An Unlikely Friendship by Jasmine Fogwell – #BookReview

An Unlikely Friendship by Jasmine Fogwell
An Unlikely Friendship by Jasmine Fogwell

An Unlikely Friendship by Jasmine Fogwell is an imaginative, wholesome story with a surprise ending.

James, the main character, meets a 150 year old lady with a mystery-filled reputation.  To add to the suspense, James discovers the two of them have something in common—something found in the woods.

They’re wonderful, and if only you could tell your human loved ones of the bond you can share with one of those strange creatures, perhaps humans could learn from them, the 150 year old lady said to James.

The story moves along at a good pace and keeps you guessing, what happens next? An interesting, unique story filled with enough suspense to hold your attention. I enjoyed it. Our ten-year old daughter really enjoyed it. She can’t wait to get the next two books in the trilogy to see what happens next.

A  charming story for young readers. A great find.

5 stars.

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#BookReview of The Chip Maker by Bridgette L. Collins.

The Chip MakerThe Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast

by Bridgette L. Collins with Terry E. McGee Sr.

Fiction: Mystery/Suspense/Religious/Inspirational/Christian. 176 Pages Print. Just In Time Publishing (May 9, 2016)

4_stars_gold

Author Biography

Fitness coach Bridgette L. Collins is the owner of Total Innovative Wellness Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm that provides individuals and organizations with strategic solutions for implementing and sustaining healthy lifestyle habits. Through MAC Fitness and Origins Bridgette CollinsPublishing Company, subsidiaries of Total Innovative Wellness Solutions, LLC, she introduces innovative and creative resources for achieving well-being and physical fitness to help her clients gain traction on disease prevention and management. Coach Bridgette is also the author of Destined to Live Healthier and Imagine Living Healthier, which have educated and empowered many through the collection of fictional stories that tell of real life challenges with weight, health, work, marriage, and lack of self-love. She is also featured in The Ultimate Runner by Ultimate HCI Books, publisher of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Book Review

The Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast is Christian Suspense novel by Bridgette L. Collins, author of Broken in Plain Sight: A Story of Truth, Healing, and Love. In The Chip Maker we see the story of several lives as they run parallel to each other during a time of what seems to be biblical prophecy coming true. World chaos, the mark of the beast, the antichrists, and more. Each person makes a choice that has a definite consequence and we see how the worst can be counted among the best. Using scripture, headlines, and real possibilities, the authors tell a convincing story of what could happen if people put their minds to it. A fast paced read, I read it in one day. The book starts off in the then present day, and then switches back to several months prior. I would have liked the reverse but the story was still a good read. Overall a realistic possibility if egos got out of hand, which we can see happening in the news even today. I recommend the book to people interested in biblical prophecy or even slightly techno thrillers. Even if you’re not into prophecy you’ll still enjoy the book as a world domination story.

By: Ronovan Hester

Get Chip Maker at:

amazon logo with link

Connect with Bridgette L. Collins at:

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@FTThum #bookreview ‘I Let You Go’ by Clare Mackintosh

I needed a book to read, and this Sunday Times bestseller was compared to ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Girl on the Train’ so how could I not?

I let you go

Title:          I Let You Go
Author:          Clare Mackintosh
Publishers:     Sphere, Hachette (2014)
Format:          Paperback
Website:         www.claremackintosh.com
Pages:             371
Genre:            Psychological Thriller, Fiction

What’s it about?

Jenna Gray’s world disintegrated when she lost her son, in a hit-and-run.

It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?

In a bid to escape the memories and pain, Jenna ran away to the Welsh coast, initially keeping her identity a secret but gradually, as she re-discovered her old passion and talent and more, her life began to turn around.

But it was not to be, as her past returned to haunt her.

In the meantime, Detective Inspector Ray Steven was assigned to solve this hit-and-run case, only to find the mother of the victim missing, and encountering the world of web-shaming directed at Jenna as he experienced the tension between his career aspiration which demanded that he closed the investigation down and his moral conscience to solve this case. And all this on top of marital problems.

So how did the two worlds converge? This psychological thriller kept me guessing and truth be told, flipping back pages to ‘work it out’.

Would I recommend it?

Yes. An entertaining gripping read by the beach. Kept me up till I got to the twist end.

P/S Clare Mackintosh’s next book ‘I See You’ is due on 28 July 2016. Check it out here.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
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 9.08
  Paperback USD 6.05
Booktopia Paperback AUD 13.95
Bookdepository Paperback £7.99

 

~ FlorenceT

florence-2

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

© 2016 LitWorldInterviews

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Dolan Girls,” BY AUTHOR @SarahMallery1

The Dolan Girls

  • Title:  The Dolan Girls
  • Author: S. R. Mallery
  • File Size: 1022 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: December 3, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B018Y063XA
  • ISBN-10: 1519695241
  • ISBN-13:  978-1519695246
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Western,

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

In the Author’s Words:

The Dolan Girls by S. R. Mallery has it all. Set in Nebraska during the 1800s, whorehouse madams, ladies of the night, a schoolmarm, a Pinkerton detective, a Shakespeare-quoting old coot, brutal outlaws, and a horse-wrangler fill out the cast of characters. Added to the mix are colorful descriptions of an 1856 land rush, Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show, Annie Oakley, bank/train robberies, small town local politics, and of course, romance. Two, in fact!”

