Thursday, December 6, 2018

"The Silk Swan" Review & Giveaway!

Hiya peeps! I've got an interesting post today, featuring the third in a trilogy I've already reviewed.

These books are fitting for anyone who enjoys historical fiction. One focuses on the lives of two people living in 20th century NYC, and how their lives unfold for a time. The second is the sequel, where this couple join a few others in dealing with the post Pearl Harbor bombing, as the U.S. enters WWII.

Be sure to check them out, and see my review for each book below! =D

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

"Control Freakz" by Michael Evans!

Hiya peeps! Today, I'm reviewing a dystopian adventure, written by a 15 year old debut author! Check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments below! =D

Control Freakz

~Author: Michael Evans

~Released: October 3rd 2017

~Publisher: Palmetto Publishing Group

~Length: 278

~Genres: Dystopian, Sci-Fi

Alone. Abandoned. Threatened. Natalie has lost all hope for a better future. Everything she’s known and everyone she’s ever loved is gone, and it’s up to her to get her old life back. In Michael Evans’s first novel, Control Freakz, Natalie’s journey toward a better life begins. 

When Protocol 00 is enacted, Natalie’s family is taken by the government, along with the families of her two best friends, Ethan and Hunter. With nothing to lose, and the threat of government hitmen kidnapping them at any moment, the three must battle to survive in a horrid, post-apocalyptic world run by President Ash and his invasive government. They want answers. And they’re willing to jeopardize everything in desperate pursuit. 

Risking ruthless leaders, attempted mind control, and her very existence on the planet, Natalie, along with Hunter and Ethan, will stop at nothing in their quest to regain everything they’ve ever known. Her spirits crushed and her will to live destroyed, Natalie knows everything is dead and gone, and soon she will be, too. 

Memories connect us to the past, and can often cause us to long for a better future, but they can drive our minds into a state of hell if a better future is unattainable. Nevertheless, Natalie’s hope for a better a future remains.

 My Review


Could be a great story, if not a little cliche.

Dystopian novels are very popular at the moment, and seem to be a dime a dozen. I enjoy many of them, but if there isn't something that pops out to make it unique, it ends up leaving me somewhat unsatisfied. Unfortunately, this book falls into the latter category. It isn't a bad story by any means, and was still entertaining, which is why I'm going with 3 1/2 roses.

The plot was good, with a fair mix of action, adventure, suspense, and setup. It was laid out fairly well, and I didn't notice many plot holes or hiccups. There was an obvious sense of growth and change as the plot progressed, and while it ended in a way that I probably wouldn't have gone with, it was interesting. I think it may be a soft setup for a sequel, but it felt unclear, so it may be able to be a stand alone without solid closure.

The characters were fairly well developed, with unique personalities and individual quirks. I enjoyed the main character alright, and her side kicks were entertaining. I felt as though there needed to be either a fourth character with a lighter personality to round them all out, although that is simply personal preference - I enjoy seeing characters with dramatically different personality traits to bounce off each other. These three weren't bad though, and did a fair job of carrying the reader through the story.

The writing wasn't bad, especially for a fifteen-year-old teenager. Had I been unaware of the author's age before reading, I would have assumed a college student, at least. The style was contemporary, while still painting clear scenes of a dystopian future, without being too wordy or getting lost in arbitrary details.

Overall, I see good things coming out of this author, and will be following his future works. This book was entertaining, and while I don't see myself making this a "read multiple times" book, I'm thankful to the author for the chance to have read it for a review. I would recommend it to fans of dystopian adventures, and believe it could be entertaining for the vast majority of its readers.

*I was given a complimentary eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

@Desert Rose Reviews

Do you enjoy dystopian novels? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for visiting! Have a fantastic day!

Keep creating! =D

Friday, July 6, 2018

First Movie Review!
"Stick It"

Hiya peeps! I'm super excited today, because it's my first movie review on DRR! I have previously shared this review on my UnPlugged blog, and since it's in my top 3 favorite films of all time, I thought it only fitting to cross-post it here, to kick off the movie reviews on this blog.

