What I’m Reading: Wake Me After the Apocalypse



When a killer comet hurtles for the earth, 18-year-old Joanna Murphy is selected to wait out the apocalypse in an underground bunker. She enters cryosleep with her close-knit team, preparing to resettle the planet after the atmosphere clears in two hundred years.

Joanna is the only one who wakes up.

Faced with a bunker full of bones and a blocked exit, Joanna must claw her way to the surface, figure out what happened to her team, and try not to panic—or die. That’s going to be tricky if she’s the only person left in the world.


Don’t be fooled by the short blurb for this book. There are no zombies waiting on the surface… no post-apocalyptic wasteland where Joanna will wander, slowly starving to death while parched with thirst… and no actual ghosts plaguing her waking hours.

The story starts off with intensity and confusion, threading in scenes from “BEFORE” as the story unfolds – to catch you up on what you’ve missed.

It doesn’t take long to discover that all was not right in BRP land before the candidates went under, which only adds to your intense desire to discover what really happened to all of the other cryo tanks, if any of the other bunkers survived, and what will become of Joanna by the end of the story.

Fair warning: there is strong language in this book and several mentions of sex (though it is not graphically described). Parents; you might want to read the book yourself before handing it over to your teen or pre-teen.

Personally, I think the story would have been much better without the language.


Review ©JCMorrows 2018

Book Reviewer… Influencer… Street Team… Where do I fit and what do I do?

Anyone who follows my book blog, knows that I review books… A LOT of books! I LOVE to read and I love to share my thoughts on these books with my followers.

Along this journey, I have been blessed to join several different street teams.

Recently I was forced to leave one of those street teams (on my own… NOT by the author). And, given some drama that has trickled through blogger circles of late, I felt the need to make mention of something that tends to be misunderstood…


A REVIEWER is someone who reads books and then posts reviews on sites like Christianbook.com​, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc…

Some of these reviewers are sent books by publishers or promotional companies or the authors themselves.

Along with this “gifted” book comes the requirement that the reviewer gives an HONEST review… not just a positive one.


shutterstock_143336716An INFLUENCER is someone who is part of a selected group of people who are chosen to help launch a book. Most authors ask the members to post reviews but they require them to be positive. In the case that a reviewer can not post a positive review, they are asked to post none at all – or at least to wait until a month or so after the book has released.

But the main job of an influencer is to help get the word out about a book’s release. They are responsible for splashing notifications across social media, requesting the book at local libraries and passing out promotional materials like bookmarks and pens.

2b82cdeA STREET TEAM is a combination of the two above.

The street team members’ job extends beyond a book’s release. They notify their followers and friends about sales on the author’s books, special giveaways and more. They also hand out promotional materials (when the author has them to pass out), and they are usually required to read the author’s books and review them.

Typically, an honest yet positive review is no problem in these groups because the members are generally fans of the author’s work. However, most authors do not require a positive review – simply an honest one… in order to have lots of reviews up – to encourage sales.

If a street team requires a positive review, this should always be made clear before the reviewers join. However, lately there has been a bit of drama that has made this point a bit murky.

There are street teams out there that are run, not by the author but by a fan or by the author’s assistant. When the case is a fan running the team, there may be some issues because the fan has their own ideas about the author’s work and if a member’s review does not line up with their own opinion, they may find it difficult to be unbiased.


My caution is this:

Reviewers – be careful about what street teams you join. DO not join simply because the author is high-profile. Join the street team of an author you admire, one you will have no problem promoting!

And be sure to read all of the requirements BEFORE you join!


Authors – be cautious about how you run your team (or who you choose to run the team for you). Any drama that goes on will not be laid at the feet of that person on social media. It will be attributed to your team and YOUR name.

Also… you should be extremely careful about setting boundaries about reviews. 5 stars on Amazon is great but word of mouth still carries a tremendous amount of weight and if a reviewer is unhappy, they will most likely tell almost everyone they know about it.

I would also suggest you watch what works and what doesn’t with your friends’ street teams. Learn by example and never hesitate to make suggestions to friends about their own teams. Just because you see where something doesn’t work, does not mean they do.


Of course it has to be said… some authors do not deal well with bad reviews. But think of it this way… Is it more important to have ALL good reviews or to have a large number of reviews? Whether the reviews are bad or good, having a large number means that a large number of people have read the book.

And… I speak from experience when I say that I have NEVER allowed a negative review to sway me from reading a book that interested me. I have also read more than a few books that received nothing but glowing reviews – which I did not enjoy.

Think about it…

God Bless!


© JCMorrows 2015

The One by Kiera Cass | Review and Look Back!

Once upon a time…

I read The Selection Selection. Then I read The Elite Elite.

I was thrilled to discover a novella – The Prince Prince released between the two books and then a special book containing that story, another novella and a ton of extras between the release of The Elite and The One. I could barely contain my excitement and I was quite put out with the local bookstores when I found out that most of them didn’t even stock copies of The Selection Stories The Selection Stories but I finally managed to get my hands on one and then I read through the series again!

Unfortunately, I had also recently read a young adult series (don’t ask – truly… you don’t want to know) that was written by another author I respected and admired – only to discover that the series itself was not at all what I was expecting – It just goes to show that I should listen to my son when it comes to books to read or not read!

That experience sent me into a funk where I suppose you could say I temporarily lost my love of reading. Even books that had previously been favorites – seemed terrible to me. It was a rough time and it was exceedingly difficult to write positive reviews for books that I knew were just being affected by my funk.

It took quite a bit of time but I finally found my way through and began to enjoy reading again. I’ve since gone back to read many of the books I did not enjoy during that period of time and they were indeed as wonderful as I suspected – the second time through anyway.

