#BookReview of Outsourced by Eric J. Gates.

Outsourced by Eric J. Gates cover imageOutsourced

by Eric J. Gates

Fiction: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Conspiracy. 364 Pages (Print). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 18, 2014)

4_stars_gold

Author Biography

Eric J. Gates has had a curious life filled with the stuff of thriller novels. Writing Operating Systems for Supercomputers, cracking cryptographic codes under extreme pressure using only paper and pen and teaching cyberwarfare to spies are just a few of the Eric J. Gates imagemoments he’s willing to recall. He is an ex-International Consultant who has travelled extensively worldwide, speaks several languages, and has had articles and papers published in technical magazines in six different countries, as well as radio and TV spots. His specialty, Information Technology Security, has brought him into contact with the Military and Intelligence communities on numerous occasions. He is also an expert martial artist, holding 14 black belt degrees in distinct disciplines. He has taught his skills to Police and Military personnel, as well as to the public. He now writes thriller novels, drawing on his experiences with the confidential and secret worlds that surround us.

Book Description

Outsourced is a Thriller based in New York City encompassing the storylines of four primary characters, two competing thriller novelists, an Intelligence Agent, and an Assassin as they all try to gain control of ‘the device’.

Book Review

Nic Stiles and Phil Beasley are two writers who are publicly at war with each other in the world of thriller novels. The truth of their relationship unfolds as the story plays out. One thing they have in common is ‘the device’, an object that can make things happen for the owner. It sounds too good to be true and it is. Nic and Phil use their writer talents to face off against the US government and the assassin who owned the device before they did. The problem is, nothing turns out quite the way either intends for it to. Nic and Phil just want to be rid of the thing. The assassin wants revenge and the device back. The government wants it to use against another world power.

Gates weaves all the stories together in a fast paced read that is easy to follow. The only thing that may pull you out of the story and remind you that you are reading is the British spellings of words in the American setting. Normally I go through a book without it bothering me but there are a few times where I am definitely taken out of the world the author has created and reminded I’m reading a book. It didn’t stop me from enjoying the story, but if you have a problem with that sort of thing, like some British readers don’t like it when American writers don’t use British spellings in British settings, then just know there are some cases you’ll notice.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

Get Outsourced at:

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Contact Eric Gates at:

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Building Your Book’s Front Matter

I’ve always loved long introductions in the front matter of the books of my favourite authors. Not sure if it’s just me, but finding out more about them, their lives and thoughts has inspired me since I first started reading. What I don’t love so much these days is those same long introductions in the front matter of eBooks. I still want to read them, but I also want to be able to see the first ten percent of a book I might want to buy with a bit of the beginning of the actual story in it. It’s fine in a print book, but best in the back of an eBook with a hyperlink to it from the table of contents. Pages and pages of excerpts and reviews in the front of digital books equally get up the nostrils of potential readers “looking inside”.

The wonder of self-publishing means that we can put anything we like in our books, digital or otherwise. Indies who are going it alone look to advice from already published peers, or from examining the books of traditionally published bestselling authors. They’re not all the same, but mostly follow similar formats. So what can you put in the front of your eBook, and how should you lay it out?

Title Page
This is the first page in your eBook, and will contain the book title and sub-title if there is one, and your author name. In some illustrated books, the illustrator’s name will also go here, but not always. Contributors generally go on the copyright page. You can add a publishing imprint or logo, or even an illustration or photo. Nothing at all wrong with prettying up your eBooks. All should be centred on the page.

Copyright Page
Again, all centred, and generally in a smaller font. Here it’s important to have your copyright notice, such as – Copyright © 2016 Your Name. Also the All Rights Reserved notice of your choice. You can add your ISBN if you have your own, as well as information such as First or Second Edition with publication dates if relevant. This is usually where contributors such as illustrators, cover designers and anyone else who took part in the creation of your book would go. Many authors don’t add this information, and in the case of where you’ve purchased a cover design, not required. You can also have published by information here if you have an address for your imprint.

Dedications and endorsements can go next, but I suggest adding them to the back of the book if they’re very long with hyperlinks to the table of contents.

Table of Contents
Here you would list the book’s chapters, and noteable or important diagrams, images or tables. If you have loads of chapters you can condense the contents in the front matter by listing only sections of the book, but then link to the full unshortened table of contents at the back of the book. This is still debatable though, ever since Amazon started clamping down on those dodgy eBook marketers that put a lot of freebie links in the backs of nonsense books to get pages read for Kindle Unlimited earnings.

Forward and introduction or preface can go next if you’re having them, but again, you can place them in the back of the book with hyperlinks to the table of contents. The introduction or preface is something written by the author about the book and its creation. Those lovely long rambles by Stephen King, signed and dated in Maine. A forward is often a recommendation by someone other than the author. Often in non-fiction books by someone knowledgeable in some particular field, and in fiction, often a fan, friend, or follower of the author.

Prologue
If you’re having a prologue it obviously has to go in the front of the book, as prologues are there to get you up to speed in some way before starting the meat of the book.

Books By
If you don’t have a lot of front matter, and your booklist isn’t hugely long, then have this in the front, otherwise zoom it over to the back with a hyperlink to table of contents.

About the Author
I’ve seen this in the front of lots of books, and that’s fine. I prefer mine in the back.

About this Book
Personal choice once again, but vital for any eBook in my opinion. If it’s a long one, to the back it can go.

Disclaimer
Best in the front of a book if important.

Acknowledgements and Thanks
If only a couple of lines, then nice in the front matter.

Excerpts
I don’t think that excerpts should ever go in the front matter of any eBook. Rather have them at the end, when readers have discovered that they like the way you write and want to read more.

Whether or not to use a page break between each front matter item is also personal choice. I like the look with the breaks, but have seen many books without them that look perfectly good too. Without making it too overcrowded, do try and make the front matter of your books attractive and appealing as well as functional.

Book

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Heart of Annie – The Strength of God,” BY AUTHOR MARIANNE COYNE

The Heart of Annie

  • Title: The Heart of Annie… The Strength of God
  • Author: Maryanne Coyne
  • File Size: 655 KB
  • Print Length: 88 pages
  •  Publisher: Maryanne Coyne, 1st Edition
  • Publication Date: March 30, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00VGNP8UC
  • Formats: Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance, Religious & Inspirational, Christian Literature

In the Author’s Words:

“Fifteen-year-old Annie Salvatore loves the opportunities and excitement of growing up in early twentieth century America. Her dream of falling in love and escaping the tradition of an arranged marriage, much as her mother did years ago in Italy, is her future hope. But sometimes life doesn’t give us what we want in the package we had envisioned. As the year’s pass, Annie discovers that the love in her heart is not enough without strength.

Through life’s joys and woes, Annie’s faith presses her closer toward God. He gently teaches her heart to forgive and to love more deeply, as her spiritual journey unfolds. In surrendering her heart to His strength, Annie discovers the ability to conquer. Step back in time into Annie’s shoes and walk her journey, as it leads her to make one of the most important decisions in her life and the life of another.

Based on a true story of faith, courage, sadness and joy, The Heart of Annie…The Strength of God will uplift, encourage, and entertain you from the first page to the last.”

My Recommendation:

*The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

You know, sometimes I just want to read a book that is inspiring and uplifting. Believe me, this is one of those books! The Heart of Annie… The Strength of God will make you feel like you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Prepare to be awakened to the joys and sorrows of one woman’s life and how your own life journey can be renewed through love and compassion.

So much of our news today centers on immigration and the plight of immigrants across the world. It was important for me, to step back in time and remember that most of us in America would not be here but for our brave immigrant ancestors that started their lives anew in a foreign country. As the child and grandchild of immigrant parents and grandparents from Russia, I was deeply touched by Annie’s journey. Her story is one that will resonate with many women.

The novel is set in West Orange, New Jersey. It is the early 1920’s. Born in Italy, Annie balances between the two cultures, Italian and American, in a society that desperately clings to their Italian heritage. At the same time, she wants to embrace the language and customs of her new country. It appeared the younger generation of men and women were excited to embrace the new land, while the older men and women struggled to maintain their way of life from the old country.