So, without further adieu, here we go!

Stick It

 Stick It (IMDb)

~ReleasedApril 28th, 2006

~Written & Directed byJessica Bendinger

~GenresComedy, Drama, Sport

~Plot (from IMDb):

After a run-in with the law, Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym) is forced to return to the world from which she fled some years ago. Enrolled in an elite gymnastics program run by the legendary Burt Vickerman (Jeff Bridges), Haley's rebellious attitude gives way to something that just might be called team spirit.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

"The Coyote: A Motivational Novel" by Steven Georgiou!

Hiya peeps! Today I'm sharing a children's novel - full novel, yes - with you. It's a wonderful motivational story. Check it out, and be sure to leave a comment below!

The Coyote: A Motivational Novel

The Coyote
~Author: Steven Georgiou

~ReleasedNovember 5th 2017

~Length: 219 Pages

~Genres: Children's, Inspirational, Fantasy

Many years ago, a young coyote named Raki was a confident fearless animal, who lived in a mysterious desert. But as he grew up due to his father’s strict ways and conditioning, Raki changed into a cowardly miserable coyote!

Time passes, and now a shadow of his former courageous self, dangerous times have occurred as evil wolves take away Raki’s family!

So it is up to the now cowardly coyote along with his loyal lizard friend to venture across the treacherous desert, to save his kind, and discover his destiny along the way!

A motivational and heart-warming tale, portraying that who we really are deep down is incredibly powerful, and through great adversity you can accomplish almost anything!

“I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You, I Love You”

Written by Steven Georgiou, a London born and raised entrepreneur of Greek Cypriot heritage. This is first novel.

Friday, June 29, 2018

"From Wrath to Ruin" by Justin Enos!

Hiya peeps!! I'm excited to share this amazing adventure with you! If you enjoy dystopian, fantasy, or just good old fashioned adventures, be sure to check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

From Wrath to Ruin

 From Wrath to Ruin
~Author: Justin Enos

~Released: April 26th, 2017

~Length: 386 Pages

~Genres: Fantasy, Dystopian

In exile from his homeland... 

As a mercenary, Tijodrin has wandered far and wide, and now his travels have brought him to the great city of Hohvenlor, a city he knows well. He quickly finds himself caught up in a fierce rivalry that threatens to destroy two powerful merchant families and turn the streets of Hohvenlor into a battlefield. 
Within the city walls, Tijodrin will find danger in many forms. Can he survive 
the endless plots of the vengeful merchants and the swords of their bloodthirsty henchmen, as well as the lurking daggers of the shadowy assassin's guild?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Illustrated Comic Book Style Adventure
"Four Color Bleed" by Ryan McSwain!

Hiya peeps! Any super-hero or comic book fans here? I certainly am! Check out this awesome illustrated novel all about comic books, super-heroes, and adventure, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Four Color Bleed

 Four Color Bleed
~Author: Ryan McSwain
~Released: August 31st 2017

~Publisher: Pithos Publishing

~Length: 437 Pages

~Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy

Four Color Bleed is a novel about comic books, nostalgia, and the nature of reality. Featuring illustrations by Rian Gonzales, Weshoyot Alvitre, Ben Zmith, Morgan Perry (aka Geauxta), Ben Cohen, Kevin Kelly, Adam Prosser, and Chris “Chance!” Brown. 

Ralph Rogers was the darling of the comic book industry, a teenage artist who’d taken the world by storm. He had it all, until a high-profile scandal left him in disgrace. Years later, his reputation in tatters, Ralph has fallen into an obsession with the legendary lost comics of Pithos Publishing—a shadowy company that vanished into the fog of time. As he uncovers the mystery of Pithos, the curtain unravels between his own mundane life and a fantastic version of reality. Ralph suddenly has everything he’s ever wanted: He’s a celebrity, a beloved artist, and he’s been reunited with the girl of his dreams. But soon this new paradigm turns deadly, and Ralph must fight for his life in a land where the impossible is commonplace, where caped heroes rule the sky, and where the villainous Ocularist will stop at nothing to conquer the world.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

"Run from a Shadow" by Ruth Callick!

