A Man Called Outlaw: Book Review

This is another book by K.M. Weiland, set in the wild, wild west.

51hqveud3nl-_sx320_bo1204203200_All his life Shane Lassiter had revered the man who stood in place of the father he had never known. Nathaniel Wilcock had taken Shane into his own home, loved him as a son, and placed within his grasp one of the largest ranches in the Wyoming Territory.

But Shane had heard the family saga. He knew the whispers about the fugitive gunman who stood against Wilcock during the land wars that had rocked the valley almost thirty years ago. In Nathaniel Wilcock’s eyes, the gunman was nothing better than a vigilante and an outlaw, and as such he had died. To the people of Hangtree, he was a hero—a martyr who had stood against corrupt power and injustice.

When Wilcock’s greed moves him against the only woman Shane has ever loved—a woman who holds the secret that could resurrect everything for which the outlaw fought—Shane finds himself forced into a place not so very different from that of the western outlaws thirty years ago. He must make a decision, the shadow of which will forever be cast over the lives of all those he loves. It is a decision between truth and power—between honor and life—between right and wrong.

Before I get into the review, I first have to say that there are two storylines, one twenty or so years before the other.

Characters: 

Andrew, the MC of the first storyline was a man with a violent past. Yet he settles down in Hangree and does his very best to do the right thing. He was definitely my favorite character.

Anna Cassidy, owner of the targeted ranch (during the second storyline) is stubborn, yet sweet.

Judge Wilcock is a man who will stop at nothing to grow his ranch, yet he loves his daughter and Shane.

Shane was an interesting character. He wanted to do the right thing, yet he didn’t want to be disloyal to Judge Wilcock.

4 stars

Plot:

Like I wrote before, the plot is divided into different storylines. One twenty or so years before the other. K.M. Weiland did a good job of including the essential parts of story structure in both storylines (both had midpoints, climaxes, etc.).

In my personal opinion, I enjoyed the older storyline more, basically because of the climactic scene.

Much of the conflict in this story is between Judge Wilcock and the other ranchers in the area, with Anna Cassidy’s ranch, the Sundally, in particular.

The dual plotlines were vital for this story, but I’m not sure if I really liked it, though it was neat to see how the different characters fitted together.

3.5 stars

Romance:

There were love stories in this book, something I’m absolutely fine with. There is some kissing but nothing really objectionable.

4 stars

Action:

This book wasn’t a constant gunfight, but when the characters came to blows, it was great.

K.M. Weiland uses what may be trope in Westerns, the good guy runinnng out of bullets in his six-shooter. But it’s different because the character thinks that he’s used his last shot, but he shoots once more before the revolver’s empty.

4.5 stars

 

Setting:

This book is set in nineteenth century Wyoming, in a small town called Hangtree. I’ve not read a whole lot of Westerns, but the setting seemed to be pretty standard.

I thought the attention to detail in relation to horses and how they would be mounted, or their unsaddled was interesting. It added a sense of realism to the story, though I don’t know hardly a thing about horses.

The irony about the name of the town “Hangtree” was pretty cool, though you’ll have to read it for yourself to see what I’m talking about. 😉

4 stars

Theme:

Standing for justice and making the decision to the right thing, even when you know that the whole system is rigged against you.

This is a serious book, with a bittersweet ending.

4.5 stars

Should You Read this Book?

Yes, I would rank it below Storming, but it’s still a very solid book. If you’re a fan of Westerns, then you should definitely read this book.

You can buy the book on Amazon or at K.M. Weiland’s website.

I received a free digital copy of this book in return for an honest review.

 

Conquering Writers Block and Summoning Inspiration: Book Review

I recently finished reading this short book by K.M. Weiland. If you’re like 510s4fkeigl-_sx311_bo1204203200_me, you have some writerly mood swings. One day you feel that your writing is  A+, and another that its only destination should be the garbage can.

Who Will be Helped by this Book:

Either plotters or pantsers will be able to use this book. This book is aimed more at full-time writers, but most of the advice is just as applicable to wannabe full-time writers (which I am one).

What You’ll Learn from this Book:

For one, you’ll be inspired and know that you’re not alone when you feel that you’re writing is worthless and a waste of time.

K.M. Weiland writes about ways to improve creativity, techniques for pushing past writer’s block, and makes you ask the question, “Why do you write?”

You may only think that writing includes the punching of keys on your computer, but you’ll learn how to use downtime to your advantage.

Should You Read this Book:

This a nonfiction book, of course, but I personally found K.M. Weiland’s voice and choice of words very entertaining. Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration is the best nonfiction book I have read for a while. I highly recommend this book!

I was given a free digital copy in return for an honest review.

 

The Giver: Book Review

The Giver by Lois Lowry is certainly a book that raises moral questions in the guise of a 51usrhmubkl-_sx331_bo1204203200_children’s story. It’s a story about a boy, Jonas, who becomes the “Receiver of Memories”, a task which brings joy but also pain.