Annie’s story is unique because of how she learns to deal with life. When fate deals some harsh blows to Annie and her husband, she rises to the occasion. Through her faith in God, she finds the strength to change and grow. What she finds is a gift of the purest kind, love, and compassion.

I read this book in one night. I loved this family and how they stuck together through thick and thin. The fact that the story is based on true incidents and people made it all the more special to me. No matter what your belief system is, you will love this story. Annie shows that through faith and compassion, we can overcome anything!

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

5gold-star3

 

 

 

Maryanne Coyne

Author, Maryanne Coyne

About Marianne Coyne:

Marianne Coyne is a licensed artist, an author, independent publisher, a published writer with Blue Mountain Arts, and an occasional public speaker. She finds immense joy in creating and affecting others in a positive way with her work. Marianne’s unique ability to inspire and encourage others is admired and respected by many.

She shares:

“I started as an artist.  When I painted a picture it told a story. Presently I tell stories that paint pictures.  As an artist and writer, I find immense joy in creating. Sharing what I create is the icing on the delectable cupcake of life. Painting and writing have impacted my journey in a remarkable and positive way, and I hope what I share with you will impact your journey in a positive way, too. I am a published writer with Blue Mountain Arts and have self-published two novellas and short stories, now offered as ebooks in Amazon Kindle. I have written children’s stories and songs, fairy tales, poetry, and much more. Many of these are being prepared to share with the public.”

Make certain to connect with Maryanne through her blog, Leisurelane.wordpress.com.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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#BookReview STREET SOLDIER by Andy McNab (@The_Real_McNab) Action packed, with an engaging protagonist and a hopeful and inspiring message

Street Soldier by Andy McNab
Street Soldier by Andy McNab

REVIEWS FOR LITERARY WORLD REVIEWS

Title:   Street Soldier
Author:   Andy McNab

ISBN13:  978-0857534705
ASIN:  B019CGXV08
Published:  August 11th 2016
Pages:  348
Genre:  YA, Survival, Action & Adventure

Description:

Sean Harker is good at two things: stealing cars and fighting. One earns him money, the other earns him respect from the gang that he calls family.

A police chase through the city streets is just another rite of passage for Sean . . . as is getting nicked. But a brutal event behind bars convinces him to take charge, and turn his life around.

Now he must put his street skills to the ultimate test: as a soldier in the British Army. And the battlefield is London, where innocent people are being targeted by a new and terrifying enemy.

Undercover, under threat – only Sean Harker can save the streets from all-out war. 

Body of review:

Thanks to Net Galley and to Penguin Random House UK Children’s for providing with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first novel I’ve read by Andy McNab and I was intrigued by his foray into young adult writing and particularly by the main character. Sean Harker is a young boy (sixteen at the beginning of the novel) who loves cars and speed, whose life has been quite difficult, with no male role figure, a mother who has struggled through difficult and often violent relationships and he find his identity and his sense of self through his belonging to a gang. He ends up in prison and is given the opportunity to join the army and make good. Although at first it sounds to him as if he’d be betraying his friends, when one of those comes to a bad end, he rethinks his priorities. But not everything is plain sailing and old acquaintances and new temptations come his way.

The story is set in the UK (and it uses its location, and particularly London at the end, in a very effective and spectacular way), told in the third person, from the point of view of the young protagonist, Sean, who is street wise but not always good at fully appraising his circumstances or seeing the whole picture. He has his heart in the right place (he feels for his friends, is loyal and wants to protect his mother, and dislikes the racist and sexist comments of some of the other members of his unit) but he can be manipulated and influenced by those more experienced than him. Although the story does not go into psychological depths regarding Sean’s personality and thoughts, and it does not dwell in detail on his past, there is enough to make him sympathetic, and his reactions, doubts, mistakes and fears are all too recognisable and real. He is the small guy everybody tries to take advantage of, who doesn’t know whom he can trust, but he eventually finds his way.

There is plenty of action, including violence (and traumatic and sad events) and use of swearwords (although this is not extreme considering the genre), and the novel deals with difficult subjects throughout, including: suicide, extreme maiming and death of a teammate by bombing, terrorism, ultra-right politics, gang warfare, domestic violence, imprisonment… The pace is fast, fluid, and there’s not let down of tension and intrigue. It is a true page-turner, and although at times it seems about to go on a dangerous direction, it pulls it all together beautifully at the end. The protagonist is put to the test emotionally, physically and psychologically and although his reasons might be good (or so he thinks) he makes many mistakes. Thankfully he is given a second chance and he proves himself worthy of it.

At the end of the book the author identifies himself with the main character and explains that his life circumstances were quite similar to those of Sean Harker and how he was also given a chance and now he spends part of his time going to schools to spread the word.  The character and McNab’s own story made me think of many young men I’d met in prison (when I worked as a forensic psychiatrist) whose lives and circumstances were not that different to those of the character depicted in this novel. I just hope they all have the chance, the opportunity and the will to make good too.

Street Soldier is a great read for young adults (and adults) who like action, a well-plotted book, full of tension and emotions. It also delivers a positive and wholesome message and I can see it turned into a successful TV series or an action film. I’m sure this won’t be the last of Andy McNab’s books I’ll read.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 4.5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $7.78
Kindle: $ 14.09

Hardback: $ 7.93

Audiobook: $25.06

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand #BookReview

  • Title:  Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand
  • Author: K.T. Munson
  • Print Length: 164
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: November 29, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy

When I first began reading Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand, my thought was “I’m going to really like this story.” Thankfully, I wasn’t at all disappointed. It had everything an avid reader wants: passion, hatred, love, magic, mystery.

The heroine of Zendar, Azel of a dying Bloodline, is strong-willed, pure and witty. She is a young woman who is already promised by her family to marry another. On her way across Zendar, her ship is attacked, and she comes face-to-face with Aleron, a ruthless leader who seeks revenge for the mistreatment of his ancestors, and wants nothing more but to rule every bit of Zendar. Aleron could have any woman he wants, but when Azel resists him, enticement toward her rises high within him.

Zendar starts off slowly, telling the much need to know history of Zendar and the Bloodlines. Once the world-building and the background are completed, we start the ground running with the present life of Azel, who is preparing to leave the only home she’d ever known to meet the future husband she’d never met.

The characters, from the walk-ons to the major were very believable, and you can’t help but want to know them more. Azel has a rare power which is powerful, but also has a major weakness. Along the line, she finds herself struggling against the duty to her family and the desires of her heart. We see Aleron as a leader, who is but a child that wants what he wants and usually gets his way.

Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand is a tightly written adventure, fast-paced, and I had to finish the novel in one sitting. There is nothing better than reading a book, which the images are so vivid, it’s as though you’re watching a movie. It is a novel that I may one day reread, and I hope that one day soon, a series will be in the works so that we may once again delve into the lives of Azel, Aleron, and their descendants.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

K.T. Munson is a freelance author. First published at 5 years old in the young writers conference, she has pursued writing ever since. She maintains a blog creatingworldswithwords.wordpress.com that is about writing and her novels. She was born and raised in the last frontier, the great state of Alaska.

 

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Interview with Mark Donovan of Waterkill.

mark-donovanToday’s guest is Mark Donovan , author of Waterkill, a book I recently reviewed here on LWI as well as Amazon and Goodreads. He currently resides in New Hampshire where he has spent his career working in various high tech engineering and marketing positions. He holds degrees in electrical engineering and business, and is a private pilot.

How much of Waterkill was influenced by the headlines?

The headlines of 2015/2016 did not influence me to write Waterkill. It was, however, the headlines from 2014 that compelled me to finish the book. I began writing Waterkill in November, 2013 and then after writing around 25K words I shelved it in January 2014. I Waterkilldidn’t go back to it for another 10 months and completed the first draft in April of 2015. It was the Ebola outbreak that hit the United States and Europe in late 2014 that caused me to decide to complete Waterkill. It was during this time that I realized how feckless our federal and state governments were in dealing with a major epidemic. This fact, along with the constant and real threat of radical Islamic terrorism, made me realize that I needed to complete Waterkill. I felt compelled to raise public awareness to the vulnerability of a biological terrorist attack, and that our public water supplies are soft targets.

