Sunday, June 14, 2015

Book Review | Before the Ripcord Broke: Stories

In his new collection of short stories, Charlie Close gives us people who try, succeed, and sometimes fail to connect with others.

He gives us a poor family celebrating its first Halloween in a rich neighborhood, a waitress trying to get the attention of the silent new man in town, teachers talking about their students’ crushes, a boy stuck in a car with the kid he beat up, a roadie who finally busts loose during sound check, a business consultant who assassinates her client, and a disgraced accountant who frames his wife for his own murder.

The stories are told with Charlie Close’s unique insight, compassion, and biting sense of humor. They are dark, comic, sweet, ironic, and…weird.

Read Before the Ripcord Broke and discover that, however different we may feel, we are not so different after all.

I tried writing my own synopsis but every time I tried, the description fell flat. The one above is much better. In the second paragraph of the synopsis, I couldn't help but smile, for it was a wonderful time thinking back on the stories that I have recently finished reading.

Some may go into this collection of short stories with the mindset that they are nothing special, but they would be wrong - and too quick to judge. I myself was skeptical at first because I'm not a frequent short story reader. Then I stopped being my close minded self and started reading the damn stories. I was trying to be more open minded. It paid off.

I went into these stories having relatively no idea what to expect. After the first few stories I still felt iffy. Hours upon hours later, I was sucked in and couldn't stop scrolling. The short and very short stories were attention grabbing for what they were. Simple, confusing, awkward, blunt - pick any adjective because whichever you choose would describe one or more of the many stories throughout.

Truthfully, I was shocked by how many of the stories reflected my own life. A bully stuck in the car with the kid he beat up - been there, sadly done that. Two grown sisters that don't see eye to eye - sounds familiar. Reminiscing while moving out of a dorm - yep, a recent feat of mine. Watching time fly by - always. I noticed these unavoidable parallels immediately. Family issues. Friendship issues. Relationship issues, right down to the names. It was scary, but refreshing to read that other people understand. The author clearly comprehends that we are all connected in different ways, to various individuals. It is and will forever be the way life works.

Also, I would love to list a few of my favorite short stories below with tidbits of commentary:
  • Lay [Reminded me of my dog that aged before I even noticed]
  • The Isomorphs [2nd favorite story]
  • Four [Basically my family members]
  • The Last Story of the Evening [Always trying to find meaning]
  • Argumentative Speech [This one is important]
  • Don't Ride with Strangers [Favorite story]
  • Candy Witch [Jenny is me]
There were loads of stories that made me laugh, grimace, or tear up but these were the few that really stood out to me.

I was pleasantly surprised with these stories as a whole. The very short stories packed a punch, but I don't want to list any because that would ruin them for future readers. In the end, I'm glad I had the opportunity to read this collection of stories and I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review his work. I would recommend to those who enjoy quick contemporary or anything on the more realistic side of the spectrum.

4 out of 5 stars

If you would like to know more about the author, check out his website:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hungover Fiction Lover Liebster Award Round Two

Hey everyone, I am officially on summer vacation which means I have [virtually] all the time in the world to read and review! Luckily, a little over a month ago, Hungover Fiction Lover was nominated for a Liebster Award yet again! This is the second time I have been nominated in the last year and I couldn't be happier, so thank you very much to my fellow book blogger Sierra over at The Nerdgirl Review. Let's get started!

As always, there are 11 questions for me to answer and afterwards I have the pleasure of nominating 11 other awesome blogs I enjoy reading.

The Rules:
  • You must answer all questions that are given to you
  • Must link back to the person that nominated you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers
  • Provide nominees with 11 questions of your choice
  • Cannot nominate the person who nominated you
  • Notify nominees via social media i.e. Blogger, Goodreads, Twitter, etc.
  • Provide nominees with a link to your post for more info

Here are my answers to Sierra's questions:

1. What is your least favorite genre?
I'm not a fan of Erotica or Western.

2. What aspects of a character automatically make them your favorite?
This is such a good question but I'm not quite sure. Sometimes I realize a character is my favorite early on, but a lot of the time, I take a definitive stance after I've finished reading the book. I look for qualities that set them apart from other characters I've read about; it's almost as if they need some sort of "it" factor. For example: I love Tris and Eric from Divergent. I enjoyed Victor from Vicious. I liked Holland from ADSOM. They are all their own kind of character - with different quirks and things that I love or hate about them.

3. What is your favorite place to read?
I prefer reading in my bedroom at home, but I lived in a dorm this year which meant I shared the same space with someone else. In the long run, the noise made me appreciate being able to read wherever and whenever. I try not to focus on where I am while reading!

4. If you could have dinner with an author, which author?
Three way tie between Veronica Roth, Victoria Schwab, and J.K. Rowling. Unintentional girl power.

5. If you could rewrite the ending of one book/series, which one?
I don't think I've read enough books to answer this question with a solid choice. The only one that currently comes to mind is The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyami. There were too many character stories left open ended. By the way, I don't love the ending to Allegiant either but that would have been an obvious choice.

6. Which book in your opinion has the best ending ever?
Again, I don't think I've read enough books this year, or in my life, to reply with a good answer. I will say, the end of Vicious was pretty damn cool.

7. If you could date one character, who would you date?
I would probably date Rhy from ADSOM or two other characters from a book I beta read for that I can't name at the moment. They were all swoon worthy.

8. If you could wipe a book/series off the face of the Earth, which one?
Well - for starters - this is my personal opinion and I don't mean to offend anyone. We're all entitled to like or dislike different books. Please don't hate me but...I cannot even deal with The Selection series and Babe in Boyland. There, I said it.