Hiya peeps! Check out this new adult action adventure! Set in the late 60s, it's entertaining and suspenseful.

Let me know what you think in the comments below! =D

Run from a Shadow

 Run From Shadows
~Author: Ruth Callick

~Released: November 6th, 2016

~Length: 232 Pages

~Genres: New Adult, Action, Adventure 

It is 1969 when two young boys approach Casey Hammond in the airport, alone and scared and lost in a country not their own. She agrees to help them get to their uncle—but she has no idea of the danger and intrigue she will soon encounter. 

It seems there are foreign nationals in pursuit of the children, which risks the safety of the entire group. When an arrogant but handsome young man comes to their rescue, she soon learns he is the children’s older cousin. He has volunteered to become their protector as they attempt to get the children safely to their uncle. More quickly than she could have imagined, Casey soon finds herself growing attached to the two children—and their attractive, warmhearted cousin. 

In this thrilling romance, set in the sixties, a young woman sets out to help two children defecting from a communist country—and falls in love along the way. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

"No Man's Land" by Hervey Copeland!

Hiya peeps! I've got a gritty action novel for you guys today. Check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments below! =D

No Man's Land

 No Man's Land
~Author: Hervey Copeland

~Released: November 2nd, 2016

~Length: 143 Pages

~Genres: Adult Fiction, Adventure, Action, Suspense

Author Mark La Croix has left the hustle and bustle of the city and is leading a quiet life in a cabin, deep inside the Colorado Rockies. While working on his latest novel, he makes a gruesome discovery and uncovers secrets that some would want to remain dead and buried.

Soon Mark becomes a target and is forced to run for his life. The nearest town is thirty miles away, and the only way to escape is through the forest. The people chasing him are hot on his heels, and will stop at nothing to prevent him from getting out of the wilderness alive.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Musical Monday ~ "Why" by NF

Hiya dudes! I'm so friggin' excited for today's post! I've mentioned the last few months how I'm going to be expanding the areas of reviews I post here, and music has been a major area I want to start sharing reviews. I haven't known where to start though, because believe it or not, I love music even more than I love books, which is definitely saying something.

An artist I've followed for a couple of years just dropped a new song yesterday though, and it seems like the perfect opportunity to jump into music reviews, because this song is amazing, just like the artist. He is a rapper (yes, I listen to rap), so if you're not a fan of rap, feel free to skip this post - I'll be posting more song and artist reviews from other genres soon. For today though, it's all about NF. So, here we go.

Some of you may have heard of NF, especially from a couple of his songs on the radio, namely "Let You Down" or "Therapy Session" or even "No Name" all of which I have posted below.

His newest song, just released yesterday, is titled "Why" and it's amazing. If you'd like to give it a listen, check out the video, and my review below.

NF has captivated me with his lyrics and passion for years. I've listened to every song he's released, even before he was NF. I almost hate when a good artist becomes well known and "famous" because they often lose their spark, or change to appease their labels or fans. With NF's album Therapy Session, I began to worry he wouldn't be able to grow well, and would become another Eminem, unable to keep himself real and honest, in the moment, instead of stuck in the past.
This song proves to me, NF is growing well. While it's slightly less passionate and energetic as some of his other popular songs, as it stands, I think it's a good one. This is how an artist should grow, both as an individual, and a musician. I am immensely proud of this song, and the path he's taking, so far. The raw honesty of it is in line with his past work, and shows where he's at, even after the money and the recognition.

The video is simple, showing the various layers he's in mentally as well as in his life at the moment. Balloons from celebrating, but black because if feels fake. "Lies" written on the wall, as well as in the lyrics repeatedly, show how he's feeling as well as his struggle. The sword shows he's wanting to fight the challenges, but doesn't know where to begin or how to go about it, especially as he sits in the chair in a pose of pondering frustration.
Both the lyrics and video are well done, showing the depth of his struggle, and keeping himself honest and raw. This has always been his greatest talent as an artist, and I hope he keeps it as he continues to grow. I expect his next few songs to be equally as energetic and thoughtful, and can't wait to see what he puts out next.