I was able to read your first version of Waterkill and then some of your professionally edited version. You’ve done your work justice by doing so. What brought about your having the book edited?

I had half a dozen close friends and family review my “final” draft version of Waterkill and their editorial comments and reviews were benign and very positive. So, I decided to release the book. The first “official” reviews that came in on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads were also very positive. However, as time went on, and the reviews continued to come in, I began to see comments about the book needing some professional editing. So rather than continue to see the book take negative hits, I got proactive and began searching for an editor. After about a week I found a person who had been an editor for the past 25 years and had an impressive resume. I commissioned her immediately to do a Line-Edit and she did a great job, albeit I had a bit of a hard time at first accepting her reduction of the word count by 15%. In the end, after reading her completed work, I had to admit the book was much crisper and to the point. She also gave me a great deal of constructive advice for my next book. One important nugget of advice she gave me was to try to keep one point of view throughout the book. “No head hopping” was her constant reminder to me.

What was researching for the book like? You go into quite a bit of detail as far as geography for certain locations as well as some military weapons.

I’ve spent over 30 years in high tech as an electrical design engineer and product marketing manager. Along the way, I’ve designed or defined radar systems, infrared missile guidance seekers, telecom and datacom equipment and semiconductors, advanced computers that went on the space shuttle, and for the past 7 years, magnetic sensor semiconductors that are used in robotics, automotive and industrial markets. So from this background it was easy for me to write about the surveillance and weapon technology in Waterkill.Mark Donovan image

From the geographical perspective, I have traveled far and wide throughout the world during my career, including North America, Europe and Asia. In addition, I was able to interview my parents who spent nearly 10 years in Saudi Arabia, including 3 years living near the Yemen border to get the perspective on the culture, geography and people from that area.

What authors do you think have influenced your style of writing?

When I decided to begin writing the “Dave Henson” series I wanted to write books that were akin to Clive Cussler, but instead of an ocean/marine background theme, I chose to focus mine on technology and aviation since I have a passion for both. So, Clive Cussler novels certainly influenced me.

Michael Crichton, Ayn Rand and Wilbur Smith have also influenced my writing style. With Michael Crichton and Ayn Rand it’s the technology and willingness to be politically incorrect with the Zeitgeist of the day that inspires me to write. Both told compelling stories that also had messages that went against the grain of the prevailing political winds.  With Wilbur Smith, it’s his human rawness of both good and evil, along with his excellent storytelling, that influence my writing style.

Why a water based bioterrorist threat?

Today when we think of terrorism attacks we normally think of airplane hijackings or bombings and mass murder with semi-automatics. I wanted to make people aware that there are other ways that terrorists can attack, and that it can be fairly sophisticated. Many of the radical Islamic terrorists are well educated people, who have engineering degrees, and I might add provided by the United States College and University systems. Water is our most valuable resource and critical for our survival. It is also a commodity that many of us take for granted and that is also easily accessible to those who want to harm it.

What is your experience with Islam? I ask because there are times you do show a good knowledge during the story. I know because I had several Muslims work for me.

I have worked with many Islamic people over the years due to my high-tech background. Some have been, and are, good friends of mine. This is why I tried to be fair in my book to the Islamic religion, but not hesitating to point out that radical Islamic terrorism is a real problem that must be faced and dealt with. As I also mentioned, I had my parents perspective of them living nearly a decade in Saudi Arabia.

How much of the tech in the book is possible?

Much of it is possible. The work in Nanotechnology, and MEMs technology, has just been astounding over the past decade. Case in point, the drone technology that we have today. Some military drones are as small as a housefly today, and there are companies/research institutions that have demonstrated swarm behavior with these micro-drones. The nano-dust that is mentioned in this book is still for the most part theoretical, however, due to nano-material science I believe we are only a decade away from realizing this concept. Michael Creighton discussed this technology in his book PREY that he released in 2002.

You handle Islam very carefully in Waterkill. Some authors could have made it a one-sided affair but you took the time to show the degrees of the faith. Was this a conscious effort or did the book lead you in that direction?

I made a conscious effort to be fair and not to confuse individuals with twisted minds, for whatever reason, and a population of 1.2B people that practices Islam, most of which is comprised of peaceful people.

There is a quote you use at the end of the book, where did you get that from? (Meaning, did a friend lead you to it, did you stumble on it. Something like that. And I’m talking about the Muhammad quote.)

Through my research on Islam I stumbled upon that phrase/quote and felt it had a great deal of relevant meaning to my story.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a new book with the working title “ROBOGOD”. It is a departure from my “Dave Henson” series and delves into the world of robots and how they will impact our lives both professionally and personally in the not-so-distant future. In my current day job I am heavily involved in the robotic industry, and the stuff that I see coming is exciting from a technologist perspective, but also very frightening from a human and ethicist. The book raises questions on how ready the human race is prepared to work and live with robots that look and act very similar to humans. See an article that I recently had published in RoboticTrends.com on the topic of robots: http://www.roboticstrends.com/article/the_role_of_magnetic_position_sensors_in_robots_and_the_iort

Mark Donovan's Lake View imageWhat do you do for fun?

I love to fly, read, hike and be with my family. I am fortunate enough to live on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire where it allows me to do all these things.

What authors do you read?

As previously mentioned my writing has been influenced by reading the works of Clive Cussler, Wilbur Smith, Ayn Rand and Michael Creighton. However, my reading is quite eclectic. For example I love reading Lee Child, Ted Bell, and James Patterson. However, I just finished reading the Great Gatsby from F. Scott Fitzgerald. I remember reading the book in high school, and saw it a couple of weeks ago just before I left for a job trip. So I grabbed it and read it on the plane.

Give us one word to describe your book.

Techno-thriller.

What’s your favorite word and why?

My favorite word is “Do”. I have always been a big proponent of personally doing things rather than just thinking about doing them or watching others do something, e.g. laying on a sofa and watching a sporting event rather than playing the sport yourself. Life is too short to just dream and think, or watch others live life, but never personally do something big yourself.

Get Waterkill at:

amazon logo with link

 

 

Connect with Mark at:

facebook logo with linkgoodreads logotwitter logoAuthor Site Image with Link

Should You Buy Your Own ISBN Numbers?

Your book’s ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is the 10 or 13 digit number assigned to every published book, and identifies things like edition, publisher and physical properties. Each particular edition of any published book has to have its own unique number, so you can’t use the same number if you choose to republish an already published book. The new book must have its own new number. I have seen writers on various forums claim that they’ve used the same ISBN number for both their paperback and their eBook versions, but if they did indeed get away with that they shouldn’t have. A quick squiz at Bowker’s rules (internationally applicable) will show quite clearly that a separate ISBN number is required for each format as well. eBook, audiobook, paperback and hardback. Getting even more picky, you could have MOBI and ePub versions published on different platforms. You could end up needing a whole pile of ISBN numbers for the same book. They aren’t cheap unless bought in bulk though, and many self-published authors would rather spend that money on other aspects of publishing and marketing. So how important is purchasing ISBN numbers for the Indie writer?

CreateSpace will supply a free ISBN number to each edition of any paper book that you publish with them. The only “drawback” to this is that they are listed as the book’s publisher on its landing page. CreateSpace isn’t named as publisher in the actual paperback – all you’ll see there is Made in the USA, Charleston, SC, and the date of publication. Very few purchasers will take note of this, or have any sort of clue what it signifies. You are not allowed to list any publishing imprint if you use a free ISBN from CreateSpace. You can if you buy one through them for $99, or you can purchase and supply your own. You can purchase ISBNs from Bowker in the USA or Nielsen in the UK.