I’d love to say that I rushed out to get a copy of The One at that point but I wasn’t sure of it. After all there were so many things that I wasn’t sure of. Was it only the other series that put me in my funk? Could it possibly be my new-found obsession with Inspirational fiction that turned me off the Selection series?

So I waited… and waited… and waited.

imageI didn’t even know the series had been expanded into 5 books with even more novellas and extras slotted for a second installment of The Selection Stories. Imagine my surprise and elation to discover that happy news just a few nights ago when I snagged the kindle version of The One and started feverishly reading!

I was sucked back into a world I had desperately missed… I just hadn’t realized it.

I enjoyed, tremendously, sinking back into America’s world. It was like wrapping a warm, fuzzy blanket around me – reading about my favorite characters, rooting for the ones I wanted to win –  I say ones because I was not just rooting for America. When I followed the series before, a lot of people were rooting for America to LOSE the selection and choose Aspen. I was not. I was rooting for Maxon all along!

Along the way I’ve rooted for others to go or stay and I have to say, after reading to the end of The One, I’m a little surprised to say I miss a certain character. I didn’t think I would. In fact, at one point, I actually found myself hoping this person would be one of the casualties of a rebel attack (and for those of you who have read The One, I may not be talking about the person you would immediately think of) but I was truly saddened when they weren’t there anymore. It was quite a shock, let me tell you.

Technically speaking, I could be a lot more open in this review because there are spoilers out there everywhere! Even Kiera Cass herself has filled her blog with spoilers because of the next book that’s coming this May. You kinda have to know where the story went because The Heir is the next step and entirely due to what happened in The One. But I’m not one who puts spoilers out there – even when I really want to, because I have had more than one book ruined for me by spoilers and I feel it’s only fair to allow someone the chance to read a book on their own terms. If you want to seek out spoilers, there are plenty out there and they’re not hard to find but you won’t find any here.


Never spoil a book just because you can.Tweet this!


Now… about the book:

Some of the complaints I’ve heard over the last three years –

  • Kiera Cass doesn’t do enough world building – Well, in case you haven’t actually read the series, let me tell you right now that America is supposed to feel isolated. She has been sheltered and protected her entire life, even from the worst her caste has been exposed to. Since she was part of a lower caste, she didn’t exactly get to do a lot of traveling. Add to that, she barely leaves the castle once she is chosen for the selection and it all makes perfect sense. And I must say that Kiera does a spectacular job of building the world America is in!
  • Is yet another love triangle really necessary – Well we may find them annoying but they are a necessary evil sometimes. In this case, it wasn’t just a tool to push America into Prince Maxon’s arms… it was the push she needed to enter, it was the catalyst for her to be chosen, and it was the impetus that kept her there when she really didn’t want to be.
  • Kiera’s main character is ridiculously immature – Yes, America is immature but there are many good reasons for that and they unfold little by little throughout the entire series. It’s not just a ploy Kiera uses… although it does make for some very interesting mishaps.

To say I am happy with the series would be a tremendous understatement. This is definitely one of my absolute favorite book series! It’s one that I will happily read over and over and over again, and then pass on to my daughter when she’s old enough.

It’s just an all-around great series!

A lot of people have also complained about the series being extended. I have to say that I feel sorry for those people. No, this genre isn’t for everyone but to those of us who love it – this is GREAT news! I for one, can hardly wait and I’m kinda glad I just found out about it. Having to wait nearly a year after rediscovering how much I LOVE this series would have been torture!

I would also like to say how truly grateful I am that Kiera has given us so many novellas with extra, behind-the-scenes info! There is so much more that makes perfect sense when we read them. It doesn’t just give us more of the story to be excited about, it gives us vital bits of back-story that bring a lot of the story into a better focus for us.

Authors sometimes forget in their quest to make a quick-paced book, that we are not in their head. There may be things about the characters or the history that is left out in the interest of pacing or flow but it isn’t always easy for the reader to fully understand the characters without this information or history. Novellas are an excellent place for that! You can add short scenes that really have no place in the main book, but that are essential for understanding the characters or the world around them.


All in all, a fantastic series and one I’m tickled to discover will continue… for at least two more books!


Don’t miss a single one of the fabulous Selection stories!Tweet this!


More about The One from HarperTeen:

The Selection changed America Singer’s life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she’s made her choice . . . and she’s prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!



Are you as excited about The Heir as I am?Tweet this!


You can also find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

DON’T MISS the BONUS Epilogue for The One at Unlock The Selection!

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© JCMorrows 2015

Review of “The Prince” by Kiera Cass

PrinceI absolutely love having the flip side of a story! You always wonder what is going on in the other person’s head. It’s awesome to find out! Hardly any author does this and I always love it when they do!

Great job Kiera! Love It!

Oh and BTW… I hardly ever buy kindle books but I could not live without this one!

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God Bless You!

Review for “The Elite” by Kiera Cass


Another fantastic book for this series.
Terrific character development. I know a lot of people were mad about how this one went along but I enjoyed it.

A lot of people are annoyed with America at this point for flip-flopping but I can actually see where she’s coming from. It’s hard being a teenage girl with her heart being pulled in two different directions.

I can not wait for the third book. April is sooooo far away


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God Bless You!

Review of “The Selection” by Kiera Cass

SelectionI can understand why so many people didn’t “get” this book. It is a fairy tale in the most sincerest form with just a bit of modern craziness thrown in.

The caste system wouldn’t be understood by people who have grown up with big screen televisions, opulent parties, new clothes whenever they feel like it and positively tons of wasted food. The caste system exists now. It’s just not a big part of the rules.

I applaud Kiera Cass! This is a tremendous story! It flows beautifully and the characters are incredibly real. Can’t wait to get into The Elite!

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God Bless You!