Characters:

The two most well-rounded character are the Giver and Jonas, for the obvious reason that they are the only ones that can see color and have the memories of ages past. 4 stars

Setting:

The story is set in a utopian community where color, deep emotions, and music have been replaced by “sameness” in return for security. No one is ever hungry, there are no wars but beneath the surface, there is evil.

Instead of stating all this outright, the author did a great job of allowing the reader to discover this along with Jonas, the MC. 5 stars

Theme:

Whether security is worth the loss of feeling and colors. As well as how people can become inured to evil things done in their midst. 5 stars

Plot:

I thought that the midpoint was a little late in the story, and that end of the second act as well as the beginning of the third act were rushed. The very end had a nice tie-in to earlier in the book, but it didn’t seem to be very realistic. 3 stars

Should You Read This Book?

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book that forces you to think things through. I read The Giver as part of my history curriculum and finished it in two days. You can buy it here, though before you fork over the moolah, I’d check your library, since they probably have this book on their shelves.

 

Structuring Your Novel: Book Review

This book by K.M. Weiland walks you through the classic three act structure of storytelling.

structuring-your-novel-ippy-award-165Who will be Helped by this Book: 

If you’re a writer trying to become more of an outliner, (like me) this book will show you all of the components that your book needs.

But, if you’re a pantser, don’t stop reading, you still may find little nuggets in the chapters on scene and sentence structure.

What You’ll Learn:

K.M. Weiland teaches you how to structure your book, through a chronological journey of a well-written story. From Narrative hook to Resolution, she shows how each part should be used, in order to make your story better.

You’ll learn about possible pitfalls in different parts of the story and how to avoid them. In addition, there are tidbits on characters, character arcs, subplots, and settings.

It’s an extensive book that cover the components of story structure, while also touching on the structure of scenes and sentences.

K.M. Weiland gives examples from famous literature and film at every plot point, illustrating how some of the greats constructed their stories.

Whether you struggle with a certain part of your story, (hook, midpoint, climax, etc) or you just want to overhaul the entire way you write, this book will help you along.

How This Book has Helped Me:

In part because of reading this book, I overhauled the first paragraph of my short story, Go and Steal No More, giving it more of a hook that strengthened the story.

Thanks to this book, as well as K.M. Weiland’s website, I have become more of a story structure critic, looking for and trying to identify structure in books, audiobooks, and movies. Certainly not the best at it, but it’s a fun exercise.

Should You Read this Book?

I recommend buying this book, reading it once through, and then using it as a resource, whenever you’re in the midst of your writing or editing.

If you want to pick up your copy of this helpful book you can visit K.M. Weiland’s website or Amazon.

Storming: Book Review

Today I’m reviewing a novel I recently finished, Storming by K.M. Weiland

In the high-flying, heady world of 1920s aviation, brash pilot Robert “Hitch” Hitchcock’s life does a barrel roll when a young woman in an old-fashioned ball gown falls from the clouds smack in front of his biplane. As fearless as she is peculiar, Jael immediately proves she’s game for just about anything, including wing-walking in his struggling airshow. In return for her help, she demands a ride back home . . . to the sky.

 

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I enjoyed this book immensely. It was written for adults, but teens can enjoy it as well.

Characters:

Hitch Hickock, the main character, is a courageous pilot trying to make his mark as a barnstormer in Prohibition-era, America.

Jael, a mysterious, ferocious woman, who also has a soft spot in her heart.

Along with these two, there are feuding brothers, a flamboyant showman, a sheriff who’s willing to sometimes bend the law, a mute child, and many more!

Really great character and in addition, the voice of Storming was amazing!

5 stars

Plot:

Hitch returns to his home town in Nebraska, full of baggage, and it takes pretty much the whole book to sort everything out.

Sky pirates take Hitch’s home town hostage and our hero (Hitch) and heroine (Jael) must fight them in order to free the town.

Storming is an interesting story that combines historical fiction with diesel-punk elements. So if you’re expecting a straight 1920’s story, you’re in for a nice surprise.

Before the start of the final climactic showdown, a bomb is dropped! Not literally, just a plot/character twist which raises the stakes.

In addition, several parts of this book are hilarious. Especially some of the scenes with the two feuding brothers.

4.5 stars

Action:

Entertaining scenes both in the sky and on the ground make this novel fly by (pun very much intended).

4.5 stars

Romance:

By the end of the book, a romance springs up between two main characters. There’s a little kissing and a scene where they dance together, but that’s about it. I enjoyed this sub-plot and you probably will as well.

4.5 stars

In closing, I would highly recommend this book, it’s a great read and relatively inexpensive at only $2.99 for the ebook version at Amazon and $3.99 at K. M. Weiland’s site.

At the end of the book, K.M. Weiland includes the link to some exclusive content, something I certainly would like to emulate in some way. Absolutely outstanding writing. I hope I piqued your interest. 🙂 Have a great day, everyone!