Obviously, you guys, I love NF. If you didn't know, he's a Christian rapper, in that he is a rapper who happens to be Christian, not that he raps about being a Christian. While it is an element to a few songs, it's simply part of his life, just as much as his mother dying or the drugs she took, his rough childhood, or his desire to find himself and not give up on his dreams.

If you're a fan of rap, check him out - I'd be surprised if you don't end up liking him quite a bit.
If you're not a fan of rap, like I said earlier, I'll be reviewing other artists soon.
If you have songs or artists you'd like me to review, drop a comment below, and I'll check it out!

Thanks for visiting! Have a great day! =D

Keep creating, & God bless!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Middle Grade Adventure Novel
"The Adventures of Warren Steadmill" by Jeremy F. Rosenberg!

Hiya peeps! I've got a fun middle grade adventure novel to share with you today. This is a year old last week, and a story I think a lot of young readers would enjoy.

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

The Adventures of Warren Steadmill

 Adventures of Warren Steadmill

~Released: July 6th, 2017

~Length: 357 Pages

~Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure, Coming-Of-Age

You’re probably asking yourself: Why did Warren Steadmill leave his life of wealth and comfort, and how did he become Fortune Island’s most beloved folk hero? The question has fascinated scholars for decades. Well, Warren’s love for the tablemaker’s daughter led to him becoming the apprentice of her psychotic father, which led to him undertaking a sea voyage that was immediately attacked by pirates, which in turn led to him and a team of roguish actors infiltrating the crumbling castle of a madman, and later trying to stop said madman from taking over the country with an army of masked mercenaries. Along the way (or so scholars have determined) Warren encountered a loquacious traveling salesman, unusually persistent innkeepers, unexpected steampunk weirdness, heartfelt correspondence, political upheaval, a tale of a villainous bear, and various and sundry sisters, fairies, witches, nannies, dandies, inventors, and assorted indescribable lunatics, all chronicled with great fanfare in The Adventures of Warren Steadmill, which attempts to explain all of this in a picaresque coming-of-age romantic comedy fantasy adventure story that probably doesn’t really explain anything at all and in all likelihood will just keep the scholars guessing for a few decades more. 

Fortune Island’s most beloved tall tale springs to life in this achingly heartfelt, hilarious tome filled with wonder, whimsy, and adverbs. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Intense Psychological Thriller
"Pages in the Wind" by Sally Saylor De Smet!

Hiya Peeps! I've got an intense novel to share with you guys today, definitely not for the faint of heart. This isn't a light read, but it will be one that sticks with you for a very long time.

Check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Pages in the Wind

 Pages in the Wind
~Author: Sally Saylor De Smet

~Released: September 10th, 2017

~Publisher: Greenly Publishing

~Length: 401 Pages

~Genres: Young Adult, New Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

After the brutal murder of her father, Emily Quinn finds herself detained at the San Francisco County Jail, charged with first-degree murder for a crime she cannot remember.

Emily’s mother, a wealthy socialite, quickly distances herself from her troubled daughter, but in an attempt to salvage the family name, hires world-renowned psychiatrist, Daniel Lieberman, to assist in Emily’s defense. The famed doctor, an aging, lonely psychiatrist with an addiction to sugar, caffeine, and understanding the human mind, quickly becomes sympathetic to Emily and her tortured childhood.

Together, Lieberman and Emily explore the frightening and twisted world of her damaged psyche, uncovering the complex reasons behind the young woman’s self-hatred and disconnected self-image.

They develop an abiding partnership, weaving through unexpected revelations and disturbing secrets. Of particular interest to the doctor is Emily’s strange attachment to the imaginary girls she sketches—and is driven to personify.

The secrets hidden in Emily’s mind could help with her defense—or confirm the death penalty case against her. But Lieberman senses other secrets hide within the patient’s mind, particularly the events surrounding the unexplained death of her twin sister, Penelope.