9. What do you like most about being a book blogger?
Aside from reading and writing reviews, I love meeting new bloggers and authors. They share similar interests with me which is rare to come by in my every day life. I also can't get enough of the blogging community.

10. Who would be your best book friend?
I don't know why, but I've always thought that Seamus from Harry Potter and I would get along really well. Or some of John Green's characters.

11. What do you like to do while reading?
I can't multitask. I have to focus solely on reading or else I get distracted.

Here are my nominees in no particular order:

Cody from Literary-ly Obsessed
Jeanette from Myriad Inklings
Caitlin from Peculiar Pages
Brooke from brookewrote 
Jana from Bookish Realities
Clare from Long Live Literature
Rebecca from bookvibes
Bethany from Faiths Bookspiration
Both Co-Bloggers at Novels and Necklaces

I couldn't think of 11 book blogs that fit the criteria or haven't been nominated a million times already, whoops!

My Questions:

1. What is your favorite thing about being a blogger?
2. How many books do you want to read this year?
3. What are your top three favorite books of all time and why?
4. Do you prefer chain bookstores or indie bookstores?
5. What sets your favorite author apart from other authors?
6. Do you have any music recommendations?
7. Favorite book to movie adaptation?
8. If you could date one character, who would it be?
9. Do you need complete silence to read, or does noise not phase you?
10. What is your favorite genre?
11. What are your plans for the future? Blogging, dream job, school?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Revolution Tour | Interview with Randi Cooley Wilson

Hey everyone, quick side note: my internet hasn't been working properly hence the late post - but everything is up and running now, so enjoy!

About the Book 


A King Rises
A Fate Seals
Realms Fall

Eve Collins has set in motion a chain of events that could destroy everything she's ever loved. Surrounded by dangerous creatures, dark worlds, and the struggle to become who she was meant to be, Eve must complete her ascension and accept her destiny.

War has begun. Losing is not an option. With dangers lurking around each corner, and everything against her, will Eve sacrifice her own happiness in order to tip the scale of balance? Which side will rise to power, and which fall to fate?

In this fourth installment in The Revelation Series, Eve must risk it all in order to prevent a centuries old war.

Everything comes with a sacrifice, even love.

About the Author 

Randi Cooley Wilson is a “New Adult” Paranormal/Fantasy and Contemporary Romance author. Randi was born and raised in Massachusetts where she attended Bridgewater State University and graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. After graduation she moved to California where she lived happily bathed in sunshine and warm weather for fifteen years. Randi makes stuff up, devours romance books, drinks lots of wine and coffee, and has a slight addiction to bracelets.


Author Interview

1. How did you come about the idea for your first book Revelation?

The idea for Revelation (The Revelation Series, Book 1), and the entire series, stemmed from my combined love of John Milton’s Paradise Lost and my affinity for architecture. Paranormal romance is my favorite genre to read, and nothing beats an epic love story in my book. Basically, I combined all those elements to created the series.

2. Did you go into the writing process knowing that this would be a series, as opposed to a duology or trilogy?

I did. I knew from the beginning, after writing the character’s bios/backgrounds, plot points, and story outline that there was no way I would be able to tell this story in one book. Three perhaps, but one would have never fully completed the journey, for a reader, the way I felt  it needed to be told. At the end of the day after reviewing my arc, I knew it was going to have be told over five books.

3. When you create characters, do they tend to reflect yourself and people you know, or do you consciously try to stray away from such similarities?

Eek. This is a loaded question – lol. I don’t consciously, or unconsciously, write characters that are like, or unlike myself, or people I know.  I do tend to pull in traits and special characters of people that surround me. For instance, the main heroine in The Revelation Series, Eve Collins, has the same eye color and hair color as my daughter. Two secondary characters, Callan and Abby tend to bicker the way my husband and I do. That said, those little elements within the characters are more for fun than anything else.

4. I find that many authors form these well rounded characters that end up getting cut from the storyline altogether. How do you determine what characters are necessary for your stories?

This is going to make me sound like the crazy author lady, but the characters dictate how important they are to the forward movement of the storyline. For me, a character must always have a purpose within the story. If they don’t, in my opinion, they are not needed. Basically when I introduce a character, after I write their background, if they perform a purpose, and are tied to the story organically, they make the cut.

5. What piece of advice would you give to aspiring authors that you wish you could have heard before becoming published?

I’m not sure I’m ‘seasoned’ enough to be giving advice. That said, honestly, write what you love and would read yourself. Whatever you feel compelled to put on the page is your story. Don’t let anyone dictate what that should look like. Everyone has an opinion, at the end of the day, the only one you have to answer to is yourself. If you like the book and the story, then that’s all you can hope for.

6. A little bird told me that you’re a William Shakespeare fan. What is your favorite literary work of his?

(Laughs) Well, your little spy birdie would be correct. I adore William Shakespeare’s sonnets and poetry. My favorite piece of his would have to be A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It embodies all of my favorite themes: love, loss of individual identity, sexuality, and feminism.  I mean, who doesn’t love fairies that manipulate lovers?

7. Do you have any must reads that you would highly suggest to your fans and other avid readers?

Ack. This is hard. I have so many favorite authors and books. Daily, I recommend the Stage Dive Series by Kylie Scott to those looking for contemporary adult romance books. I also tend to recommend anything by Jeaniene Frost and Jessica Sorenson, who are two of my personal favorites and I devour most anything they write.

Thanks so much for having me today. I’ve enjoyed being here.

Wait, there's a giveaway!

One Winner: Signed Apron, Revelation, Restraint, Redemption and Revolution signed paperbacks.
Five Winners: One Signed Paperback of Either: Revelation, Restraint, Redemption or Revolution
Ten Winners: One Digital Copy of Revolution

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