Amazon doesn’t care at all whether or not you buy and supply your own ISBN number. They use the ASIN numbers that they assign anyway. The good thing about that is that you can assign your own publisher name both in your eBook and also on its landing page while still using only an Amazon ASIN number.

It is much nicer to have your own ISBN numbers, and to be able to list your publishing imprint on CreateSpace books, but absolutely not necessary if you can’t afford it, or are just starting out in the industry. At a later date you can publish a new edition with your own number if you choose to. CreateSpace and Amazon being listed as the publishers of the book has absolutely no effect on your copyright. Copyright only has to be legally registered in too few countries around the world to mention. The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works has us covered anyway. Unless you intentionally sign a contract handing over your copyright it is owned by you.

If you want to try and sell your books in bookstores and go for a printer like Lightning Source then you must have your own ISBN, but be aware also that books sold this way must be heavily discounted and you must make provision for returned books too, so unless you’re pretty sure of knockout sales this way, think twice.

So, the final breakdown as far as I can see is that if you can comfortably afford to buy your own ISBNs then do, but if you can’t then don’t worry about it at all. CreateSpace free issues and Amazon’s ASINs are perfectly respectable and the sort of thing that most readers won’t notice.

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Image Courtesy Pixabay

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Truth She Knew,” BY AUTHOR @JAOWENBY

The Truth She Knew

  • Title:  The Truth She Knew
  • Author: J. A. Owenby
  • Print Length: 238 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publication Date: September 18, 2016
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1533660549
  • ISBN-13: 9781533660541
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Drama

In the Author’s words:

“A bittersweet story of young love independence, and soul-crushing manipulation. J.A. Owenby shines a light on the impact that mental illness can have on a family.” —Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, Ph.D., Professional Life Coach

Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me.

For eighteen-year-old Lacey, life at home is a rollercoaster. She doesn’t think she’ll ever be good enough to truly deserve Mama’s love.

But when Lacey enters college and meets Walker, everything starts to change. Suddenly, Lacey is face to face with the realization that maybe what she’s always seen as normal really isn’t. Her entire life—and everything she’s ever believed about herself and her family—is abruptly hanging in midair.

Lacey is left facing two paths, and she has to make a choice. The first means walking away from everything she’s ever known. The other means never really knowing the truth.

The Truth She Knew offers an honest and powerful glimpse into mental illness, the meaning of true love, and the psychological waltz that a daughter dances as she endures her mother’s unpredictable emotions, manipulation, and abuse.”

My Recommendation:

*The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

Eighteen-year-old Lacey has reached the point in her life where she is ready to strike out on her own. The stars are shining down upon her and independence is within reach. She is a beautiful girl with a job and friends that mean the world to her. Her life is wide open. That is, except for her family.

Lacey belongs to a family where she is an outcast. Her overbearing mother reminds her on a daily basis that she wishes she had never been born. To Lacey, this is the normality of her life. She has learned to watch for the subtle signals from her mother that alert her to the changes in her personality. Always on the lookout for acceptance from her mother, but seldom finding it, Lacey finds it is easier to hide in the sanctuary of her room when the tirades begin. She lives a lonely existence.

One night, after she sneaked away to attend a friend’s party, Lacey has a chance encounter with a handsome guy named, Walker. There is an immediate attraction between the two of them. Once the sparks begin to fly, Lacey knows she is falling in love. Their resulting affair left me breathless! Beware. There is sex in this novel, however, I found it to be realistic and between two loving individuals.

As Lacey’s family life becomes more violent, she revels in the strong arms of Walker. His belief in her leads her to the safety she seeks. It is through his love that Lacey starts to learn that her life is not normal. Finally, things spiral out of control when her mother interferes in her life one last time, endangering her relationship with Walker.

I read and reviewed the short story called Tears in the Sun, also penned by J. A. Owenby, which was the basis for this novel. Click here to read my review.

Just so you know… I could not put this novel down! Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride and have the box of tissues handy. J. A. Owenby depicts Lacey as someone you want to help and protect. I cried at the horrors she was forced to endure. Mental illness figures predominantly in the writing, exposing the reader to a world filled with dread. Lacey haunted my dreams for a few nights after I finished the book.

This is the first book in the series and it does end on a bit of cliff-hanger. The Truth She Knew has not been released yet. It has an expected publication date of September 16, 2016.

I also know the author is working on the second novel, so there should not be a long wait in between publication.

Do you like the kind of novels that lead you on a journey of self-discovery, recovery, and independence? If so, this is the book for you. I loved it and I know you will too! I look forward to finding how Lacey copes with her dysfunctional family.

back to reality

I have a book hangover! It’s time to get back to reality!

MY Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

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J.A. OwenbyAuthor, J. A. Owenby

About J. A. Owenby:

J.A. Owenby lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and two cats.

She’s a published author of six short stories, and she is currently working on her second full-length novel. She also runs her own business as a professional resume writer and interview coach—she helps people find jobs they love.

J.A. is an avid reader of thrillers, romance, new adult, and young adult novels. She loves music, movies, and good wine. And call her crazy, but she loves the rainy Pacific Northwest; she gets her best story ideas while listening to the rain pattering against the windows in front of the fireplace.

You can follow the progress of her upcoming novel on Twitter @jaowenby and Facebook at Author J. A. Owenby

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

 

 

 

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#Bookmarketing New and well-tried ideas by Derek Murphy (@Creativindie) Check them out!

Hi all:
I’ve had a bit of a crazy week and when I was thinking about this post it occurred to me that sometimes it’s not always about new stuff (the wheel was invented quite a while back) but about sharing something one has come across that seems to cover a fair amount of ground, both things that we might know and have tried already and others that we haven’t.

Thanks to Unsplash for another colourful image
Thanks to Unsplash for another colourful image

This article by Derek Murphy is one of those. 29 New Ways to Sell More Books Right Now (check here) goes through a variety of options, from following authors you like in Twitter, to setting up local events with other authors, from having the first book in a series perma-free to giving away book by famous authors in your genre to attract more followers.

Go and visit, follow Derek’s blog and see if any of his suggestions resonate with you. The beauty is that they are very different, and go from things that require little time investment to those that might attract those of us who prefer a challenge.

I hope you find them useful.

Thanks to Derek Murphy for his blogpost, thanks to you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK!

HIM: After the UFO Crash #BookReview

  • Title:  HIM: After the UFO CrashHIM: After the UFO Crash by [Verkaik, Koos]
  • Author: Koos Verkaik
  • File Size: 650KB
  • Print Length: 247
  • Publisher: Sarah Book Publishing
  • Publication Date: May 11, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction

Arthur Croft commits suicide after sending a special capsule into space. Jasper Froch learns how to control the phenomenon of synchronicity. In Sangrine, Florida, a UFO crashes, which results in people beginning to act strange, and many of them turn out to be geniuses. Murderers become so clever, they become more dangerous than ever. Froch soon learns the depth of the mystery behind the UFO, Arthur Croft and his own role in the happenings.

In HIM: After the UFO Crash, there is a lot of scientific background. The real-life science aspects help wield the story together in order to bring the fiction to existence. The information can be overwhelming at times, which can make for a slower pace than need be. As we progress through the characters’ lives, the events they are going through can appear unimportant to the story’s objective, which aides in the sluggish pace. However, as we near the end, everything begins to make even more sense, and you will be blown away by the outcome.

The dialogue can often be tremendously long and tedious. I have caught myself skimming over it, then ended up going back to reread in case I missed something. Sometimes I was confused at whether the character was thinking, speaking, or if it was the narrator.

HIM: After the UFO Crash is not for everyone, and definitely is not your normal leisure, easy-to-read sci-fi novel. You’ll want to be patient, take your time, and focus on each scene, every character. By the time you’ve finished, you’ll be glad you did. It was very cleverly written, putting aside quite a few repetitions in the dialogue and narrative. The images Koos Verkaik gives us of the people and places are vivid, and the tale would make an excellent mini-series.