My Recommendation:

Close your eyes for a minute. Let’s slip back into time. Just breathe…

It’s the late 1880’s, and we’ve stepped into the wild, wild, West in the American Southwest. Listen… You can hear the wind blow and taste the dust on your tongue. Under the hot shimmering sun, you meet the Dolan girls. Cora and Minnie Dolan are two young women, who along with their parents, have traveled from Ireland to settle in the rugged Nebraska Territories, with the hope of winning land in the famous land lottery.

When tragedy strikes, the two women, struggling to survive, take up residence at Madam Ana’s brothel. In no time, Madam Ana adopts the girls as her daughters, all the while protecting them from the men who frequent her business. Eventually, when illness strikes, she leaves her flourishing business to the sisters. When Cora falls in love with the handsome Thomas Garrett, her life changes forever.

Then, brutally raped by a worthless cowboy looking for a good time, Cora is forced to grapple with an interesting situation. The fact that she is Irish, and now an unwed mother who along with her sister owns a brothel; she finds herself shunned by the good folk of the town. Her pregnancy results in a daughter, Ellie, who once she is old enough, is quickly sent away to be educated back East. Cora always worries about appearances. Her goal is to be recognized for the successful businesswoman she has become.

It is when Ellie returns to her mother and aunt as a school teacher for the local school that fate intervenes to change the direction of Cora, Minnie’s and Ellie’s lives forever. Throw in some excitement with Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and a Pinkerton investigator, and you have the makings for an exciting read.

I LOVE westerns and always have. Maybe it is the magic and allure of the old West; but for me, these historical romance adventures always ensnare me. Just like the rest of her books, Sarah Mallery skillfully weaves a tale that is believable and historically accurate by using authentic language and vivid descriptions of a time now lost to history. Most importantly, this book is entertaining and a joy to read. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down!

What really caught my attention was how Sarah set up her Pinterest account full of fascinating history, vintage clothing, and old flicks; all from the old west. If you love westerns check out her Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sarahmallery1/.

AND, The Dolan Girls are featured on Amazon & Bookbub on July 8th through July 12th as a FREE book!

Yee Haw

So… What are you waiting for? Have a read! I only hope there is another mysterious adventure for this strong bunch of women to solve!

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

 

 

Sarah Mallery

About Sarah Mallery:

S.R. Mallery has been labeled nothing short of ‘eclectic’. She has been a singer, a calligrapher, a quilt designer, and an ESL teacher.
As a writer, History is her focus and is woven into her stories with a delicate thread. When people talk about the news of the day or listen to music, Sarah’s imagination likens the story to a similar kind of news in the past and is conjuring up scenes between characters she has yet to meet.

Sarah loves to hear from fans and readers. Click the links below and stop in for a chat!

Sarah Mallery books
Find Sarah on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1abYVyP, and don’t forget to visit her on www.srmallery.com
Follow Sarah and other award-winning authors on http://enovelauthorsatwork.com

You can also find Sarah on Twitter: @SarahMallery1

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

Talking about #bookreviews. A collection of great posts on how to get them and how to keep reviewers happy.

Hi all:

Recently I’ve read some great posts about reviews: how to get them, how to avoid things that annoy reviewers, and even posts recommending free books on the subject. You might have read them all, but just in case you haven’t, I thought I’d post them here.

How to Get Good Reviews by Theo Rogers (remember to check the price!)
How to Get Good Reviews by Theo Rogers (remember to check the price!)

The first one that came to my attention was a post by Nicholas Rossi, where he mentioned a free book  (this one ) that was still free when I wrote this post but do make sure that’s still the case, and also some updates on other interesting sounding books on similar topics. You can check Nicholas Rossi’s post here. Do follow his blog if you haven’t as he shares a wealth of knowledge and is a great writer.

That post resulted in a comment by Beetley Pete, a great blogger and a top reviewer in Amazon (do check his blog especially if you like dogs, photographs and pretty good writing too. See here, for instance ), where he provided a review on the said book. He made such great points that Nicholas created a post sharing that comment. Check here.

Book and mugsmall

This morning I read a post with the title Top 7 Book Reviewers Complaints in the blog Indies Unlimited. I’ll share the list but you can (and should) read the full post, and contribute to the discussion, here.

According to the post these are the seven top complaints by reviewers:

  1. “…he woke up and it was all a dream.” Done to death and back as a zombie too.
  2. “She could see the insanity creeping into his eyes.” Not the best way to justify a character doing out of character things. (I’m a psychiatrist and this is a particular bugbear of mine.)
  3. “He asked…” “…she answered.” I’m sure there are full volumes on dialogue tags but…
  4. Lack of Dialog (Can result in a lot of telling and not showing)
  5. Too Much Dialog (This is a bit of a personal taste, but it depends on the type of book. The writer of the post likes dialog and so do I)
  6. Too Much Description. Might depend on the genre but…
  7. Too Much Background. Like before

And Others

Don’t forget to check the full article and comment here.