A gripping, twisting tale of psychological intrigue, Pages in the Wind enters the mostly uncharted realm of the human mind, seeking truth buried deep within Emily’s subconscious. Lieberman can help her uncover her past, but Emily is the one who has to face it—or remain damaged forever.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Sup Y'all? May Update!

Hiya! Thought it was a good time for an update. 

My post last month was refreshing, and I've been planning some awesome new material. I've mentioned recently that I plan to review things other than just books on this site, because it isn't just a book blog. I have one of those - this is my review site. So pretty soon, I'll be venturing into reviews of all sorts of things, including (but not limited to) music, movies, jewelry, food, products, and anything else I think may benefit others.

I'll still be sharing my book reviews here as well, but if you're not interested in seeing reviews of all those other interests, please follow my book blog. I'll be cross-posting my book reviews there, as well as sharing book events, author interviews, giveaways, and any book-loving fun things I can come up with!

If you do enjoy reviews of various things, and know someone who may enjoy the site as well, please share! I'm excited about this new project, and can't wait to see what happens next!

Hope you're all having a great start to the Summer! Any fun plans?

Ciao for now,


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Blog Update: I'm Not Going Anywhere

Hiya guys and dolls! 

After giving myself a couple weeks to chill out, step back, and figure out what I want to do, I think I'm finally there. I'm not going anywhere. My love of books will never die, and I absolutely love reviewing.

I started this blog because I love reading, I love helping authors, and I love reviewing. I've put a lot of energy into this thing, and I'm no where near done.

Amazon sucks - I think we can all agree on that. But to let them kill my entire blog and all the work I've done would be tragic - they're acting like bullies, and the worst thing I could do, is let them push me completely away. They're one company, and that's it. I don't like bullies, and while they may have made me an angry little hornet for a few weeks, I'm glad to be done with them & their stupid rules.

This whole thing actually turned out to be a good thing (as most everything always ends up). So many of you have reached out to me in various ways, and have shown me support as a reviewer I haven't gotten much of the last year or so. That takes a toll, and when everything else adds onto that, it becomes a hot mess.

To those of you who reached out to me and showed me support, I do truly appreciate it. 

Many of you commented how reviewers don't tend to get much support, esp considering how much they give to authors, and without sounding terrible, I think that's been part of my problem. We don't get the same kind of support we give, so after a while, it gets overwhelming.

When that happens, at least for me, I have to take a step back and remind myself why I'm doing this. For the love of books, and the awesome feeling it gives me to truly help someone else. I tend to bite off more than I can chew, or in this case, plan for a work schedule that changed on me, but I still tried to keep that same pace. Didn't work out that way, and I need to give myself permission to adjust - hopefully authors will understand, and if not, well, what can I do. I'm a volunteer, not an employee. I needed to remember that.

With that said, I am going to keep moving forward, but I am going to make a few changes to how I do things. Mainly, I'm tossing out my schedule, and replacing it with a flexible one. I will do my best to read several books a week, and will get everything done as quickly as I am able, but I'm not going to kill myself trying to get reviews done immediately, because with me, I end up stealing time I should be giving to other projects.

Some of you know and some of you don't, but I'm an author myself, and that needs to be a priority. Aside from that though, I also help run two small businesses, as well as a pet rescue, and all that takes up quite a bit of my time, as it should. We all have a lot going on, but I think it's important for me to at least throw it out there.

I will put up my reviews wherever the book is listed/I'm able to, obviously, and each book I review will still have a permanent post on this blog. I will still accept reviews, and I'll do my best to hit release dates or special dates authors mention, but I'm not committing to any specific "I'll have it done by this date" agreements any more. I just can't, with so many other things, this has to be a side hobby I do for fun. This isn't a job, I don't get paid, and the jobs I have that do pay my bills need to take priority.

So, hopefully we're all good to go. If you're an author waiting for a review from me, I do apologize for the inconvenience of having to wait, but it is what it is. If we've agreed to a review date, I'll still do my best to keep it, but I can't make any promises. One way or another, you'll get a review, I'm at least sure of that much.