If you enjoy science fiction, the prospect of UFOs, and a story that throws twists and turns around every corner, then I recommend HIM.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

Biography

Koos Verkaik was born in Holland, near Rotterdam. Worked as a copywriter. His first comics (three pages each week) were published in the magazine Sjors when he was 16 years of age; he wrote his first novel (SF) in a weekend at the age of 18 and it was published by Civo The Hague.

He wrote hundreds of comic scripts and published over 60 different books, both children’s books and urban fantasy novels.

Publishers: Civo, Sari, Thieme, De Arbeiderspers, Holco, Evolutionary Publishing, LadyBee Publishing, Whiskey Creek Press, Sarah Book Publishing and many others.

Koos writes (novels) every day and translated many books from English and German into Dutch.

E-mail: verkaik@koosverkaik.com
Website: http://www.koosverkaik.com

Koos is working on his series of children’s books now: ALEX AND THE WOLPERTINGER.

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An Interview with Kate Frost of Beneath the Apple Blossom.

Kate-FrostToday’s special guest is Kate Frost, a UK author with a personal story to share.

Where do you hail from?

Bristol, a city in the south west of England that’s wonderfully cosmopolitan with lots going on, yet also within easy reach of countryside and the coast. I’ve always lived here apart from three years spent at university in Aberystwyth, a gorgeous seaside town in Wales.

Who are the authors that most inspired you to become a writer, or that you think influence your writing style?

It was the books I read in my childhood that inspired me to become a writer – authors like Roald Dahl, J.R.R. Tolkien and Arthur Ransome. I loved the way they could transport me to another world, and as I had a vivid imagination anyway, together the two things just clicked.

I imagine you get asked this a lot, but your book, Beneath the Apple Kate Frost FamilyBlossom, covers many of the stages of young 30 something women’s lives, how much for your life or those around you did you pull from?

Certainly friends who know me well will understand how my life has influenced this book. I wrote Beneath the Apple Blossom as a direct result of having fertility treatment, so the emotions within the book and the actual experience of undergoing treatment are true to life, yet the characters and their individual experiences are fictional. I had toyed with writing a memoir but decided what I went through was too personal to share, so I thought about turning it into a novel instead – that’s when the characters of Pippa, Georgie, Sienna and Connie were born. I was inspired by the online friendships (and the one in real life) I made via the fertility centre forum I was a part of during four cycles of fertility treatment, and that led to the relationship Pippa and Connie have in the book. Thirty-something women are interesting to write about as it seems to be an age when there’s a lot going on, whether that be the decision to have babies or not, relationship struggles, infertility concerns or career worries.    

Beneath the Apple BlossomWhat’s the significance of the title of the book?

There are two pivotal scenes that take place literally beneath an apple blossom, which I won’t describe as it will give too much away. Apart from those two scenes the reason behind the title is the idea of an apple tree in bloom being so beautiful and full of life compared to the dark, tangled mass of roots below ground. Often what we see on the surface of a person’s life is completely different to the turmoil they’re going through beneath the surface. 

What genre do you think your book falls into?

Contemporary women’s fiction – although that’s a very broad term. Family life and women’s literary fiction are sub-genres it could slot into quite well.

Tell our readers a little about Beneath the Apple Blossom.

In a nutshell it’s about four women, two longing to have a baby, two desperate to not be pregnant, and how they struggle with the choices they’ve made and the hand that life’s dealt them.

Could you have written this book before your son came along?Kate and Leo

Absolutely not. The core idea of this book was a direct result of having undergone four rounds of fertility treatment and the highs and lows that went hand in hand with it. Clearly we got lucky in the end but that was after four years of heartache and despair. As a writer it was all emotional fuel for a novel (not that I was thinking like that at the time!) – infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy and birth. Although the book is fictional it helped to draw upon my own experience of these things.  

How do you think writing for magazines has helped your novel writing?

It’s helped by giving me the mindset of working to a deadline. Particularly with self-publishing it’s easy to let things slip and put things off, so I write novels the way I would write an article for a magazine and set myself a deadline and stick to it. 

The Butterfly StormTell us about your previous book The Butterfly Storm.

It’s quite different to Beneath the Apple Blossom, both in the way it’s written and the subject matter, although there are common themes such as family, friendship and impending motherhood. At its heart is a love story with Sophie Keech escaping from her fiancé and overbearing mother-in-law-to-be in Greece, back to the beautiful north Norfolk coast in the UK when her estranged Mum is injured in an accident. It then follows her physical and emotional journey to discover who she is, where she belongs and who she loves. I published it in 2013 and it’s done really well, featuring in Amazon’s Movers and Shakers chart on more than one occasion and making it into the top five in Literary Fiction and Women’s Literary Fiction categories.

What are you currently working on and why?

I’m working on a lot of things! I’m writing the second book in The Hopeful Years series that follows Beneath the Apple Blossom and Connie’s story in Tanzania and Zanzibar. I’m also halfway through writing the second book of a time-travel adventure trilogy for 9-12 year-olds. Into the Past (Time Shifters Book One) is going to be published in October, so it’s a busy year. 

With your being so accident prone, aren’t you concerned about indulging in your cooking obsession?

Ha, yes! I seem to be okay cooking and haven’t had too many accidents, save a couple of minor scalds. I think it’s the fact that I’m pretty unstable on my feet that’s the issue. It’s just as well that we don’t get much snow in the UK as I cannot walk on ice and look like some crazy adult-sized baby learning to walk when I do.

How did end up with your publisher, Lemon Tree Press?

Ah well, Lemon Tree Press is actually my publishing name. Instead of publishing under ‘Kate Frost’ I’ve

effectively set up my own publishing company under which I’ve bought my ISBNs and will publish my books.

What advice to you have for authors out there looking to find a publisher?

Persevere and make your book as good as it can be. I got very close to getting both an agent and a publisher but neither worked out in the end. I personally didn’t persevere with finding a publisher and instead took things into my own hands and self-published. I haven’t looked back. 

Finally, what one word describes your book?

Emotional.

Get Kate’s Next Big Success at:

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Connect with Kate:

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#Book #Review by @RobertHughes05 Of ‘The House Next Door’ by @macmillanjones

The House Next Door - Will MacMillan Jones

Title: The House Next Door

Author: Will MacMillan Jones

Published: 10 January 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Genre: Paranormal

Language: English

Pages: 262 (paperback)

ISBN-10: 1523344008

ISBN-13: 978-1523344000

Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 21.6cm

Price: £9.99 (Kindle – £2.60)

Sold By: Amazon UK  Amazon USA

When Shiela finds herself compelled to buy a genuine antique in a strange little shop, she didn’t bargain for what came with the statuette. Mister Jones finds himself once again drawn into the dangerous world of the paranormal, this time via The House Next Door.

I purchased the paperback version of this book at the Llandeilo Book Fair.

The House Next Door is the third in the series of the Mister Jones collection of paranormal mysteries. I wasn’t put off by the fact that I had not read the first two books in the series and quickly fell into getting to know the characters.

The opening chapters of the book build nicely into what is coming up. They gripped me and I was soon engrossed in what was going on. What I really did like was the way MacMillan Jones jumped ahead in the story from the point of view of the characters before going back again to pick up why certain characters found themselves where they were. It’s clever writing which I admire very much and he did it in such a way that I never once lost my way in any of the story plots.

For some reason, I was expecting a lot of gore in this book, but there was little of it. Don’t be put off by the front cover if you don’t usually read paranormal. It may look frightening, but I wasn’t frightened once by what was going on inside the book. The story is told well in wanting to make the reader know what is going to happen next and, like all great authors, MacMillan Jones ends some of the chapters with some great cliffhangers. I find this is always a guarantee in making the reader read on instead of putting the book down and perhaps never coming back to it.

I was expecting the story to be creepy and that is what disappointed me most of all. I felt the sparks were there to ignite the story, but they never actually got going. For me, it was as if seasoning had not been added to what could have been a great meal. The story of a strange antique statuette that comes with an evil presence grabbed me, but what the nightmare transpired into didn’t have me hiding behind the cushions. Nevertheless, this book will certainly appeal to those who don’t like being scared witless!

