normandy landings.  Thanks so much, all of you!


three reasons why ‘the longest day’ is one of the greatest war movies ever made

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Say what you will about the beach scene in ‘Saving Private Ryan’ – for me, the quintessential depiction of the Normandy landings is found in the 1962 film, ‘The Longest Day’.  Based on Cornelius Ryan’s excellent book (seriously, go read it) ‘The Longest Day’ is a three hour epic that spans about, well, a day.  And in honor of the D-Day Blogathon, I thought I’d discuss it a bit.

So here are three things that I think make ‘The Longest Day’ one of the best war movies ever – I hope it encourages you to see it for yourself!


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Cornelius Ryan knew his stuff.  He was a near impeccable researcher and since ‘The Longest Day’ (movie) follows the book almost to the letter, you know that the film is historically accurate.  Real people – both soldiers and civilians – leap from the page to the screen.  You can tell that the director and other ‘behind the scenes’ people did their best to make the landings + everything else look authentic (without stepping over the boundaries of acceptable violence and gore in early 60’s cinema).  You might even forget you’re watching a movie and not a documentary, particularly in some of the beach scenes.


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(Hyperbole?  Maybe.  But it sure feels like the biggest cast.)

This is, like, the Avengers: Endgame of war movies.  If you’re a fan at ALL of actors from the 40’s and 50’s and 60’s, there’s guaranteed to be at least one of your favorites in ‘The Longest Day’. (Unless all your favorite actors are women.)  I’m not going to try to list all the great cast members (American, British, French, and German), especially because it’s always fun to see a familiar face unexpectedly pop up on screen.  I’ll just share this: when my brothers and I were way younger, watching this movie, we’d always call Richard Todd’s character (Major John Howard) “the ‘hold until relieved’ guy”.  We were weird. 😛


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‘The Longest Day’ could have been a flop.  Like I said, it’s three hours long.  It doesn’t have a main character to root for (though you do end up getting attached to plenty of the characters).  It’s told almost in a vignette-style.  And certainly there have been war movies half the length of this one that drag.  But ‘The Longest Day’ manages to hold your interest from the first moment to the last.  It’s a towering achievement of pacing, star power, and earnestness because this is A Story That Needs To Be Told.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re in for an immersive experience – I hope you enjoy it.

Have you ever seen ‘The Longest Day’?  What’s your favorite war movie?


the D-Day Blogathon is HERE!


Today is the first day of the D-Day Blogathon, commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Normandy landings during WWII.  I’m co-hosting this blogathon with Hamlette – we’re going to have a good time with this and hope you do, too.  My thoughts about ‘The Longest Day’ (1962) will be coming later this week (#excited).  Until then, read through some of the other blogathon posts and, if you’ve written one yourself, comment with the link and I’ll add you to the roster. (Or you can comment on Hamlette’s blog – either works!)

Blogathon Participants

It’s important to remember these historical events and I’m so glad you’ve decided to join us.  I can’t wait to read all of your posts. ❤