To everyone who's stuck with me, supported me, loves books, and loves authors, I appreciate you more than you know. I'm glad to have had the chance to re-evaluate this blog and reorganize myself, because I'll be moving forward far more healthy and capable of supporting the authors I love. A big part of even wanting to keep going, is because of you awesome folks, so thank you. You guys are awesome, and it was super sweet of you.

Looking forward to reading a ton of great new books!!

Be sure to follow me here, on social media (facebook & twitter), and follow my book blog for more fun book-lovin' fun!

Thanks for visiting!

Have a fantastic day! =D

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What Now?

Hey guys and dolls. This post is going to be messy, but honestly, it's where I'm at right now, and you guys deserve some sort of explanation before I just disappear. That is, if you even give a shit. Right now, I doubt many do.

Honestly, I haven't been settled at all the past week, on what I'm going to do. As a reviewer with any sort of worth and good standing reputation, it's almost mandatory to post reviews on Amazon. I can't do that now.

Yes, I could make a new account specifically for leaving reviews, but honestly, without re-writing all my reviews so they don't end up being noticed and flagged again, I'll be setting myself up for the exact same headache after spending countless hours putting them all back up. To me, that seems massively impractical.

I honestly don't know if there is any point in authors going through me for reviews. Most authors make it clear they're only interested in an Amazon review, and anywhere else is just gravy. Maybe it'll just clear those authors out? I don't know.

As a reviewer and book lover, I'm seriously lost. This has been such a big part of my life for over 5 years. Do I quit? Is my business dead in the water from one egotistical company?

I still don't know, tbh. My normal mode of operating is to simply keep moving forward, and don't give up. It's more of a headache, and would mean more awkward conversations with future authors, as I explain why they won't see my review on Amazon, but is it worth it?

Maybe I should just give up the reviewing gig and focus all my energy on my own books? I'm a flailing author with my own well-received but lost-in-the-crowd books. Maybe this is a sign I need to move on from reviewing, and focus on writing and building my own books up?

I honestly don't know. For the moment, I'm simply floating, as I figure out where I want to go from here. Amazon rules our world, and since I've been cut from the club, maybe it's time I simply bow out. Another one bites the dust, so they say.

We'll see. I'll keep you updated. At the moment though, I just feel gutted. 5 years of work and 800+ reviews gone, and those are just the books. I reviewed so many things on Amazon y'all, you have no idea. I don't just review books. I review products as well. It's all just gone. In a way, I'm just heartbroken.

I used to love Amazon. I backed them up to people who bashed them. I stood up for them. I was supportive, and have stood by them since they were a tiny little company. I've worked with them for over 10 years, long before they were the massive company they are now. I've watched them grow, and have been proud of them.

Until now. It's akin to betrayal, I suppose. All that pride and all those arguments where I supported them and wouldn't change my mind. In the end, they stabbed me in the back while I defended them, and they've changed my mind instead.

The worst part is, they don't even care. They don't give a shit about me, the stress they've caused, or anything about me or my little blog. They wouldn't even care if I pulled my books from their platform, because I'm not making them a bunch of money. If J.K. Rowling told them reviewers are important and to stop attacking them, maybe then they'd listen.

As it is, I'm a little swatted fly, and I'm not sure if I'll come back or not. With the bullying that happened last week causing an author to attempt suicide from other authors being complete assholes, mixed in with my personal turmoil, I'm just so fed up with the book community. It's why I took a break a few years ago, and I just don't know if it's worth it tbh.

If you've read this far, kudos to you. I don't know why you care so much, but I appreciate it. Not feeling too much love lately, and I think it's finally taken its toll.

If I don't post for a while, I wish you guys the best of luck. To any author who didn't get a review from me, I do apologize, and I will try my best to get your book reviewed, and finish out my standing queue when I am able. At the moment, my heart just isn't in it, and trust me, any review right now wouldn't be worth the effort.

Not really sure any of it was, honestly. 5 years, down the drain. Screw Amazon.