Did it make me want to read the first two books in the Mister Jones series? I’m neutral on this because, whilst I enjoyed the story much, I didn’t take to Mister Jones. He rather irritated me in parts, but maybe that is what the author intended? I felt I wanted to rough him up a little and to make him not know all the answers all of the time. On the other hand, one of the other characters, Ian Evans, was far more likable and, throughout the book, I was willing him on to be the real hero.

Ratings

Realistic Characterisation: 4/5

Overall Enjoyment: 3.5/5

Readability: 5/5

Recommended: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Review by:

Hugh Roberts

Hugh Roberts

Twitter: @RobertHughes05 (https://twitter.com/RobertHughes05)

Blog: hughsviewsandnews.com (http://hughsviewsandnews.com/about/)

Facebook: Hugh W. Roberts (https://www.facebook.com/HughsViewsAndNews05)

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Indies Making the Most of All Opportunites

Self-publishing today isn’t anything at all the way it used to be, where “vanity publishing” was looked at as something people did after being totally rejected by traditional publishers, and deciding to try and find customers themselves as a last resort for the huge pile of books in their garage, because their writing wasn’t good enough to be offered in bookstores. These days we make the choice to do it ourselves because we have the opportunities to produce professionally turned out products, the freedom to use social media to promote our work worldwide, and with platforms like Amazon and CreateSpace we get full control of all aspects of our business, as well as great royalty percentages.

Even though readers have a tendency to buy more Indie eBooks than they do paperbacks, it’s a good idea to make sure that you do have both versions available, and make sure that they’re available to as many corners of the world’s readership as they can be. When you publish on Amazon, choose as many territories to sell as you are allowed, and when marketing make sure to supply a global purchase link. A reader is going to have to really want a book very badly to go and look for it on their home site of Amazon UK or Amazon Canada if the link takes them to Amazon.com. Copy your book’s ASIN number and zoom over to a site that will convert it into a link that will automatically take whoever clicks on it to the Amazon page that they buy from.

Also be aware of the benefits of CreateSpace free expanded distribution, and make sure that you select it. This means that your paperbacks will be available for sale online at Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, and even in corners of the world such as South Africa from major online sellers such as Takealot and Loot, even if your eBook is exclusive with KDP Select. Grab all the opportunities for worldwide visibility that you can, even if they only translate to a couple of sales a year, you never know where opportunity lurks.

We have the ability to produce quality products, pretty much indistinguishable from traditionally published books, and often much better. Even if writers today can’t afford to pay for all the things that go into getting published, with a bit of time and effort it can all mostly be done themselves. This is a great time for Indie authors, so grab every opportunity available to you now. As the industry grows and grows, hopefully you’ll look back one day and be glad that you did, when you could.

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Image Courtesy Pixabay

@FTThum #BookReview ‘The Valley Where They Danced’ by Emory Jones

I was encouraged to read this book by  the local store owner at Tallulah Point Overlook, GA.  So glad I did.

Valley

Title:          The Valley Where They Danced
Author:          Emory Jones
Publishers:     Emory Jones LLC (2014)
Format:          Hardback
Website:         The Valley Where They Danced
Pages:             290
Genre:            Literary fiction

What’s it about?

The author, Emory Jones, is a local of this area of Northeast Georgia, USA which is the backdrop of this enchanting tale.

It is the early 20th century, shortly after the end of World War I. Dr Tom Garrison a newly licensed doctor travels from Macon, Georgia to be the local doctor in Clarksville, GA.  As he familiarizes himself to the town and its delightful characters, he meets the resourceful Lenore Conley. Even on the first time they meet, they know their destiny is sealed. But a sinister presence lurks. Will it pose a threat? What will become of Tom and Lenore, as their story masterfully told by Emory Jones, closes at Tallulah Gorge, GA.

The tale of the two lovebirds is woven into the tapestry of life and history of the Sautee Nacoochee valleys from the beginning of the hydro electricity dams being built to references to the new motorised vehicle and the aftermath of WWI for those fortunate to return home.  And let’s not forget the two legends of the Sautee and Nacoochee.  Will Tom and Lenore’s fate follow?

Would I recommend it?

A gripping tale amidst the rich historical context kept me glued to ‘The Valley Where They Danced’. How I wish I had read this book before I visited this part of Georgia.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization:  4/5
Made Me Think:                   3/5
Overall enjoyment:               4/5
Readability:                           4/5
Recommended:                     4/5
Overall Rating:                  4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 9.03
  Hardback USD 26.95
Emory Jones LLC Hardback USD 26.95

~ FlorenceT

florence-2

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

© 2016 LitWorldInterviews

#BookReview of Blind Thrust by @SamMarquisBooks

Blind Thrust by Samuel Marquis Cover imageBlind Thrust

by Samuel Marquis

Fiction: Thriller/Suspense/Environmental/Action. 307 Pages (PRINT). Mount Sopris Publishing (October 1, 2015)

five gold stars image

Author Biography

Samuel Marquis is a bestselling, award-winning suspense author. His books include “The Slush Pile Brigade,” “Blind Thrust,” “The Coalition,” and “Bodyguard of Deception.” He works by day as a VP–Hydrogeologist with an environmental firm in Boulder, Colorado, and by night as a spinner of historical and modern suspense yarns. He holds a Master of Science degree in Geology, is a Registered Professional Geologist in eleven states, and is a recognized expert in groundwater contaminant hydrogeology, having served as a hydrogeologic expert witness in several class-action litigation cases.

Book Description

Blind Thrust by Samuel Marquis is a suspense/thriller set in Colorado that paints a picture of what could happen when greed overrides common sense. That’s a simple way of saying it. But then, I’m a simple speaking kind of guy. Environmental Geologist Joseph Higheagle has a problem, keep his mouth shut and keep a nice paying job, or go with his conscience and do what’s right for thousands of people.

The choice might sound easy but when you factor in a billionaire bad guy, corrupt senators, evil security bad boys and a hired assassin sent to shut you up, you might think twice, at least.

Book Review

In this first Joseph Higheagle adventure Sam Marquis does a great job introducing the core of the main character, as well as his grandfather/father figure Chief John Higheagle, a retired lawyer who now lives with him and acts as his sounding board when the young Higheagle is faced with moral forks in the road.

Combine that with some great supporting characters like the EPA agent Nina Curry, a romantic interest for HIgheagle, the younger one, not the old chief, and the USGS director Nickerson and you have a great story that’s well developed and fast paced.

You might not think an environmental thriller would be very thrilling, but Marquis puts his years of experience as a geologist to work and it is very apparent in the technical speak that’s in the book. Sometimes that sort of becomes a bit heavy and repetitive but I see it as being legitimate to the conversations occurring.

One thing I like about the antagonists in a Marquis novel is that they are not one dimensional. You almost see the humanity side of them and in Blind Thrust it’s very apparent. Charles Quantrill is a powerful man that ends up in a situation that he never saw coming, but that doesn’t make it any better nor does it make him any less guilty.

I read this one in about two days. It’s that fast paced and I think you’ll enjoy it.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

Get Blind Thrust @:

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Connect With Sam @:

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#Interviewsintranslation. Mo de la Fuente (@ModelaFuente) and THE QUIET ISLAND

Hi all:

I’ve been promising you for a while that I’d be back with some more interviews to writers who had had their books translated to English. But summer can be a very busy season, not only in the writing department but also with school holidays, personal things, etc, so there has been some understandable delay.

Finally today I bring you Mo de la Fuente.  My confession… I was the one to translate her book. I have appended my review at the end, although this is my review of the novel in Spanish (I don’t comment on the quality of the translation. Mo has been kind enough to tell me that she has enjoyed the English version too, and I recommend the story wholeheartedly).

Mo told me she couldn’t find any pictures she liked of herself (although I can tell you I like all her pictures), so….

The Quiet Island by Mo de la Fuente. Translated by Olga Núñez Miret
The Quiet Island by Mo de la Fuente. Translated by Olga Núñez Miret

 

When and how did you start writing?

