First off please tell the readers a bit about yourself, please.
Well after spending a lifetime working in or with the military I finally had made enough to sit back and do as much (or as little) as I wanted to and since I had always been an avid reader the jump to making it one of my major pastimes was easy. I have traveled all over the world, been to the top of the Eiffel Tower and to the Devil’s Anvil in Saudi Arabia, been on top of the highest mountain in the Middle East and the lowest in the USA. No complaints here, I have read many different genres over the years but stumbled into Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy after many years of reading mostly books in the Fantasy genre. Found out I liked books that did not spend pages and chapters telling the color of grass and the feel of a rock, I wanted a good story about people of action and feeling that did not always end up in some tragedy. I have been married (somehow) for 30+ years and have 3 daughters and one son (who is presently in the Mideast working for the military, runs in the family).
Besides reading what do you like to do in your spare time?
To be honest other than reading and doing those myriad tasks that come with living in a home I spend a bit of time honing my weapon skills. I always felt that people should be able to defend themselves but people that did not take the time to get skilled in weapons were a danger to people around them. I go to the range and take my daughters most of the time (and my son if he is in country) so they do not fall into that category of victims who did not know how to defend themselves with a weapon.
What the hardest thing to do when it comes to reviewing a book?
It is hard to write an average review, you know what you really like and you know what you really hate, but trying to write a 3 star review is harder for me. The other side is also when you become enthralled with a series that is SO good you have a hard time being unbiased and trying to figure out if that last book in the series you just gave a 5 star rating was really much less because many times you are so in love with your mental image of series itself. (Dark-Hunters anyone?)
What is the biggest thing you look for when you review a book?
Was I entertained would be it, I can ignore all kinds of mistakes and editing mishaps but at the end of the book was I glad I had read it? When I finish a book, the last thing I want is to be depressed or what happens more times is frustrated (I HATE CLIFFHANGERS!). I see a lot of reviewers get caught up in so many things that have little or nothing to do with the story in the book, many times it is mood but many times you have to suspend your belief system to enjoy a book, if you are doing a reality check while reading PNR/UF I think you are going to have a problem. I must point out that I have read several books where the author’s writing was so poor she could not pull you into her world and that is NOT the readers fault, that has to be addressed.
What are some of your favorite authors?
I have many, going all the way back to Robert A. Heinlein and still loving Jennifer Estep, Nalani Singh, Patricia Briggs and a list that goes on forever but I need to point out that I have NEVER read anything by Ilona Andrews that was not excellent, they throw away better books than most authors write in my opinion but the best thing I have read in years was still The Elemental Mysteries by Elizabeth Hunter which is barely a mystery and really a vampire romance of epic proportions.
Questions from Bitten’s Facebook users
Venus Batista- I would ask with so many titles available to them, what is the determining factor in choosing which to read next? :) Always my problem
There is no easy answer; you go with whatever mood you are in. I have a To Be Read stack of books in the hundreds and yet many times I can’t find anything that grabs me at the moment and end up buying that “shiny” book I saw on Amazon, go figure, you get a good answer, let me know J
Debra Smith- What things separate your favorite authors from the ones that are just "okay"?
They usually grab you at the start of the book (not always), you get this feeling of “WOW, that was freakin’ awesome” when you finish. The really good ones always keep you entertained or deeply interested, if you are scanning pages, you are not reading top line entertainment (I should note I have read some really good books I had to scan small portions). The best authors are consistently good, no “1 hit wonders”.
Dominique Eastwick -When you review what constituted a 5, 4, 3, etc. in your eyes.
It is almost always the level of entertainment which is a combination of good writing, good story, good presentation and desire to know more when the book is over without feeling frustrated the story was too short or incomplete. The more of those things that are done well the higher the rating.
J.v. Altharas- What's your length preference? (giggity) How short is too short, how long is too long?
Are we still talking about books here?
There is no too short or too long in
literature, I have read very short stories that conveyed just the right amount
of information and emotion and very long ones that did the same. If you finish and feel frustrated it was too
short, if you scanned large portions of the book, it was too long.