My name is Kelly Coffee and I currently work in the retail industry full time as a pseudo-supervisor (all the work, none of the perks). I am the mother of the world's most adorable little boy (no, not biased at all) who is two and a half at the time of this post, and have a wonderful husband who finds amusement in all of my character flaws and keeps me from taking myself too seriously. I have my Bachelor Degree in East Asian Languages and Literature from the University of Pittsburgh (Japanese emphasis) and am conversationally fluent. I also have an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts--and that's the one that more applies to this line of work, as I describe it as my reading/writing/literature mini-degree.
Lately, a friend has helped me renew my love of reading and showed me the fun and rewarding world of reviewing, beta reading and editing. I only have one work of note currently on my resume, that's Ms. Robin P. Waldrop's Ties to the Blood Moon. (cover image via goodreads.com)
You may have noticed it featured on a giveaway a few months ago. Lately, it's done really well, even getting to #2 in kindle fantasy, so my passion for this side reading is fully inflamed right now.
But onto the things you'll get the most from me--the reviews. My favorite genres are Fantasy and Sci-Fi, hands down. I also enjoy YA fiction and my ultimate guilty pleasure--slash (male/male romance for the uninitiated). Those genres are not exclusive, however. As I've been doing read/reviews for indie authors since about January, I have found that just because something isn't my usual cup of tea doesn't mean it isn't a)worth reading and b) something that I can't enjoy. I've read a number of self-published works that have blown me away and been outside of my normal sphere because the reads were requested. It's a process I've enjoyed immensely. I have tried to keep my queue in check with the requested reviews (and try to balance it with my traditional want-to-reads and editing).
As for what I look for in a book, I am extremely character-focused. You can have the saddest excuse for a plot in the world and if you have well-developed, fleshed out, interesting characters I care about, I'm going to enjoy your book. Conversely, you can have a critically acclaimed best seller, and if I can't connect to your characters and don't care about them, I'm not going to enjoy your book. Your beautiful prose, your intricate plotting, your politics and your world mean nothing to me if I don't care about the people in it. I may be able to recognize they are there, but I won't enjoy your book.
My three favorite authors (in no particular order) are Sherrilyn Kenyon, Laurell K. Hamilton and Tamora Pierce. I plan on helping out Kristin with her Series Sundays and this Sunday plan on hitting Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, so I won't go into them any further for now. I like vampires, but I'm touchy about how my shape-shifters are done.
When writing reviews, I try to be critical--what was done well, what I responded well to, and any issues I had. I am usually able to separate a personal distaste or disconnect from a book from the actual delivery of the book as a whole. I realize that just because *I* didn't like a character (say Harry Dresden), doesn't mean that other people won't.
So, it is my pleasure to provide reviews and blogs for your perusal. I do post reviews on Goodreads and Amazon and would be happy to post them elsewhere upon request. If you would like to request a review, you can message me at goodreads.com/kellycoffee
And as I'm sure you're all quite sick of me, I leave you with my preferred valediction:
A toast to a story better than the one before.
(Oh yeah, I do some art things on occasion. Avatar copy-written to me).