I had always written short stories because I didn’t have the patience required for a novel. When I got the idea for my first book Ojalá Paula (Hopefully, Paula) I realised that it was time to sit down quietly in front of the computer and dedicate to the story a bit longer than just a few hours.

Describe briefly your experience as an independent author:

I imagine that my story is that of most independent writers. After sending my manuscript to many publishing companies and having it rejected, Amazon seemed to be a good way to share what I do. The main problem I’ve had is promoting the novel, because sometimes one has to make hard choices between carrying on writing or dedicating one’s time to marketing and selling the books. The advantage: the freedom to write what you want within the deadline you choose for yourself. Zero pressure.

The moment that I remember with the most affection (until now) in all my experience as a writer is the first positive review of my book and, of course, the many hours I spend writing.

Favourite genre:

I don’t have a favourite genre. I’m a compulsive and eclectic reader. I read almost everything.

What made you decide to translate your work? And what process did you follow to find a translator?

I decided to translate the novel because my sales were increasing day by day in the United Kingdom. When it was time to choose a translator I chose Olga Núñez Miret because she had the characteristics I was looking for: a writer in her own right and one who lived in the United Kingdom.

Tell us a little bit about your novel.

The Quiet Island is a police procedural story with a very singular backdrop, a magnificent island close to Alicante, and I think the profile of the protagonists is pretty unique too. The public have particularly liked the character of Mónica Esteller, sub inspector in the case, with a troubled past that is slowly uncovered throughout the novel.

Any advice for fellow writers (especially new writers).

I don’t think I’m the best person to give any advice other than to enjoy writing and to keep your feet firmly on the ground at the moment of publishing. What I mean is: it’s difficult to live of your writing. It’s likely that one’s favourite book struggles to find any readers but, what does it matter? Apart from any success of sales, a true writer will never be able to stop writing, so, let’s enjoy it!

Links to connect and follow Mo:

The page of her books in Amazon:

https://www.amazon.es/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Mo+de+la+Fuente&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Mo+de+la+Fuente&sort=relevancerank

Blog: http://ojalapaula.blogspot.com.es/

Twitter: @ModelaFuente

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mo.delafuente

And here, the description of the novel and my own review:

As dawn breaks, the usual calm of a tiny quiet Mediterranean island is shattered by the news. A teenage girl has gone missing. Inspector Villanueva, temporarily transferred to the island, and sub-inspector Esteller must fight against the elements, the lack of resources, and their own demons to solve the mystery of what happened in a place where nothing ever does.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FPBRFDS/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01FPBRFDS/

My review. An island, a Mystery and Unforgettable Characters.

I don’t read exclusively a single genre, although I freely admit that I like thrillers and I read quite a few of them. In part because they are like a puzzle we try to solve thanks to the clues the text gives us, in part because I like to see how the writer manages to bring something new to the genre. And for me, no matter what type of story I’m reading, finding interesting characters I can connect with it’s the most important thing.

This novel takes place in the in the small island of Tabarca, in the Mediterranean, off the shore of Alicante. As several of the reviews of the book note, reading the novel makes one want to visit it, because of the wonderful descriptions of the peace and quiet, the thought of a place with no cars, without pollution, and calm. In such a small place, where everybody knows everybody else (apart from the tourists, of course) and where nothing ever happens, a girl’s disappearance is an event that upsets everyone. And when Clara turns up dead, things only take a turn for the worse. The combination of the place and the setting with the investigators: Hernán, an inspector sent there god knows why, Mónica, who had been sub-inspector in Barcelona but decided to quit due to personal reasons, and Raúl, the only one not hiding from something and who is totally happy there, works beautifully.

The investigation is hindered by circumstances (even with the arrival of the inspector, there are only three police officers in the island, there’s no lab, and now way of following correct protocol) and the lack of resources (an excellent commentary on the budget cuts Spain is suffering) and little by little we discover more details about the island’s inhabitants and about the members of the police. I really enjoyed the ending (that I won’t talk about in detail as I don’t want to spoil the surprise) and it rounds up a novel that although short is long enough to intrigue and touch us.

I found Mónica’s personal story, closely related to the case, fascinating, and it would make a great novel (or more than one) on its own. Apart from the details, for me the author manages to portray complex psychological aspects and the reactions of the characters in a very accurate manner, by using several points of view, that help the reader get under the skin of the characters, sharing in their emotions and their life experiences. For me, Mónica, María (the victim’s mother) and the island of Tabarca stand out in the narration and I’m sure I won’t forget them in a hurry.

I recommend this book to readers who love mystery novels that go beyond the usual, psychological thrillers and extraordinary settings.

Thanks so much to Mo for the interview and for her novel, thanks to you all for reading, and remember, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

 

Once Removed #BookReview

  • Title:  Once RemovedOnce Removed by [La Salle, Ken]
  • Author: Ken La Salle
  • File Size: 1198KB
  • Print Length: 234
  • Publication Date: June 17, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Cozy Mystery

Once Removed starts off slowly with the funeral of Terence (Terry) Montez, who dies in an incomprehensible suicide. His wife, Isabelle is seen in the first few chapters going through the motion, sad and disheartened of her husband’s untimely death. Despite missing his presence, she wants everything to return to normal.

Things begin to get interesting when Isabelle’s daughter Iris finds a mysterious letter from Terry. Is  it a love letter, or a suicide note? Soon after Isabelle is obsessing over the letter, she finds another, then another,  until she begins to believe that the letters are clues. But is Terry really telling her something?  Isabelle and Iris begin studying the letters, finding that Terry had hidden clues within the contents.

Once Removed is full of twists and turns, keeping you guessing right up until the end. Following the clues along with Isabelle and Iris, I tried to figure it out myself, but like any good story, I had no clue how it would end, although bits and pieces I was able to draw together myself.

There were a few misspells and grammatical errors in the narrative. The characters were developed well, most three-dimensional, especially the main ones, Isabelle and Iris. The dialogue was mediocre, and there were some telling rather than showing in the narrative. Nevertheless, I had to keep reading because my interest in finding out the story behind the letters kept me from setting the book down.

Once Removed is a good, easy-going summer read. I recommend to anyone who likes to sit back and solve mysteries along with the characters.

Overall Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

Biography

Ken La SalleAuthor and Playwright, Ken La Salle grew up in Santa Ana, California and has remained in the surrounding area his entire life. He was raised with strong, blue collar roots, which have given him a progressive and environmentalist view. As a result, you’ll find many of his stories touching those areas both geographically and philosophically. His passion is intense humor, meaningful drama, and finding answers to the questions that define our lives. You can find out more about Ken on his website at http://www.kenlasalle.com.

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Iron Pendulum,” BY AUTHOR @MELLO_ELO

The Iron Pendulum

  • Title:  The Iron Pendulum
  • Author: Eloise De Sousa
  • File Size:
  • Print Length: 156 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Lulu.com
  • Publication Date: June 26, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1326689983
  • ISBN-13: 9781326689988
  • ASIN: B01HYFLBII
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Murder Mystery

In the Author’s Words:

“Julia Webster and Hugo del Fuego are missing from their third-floor apartment in Bagley. The grisly display discovered in their home leaves Detectives Perkins and Jones with little evidence to follow and, as more remains turn up, the pressure mounts to find the killer. Time is the key element in solving a case riddled with dead ends and a strange family hiding its true evil behind the façade of money and power. Can they unravel the secrets hidden behind the closed doors and will it be enough to solve the case and rescue the couple in time?”

My Recommendation:

*The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

Answering a missing person call, Detective Inspectors, Bob Jones and James Perkins enter a flat in Bagley and are greeted by a grisly sight. Large silver hooks are  suspended above their heads fastened to the ceiling; the kind used for hanging freshly slaughtered livestock. Pieces of flesh, still dripping blood, are attached to the hooks. By the looks of the flesh, it could be animal or human… However, all they find inside the flat is an orange and green parrot screaming and screeching inside a cupboard.

