Ready, Set, Novel!  by Chris Baty, Lindsey Grant, Tavia Stewart-Streit

☕☕☕☕ / 5

Ready, Set, Novel! is technically a workbook, but each chapter starts with helpful information about the step you will be working on. It is written in a friendly tone and filled with humor. 

I think it will be helpful to anyone not sure where to start with writing the book(s) in their heads. It walks you through each prep step before you actually write the first draft. The only thing missing is an option to have a downloadable PDF of the exercises with the purchase of the book. I don’t want to write in the book and want to use the exercises for multiple stories.

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Narrated by Gay Hendricks 

☕️☕️☕️ / 5

We can’t achieve because we have a limiting belief that rears its ugly head when we get close to greatness. We can put those behind us and achieve our wildest dreams with some work!

Maybe because I read the audiobook, I found everything to be “just ok”. The info didn’t seem to go deep enough. Sometimes it felt like we left something out. He also seemed to make up his own terms for existing things. Like his concept of time. 

If this book had been longer, I’d have given up because the author’s voice was monotonous and pompous sounding.

I guess this book wasn’t aimed at me. I think it was meant more for corporate America I wanna be CEO types. So maybe if that’s you, this might be the book for you!

Lightroom 7 Point System by Scott Kelby

☕☕☕☕ / 5

I have been a Scott Kelby fan since I got back into digital photography 10ish (?) years ago. I have read several of his books, taken classes, and attended seminars. I think he does an excellent job of explaining all aspects of photography to people. 

I gave this book four coffees because it is a wealth of information and easy to follow. It was repetitive and didn’t teach me anything new because I’ve already learned this from Scott Kelby. I think if you are trying to figure out what you want to shoot and how to work Lightroom, this is the book for you. Kelby covers several genres of photography and explains what is wrong with the image and how to fix it. 

Let Him In by William Friend

☕️☕️☕️ / 5

Thank you, NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press, for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

After Alfie’s wife dies, he needs to raise his twin, seven-year-old girls. One night they appear at his bedside saying a man was in their room. After a thorough search, no one is found. Eventually, the girls no longer talk about the man in their room. 

But then something far worse shows up. Black Mamba. 

At first, he seems harmless, but the twin’s behavior changes and Alfie reaches out to his wife’s twin sister Julia, a family therapist, for help.

Friend nails the creepy twin vibe. The story switches between Alfie and Julia’s points of view with many descriptions of the girl’s behavior. There aren’t any big “jump scares,” but a low level of anxiety weaved throughout.

This book falls short in figuring out what type of story it is. The author wants to make it religious, supernatural, and psychological, which is too much. He touches on all three but never delves deep enough into any of them to make the ending satisfying. Instead, I was left with questions. 

Overall, Let Him In is a decent horror book. There is an underlying creepiness throughout. It is a little slower moving than some, but Friend builds anxiety. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a more slow burn or creepy twin story. 

Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum

☕️☕️ / 5

I wanted to love this book. The opening was intriguing, and the book kept you guessing who was found dead (although I did guess correctly well before the climax). The problem was I hated all the characters. Not love to hate, just plain old hate. They were all vapid, shallow, and self-absorbed. I love a well-written asshole, but there were none in this book. 

When I think of a book like Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, you have a main character, Elena; you hate her, but you want to keep reading because she is well-written. You LOVE to hate her. But I didn’t love to hate anyone in this book. I actually got frustrated a few times with how much I disliked all the characters. 

I think with fewer characters, the author could have developed each one a bit more to make me care about what happens to them. Or at least enjoy reading about them. There were a lot of side couples and characters whose chapters didn’t add much, if anything, to the story. Their chapters almost seemed like an afterthought or as if the author needed to add some pages to reach an arbitrary page count.

I don’t know who I would recommend this book to. The story/ suspense was ok. I wanted to know if I was right and kept reading. I wasn’t surprised by the ending. And clearly, the characters aren’t redeeming enough even to say yes; it’s predictable, but the characters are great! It was easy and not very heavy, something you could read on a weekend beach getaway. 


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.