If you aren’t creeped out yet, hang on! The occupants of the flat are missing. Julia Webster and Hugo Del Fuego, both in their early twenties have disappeared into thin air. The couple has rented the flat for the past three years and always were seen as dependable. Where could they be?

With little evidence to go on the detectives are thrown head first into one of the most bizarre missing person cases I have ever read. Author, Eloise De Sousa adeptly strings the reader along revealing more grisly discoveries along the way. There is an extraordinary family history intertwined within the story that propels you forward to the shocking conclusion.

For me, the story was all about the detectives. Both were interesting characters, deeply haunted by the inexplicable events. True to British murder mysteries, the author wove  the detective’s own stories into the sequence of events, giving the story a realistic quality. I loved these detectives! They played off of one another’s strengths and weakness perfectly.

If you love a good murder mystery and don’t get squeamish reading about blood and murder, then this book is for you. I did get pretty creeped out, I won’t deny that. No matter. I could not put this book down! I had to find out the truth of what happened. There is quite the shock factor when you reach the end… Remember, I warned you!

Gulps

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

5gold-star3

 

 

 

Eloise De Sousa 2Author, Eloise De Sousa

About Eloise De Sousa:

For many years Eloise has been writing stories to entertain children and adults alike.
Her new book, The Iron Pendulum, is a fictional thriller with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the very end and her romance thriller, Deception, has the passion and drive to transport you back to Zimbabwe, where her book is based.

Not satisfied with just writing adult fiction, she has recently released a new book in the Spoilt Miranda series, this time tackling the terrible trio, Cecil, Bertha and Thomas in her book Cecil The Bully. Lots of slapstick comedy and of course, some serious lessons can be learned through Eloise’s children’s books which deal with everyday bullying in schools.

For more information on her work and weekly updates, follow her blog at www.eloisedesousa.wordpress.com and at www.facebook.com/eloisebookcorner.

A full list of Eloise De Sousa’s books and ebooks can be found at www.eloiseds.com.

You can find Eloise on Twitter @mello_elo.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

#BookReview of The Rapture: Misunderstood by @JERoyle

the-rapture-misunderstoodThe Rapture: Misunderstood

by Jason E. Royle

Fiction/Non-Fiction: Spirituality/Christian/Eschatology/Religious Studies & Reference. 86 Pages Print. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 30, 2016)

five gold stars image

Author Biography

Jason E. Royle holds a Doctorate in Ministry from Sewanee: University of the South School of Theology and is the author of Judas: Hero Misunderstood as well as Jesus vs. Santa: Christmas Misunderstood. Writing, for Jason, is a way to express the ongoingJudas Hero Misunderstood story of theology. With every book or article, he hopes readers get a sense of the complexity of God and the necessity of faith. Captivated by the spiritual component of life, Jason loves to read everything from the Greek classics to the Sunday comics. While serving as pastor of a congregation near Memphis, TN, Jason wrote a weekly column in a local newspaper called Sermon in a Nutshell and has had devotions published in The Secret Place, among others. Today he lives with his beautiful wife and children in Schaefferstown, PA, where he serves as the pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.

Book Review

The Rapture: Misunderstood is the third in Royle’s Misunderstood series, where he takes a well known aspect of Christianity and breaks it down into fact from fiction. This time around Royle divides the book into two parts; one a short story to help ease the reader into the subject and the second touches on some basic scripture and doctrine from four different views of the Rapture itself amongst the Christian community.

The opening story is about 53 pages long and tells the story of a pastor who wants to bring about the Rapture sooner than later. We follow him and his five followers on their journey to achieve their goal and learn along the way. At each step of the journey we learn a truth and then see the pastor make a decision. Ultimately the reward is in his grasp. What does he do next? What he does may surprise some, may not others, but ultimately we learn a lesson straight from the Bible itself.

After the story you get the views of four views on the end times based on the interpretation of scripture. Royle states from the beginning this is not an in depth look at end times prophecy, it would take more than the 23 pages given to it here. His goal to give you a good starting place and an understanding of where the four thoughts are coming from. He’s also quick to note many of us are not entirely one or the other view but instead a mix and match set. Royle’s style and approach has always been open and welcoming to his readers. He’s a good first step in any journey to discovery you may wish to take. He also provides a list of books at the end of the book to further your reading and understanding.

by: Ronovan Hester

Get The Rapture: Misunderstood and other Jason Royle books at:

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Connect with Jason Royle at:

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Rotten Reviews and Terrible Trolls

You will get bad reviews. It’s inevitable, I promise you. Take comfort in the fact that it’s a rite of passage all writers go through. Every – single – one of them, and after the first one has you on the floor, bawling your eyes out, and inexplicably trying to chew your own foot off for a while, they’re not so hard to deal with. Some are pretty funny, and some are just to be ignored. There are people out there who delight in trashing books, and sometimes the authors of books too, for reasons unknown to most decent humans. Sometimes it’s jealousy, and sometimes it’s just because they’re mean. Sometimes also these one star stabs to the soul are perfectly legitimate in their author’s hearts and minds, because they really didn’t enjoy what you wrote for reasons that do or don’t make sense to you. Whatever the reasons are for your one star clanger, you must never, ever, never, never, and I repeat, never respond to them. If you really need to share your pain then talk to a friend – preferably a writer friend, who will totally get you. I personally don’t think that it’s a good idea to respond to fabulous five star rave reviews either. “Liking” that wonderful review is good enough. The reviewer might actually not appreciate being gushed at by an unknown author, no matter how much you really want to catch a plane, find them, and kiss them on the lips. Reviews are for readers, good ones and bad ones. It’s best for you to let them be.

Now the trolls on the other hand can be some crazy scary creatures. Try and avoid them at all costs, and be very wary of provoking any. After any amount of time cruising around our dear world wide web you’re guaranteed to come across a couple. Whether it’s something you’ll read in a forum or on a blog or article that enrages you so badly you act before thinking, or a troll actually infiltrating your own sites for whatever reason, you need to throw away that pointy stick without poking that horrible hairy monster, turn around very quietly and run away. On other sites you’re better off never getting involved with these people – ignore them, and they won’t even know that you were there. On your own sites use your block, ban, and report buttons with gusto in the event of any sort of blow across your bows. I have a few times and that’s been the end of that for me personally, but I have witnessed some pretty awful trollings online that were truly appalling to see, especially on Goodreads. Have no part in these things if you can help it.

When you do get a negative review, pass it on to that part of you who is the business – not the writer – figure out if there is anything to learn from it, in which case it becomes helpful, and if not, move right along and forget about it. Don’t waste your valuable online time on trolls and hurtful reviews.

How much time of every day should you spend “marketing” online, versus how much time should you spend each day writing your next book? Writing your next book must always take priority. A couple of self-published books have gone on to be NYT bestsellers with break out first novels, but that’s not the way this author life generally works. You have to produce more than one book. A little quirk that all of us readers have is the desire to read more from a writer we love. We’ll read a book that we adore, and praise it from the rafters. We’ll look for more books by the same author, and if there aren’t any, we’ll forget about it unless something pops up to remind us about it again. So schedule your daily writing time, and try and stick to it, doing other marketing and business related projects at other times of your day.

If you want to write books and earn a living from it, you are going to have to write and publish more books. If you’re writing a series you probably won’t see substantial sales until you have a couple of books out there. Don’t panic about this though. Underlying anxiety fussing about getting this done could very well knobble your creativity and leave you staring at a blank computer screen. I read an article by Hugh Howey a long time ago, where he said that he didn’t ever bother trying to market his first book until he’d published others. It was only his seventh book, Wool, that rocketed him to fame. I took his advice and I’m glad that I did. As you publish more, you learn so much more than you expect to after that bright eyed ecstasy when hitting the publish button for the very first time. Definitely do market and advertise your first book – of course you must, but don’t let disappointing first sales put you off writing the next or let marketing consume all of your time. You need time to build a readership. Patience and tenacity are what the Indie needs to succeed.

Troll

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

Article excerpt: The Absolute Indie

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