If after all that, or perhaps after doing more reading on it, you still want to approach reviewers, I got a link to The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages here. Good luck! (I have no personal experience of that page but do let us know if you do).

PS: After publishing this post I just read a post by Rosie Amber about writing reviews, the reasons some people don’t and suggestions as to how to go about it, so I had to share it. Check here (and do follow her blog too for great reviews and also for a great way to get reviews if you’re an author).

Thanks all for reading, don’t forget to visit the blogs and follow the bloggers and good luck finding reviewers. And readers remember that reviews are a great way to share your love of books and to support writers!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

 

#BookReview of WOLF by @ProfKellyOliver.

WOLF cover imageWOLF

by Kelly Oliver

Fiction: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Women Sleuths/New Adult. 316 Pages Print. Kaos Press (June 21, 2016)

 

 

 

4_stars_gold

Author Biography

Kelly Oliver was born on July 28, 1958 in Spokane Washington. She graduated from Gonzaga University with honors in 1979 with a double major in philosophy and communications. She earned her Kelly Oliver ImagePh.D. from Northwestern University in philosophy in 1987. She has held teaching positions at various Universities, including George Washington University, University of Texas at Austin, and Stony Brook University. Currently, she is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.
She has published books on topics ranging from family, love, war, and violence to affirmative action, Hollywood films, and animal rights.
She is the author of THE JESSICA JAMES COWGIRL PHILOSOPHER MYSTERY novels, including COYOTE and WOLF.

Book Review

WOLF is a new adult, mystery, thriller set on the campus of Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, with cowgirl philosopher Jessica James leading the ensemble cast of characters into the reasons for the death of her Philosophy Advisor, the theft of two masterpiece Russian impressionist paintings, and the source of date rape drugs on campus. Jessica must find her way through the twists and turns of her meager existence living in the attic of the philosophy department and falling for a billionaire professor in order to keep her dreams alive to get her degree and most of all to stay alive as someone is out to kill her.

WOLF, the first book in the Jessica James Mysteries series has a great cast of characters. The book has two stories in one, linked together as the book progresses. There is the series main character’s quest to continue her PhD program in Philosophy after the murder of her advisor, and then there is the life and death situation for Dmitry Durchenko, the Philosophy departments janitor who also happens to be the son of Russia’s most powerful mob boss. The two stories overlap through the Titular character, Wolf’s death and missing paintings hidden in his office.

You have everything from the cowgirl Jessica who wants to show the world that she can be a philosopher to Lolita Durchenko who looks like super model, rides a Harley and runs a high stakes poker game. Then you have the local Russian mob leader The Pope and the billionaire professor who comes to the rescue of Jessica after she’s been given a date rape drug. And there is a whole lot more. You cheer for Jessica to overcome the obstacles and her own knack for falling into bad situations. She has to be one of the most awkward young ladies around. She shouldn’t wear heels. Oliver balances the humorous moments of Jessica with the more serious story of Dmitry and his need to find his paintings or suffer the consequences at the hands of The Pope. Somehow through it all it comes together in the end. There are times you wonder how this whole thing is going to work out but ultimately it does.

WOLF is a fast paced and entertaining read. The first chapter was a bit slow for me, but once past that the author settled into the meat of the story and off you go on a joy ride. She handles a serious issue such as college campus date rape in a good manner and just how you would want it to be done. For someone so smart, Jessica can really be a bit out there at times under pressure. But I think that may add a bit of realism to it. Things happen. If you like fast paced and fun reads, this is for you. If you like mysteries and a good cast of characters, you’ve got it here.

By: Ronovan Hester

Get WOLF at:

amazon logo with link

Connect with Kelly Oliver:

facebook logo with linktwitter logoAuthor Site Image with Link

 

 

How to Add a Bullet List to Your Kindle Book

Here’s a short tip for you Indie writers this week. With a couple of non-fiction books in the pipeline I spent some time a while ago researching how to put bulleted lists in a Kindle book, but came up with the take home that they are a no-no. I know that use of any type of Word auto formatting in an eBook can cause havoc in the end result. It is possible to create a really good looking bulleted list in my paint software and import it as an image without anyone being the wiser, but it is extra work that I’ve just now discovered doesn’t need to be done. The secret is to avoid the auto formatting.

You could have at a bit of HTML coding if you’re so inclined, as per the example below, but I really am not so inclined right now, so I kept looking. Some people use the Styles menu effectively. I prefer a very clean manuscript for Kindle conversion though, with no hidden bits with the potential to put spanners in the works, so I kept looking.

Bullet List HTML Coding

Kindle recognises quite a few of the symbols that you can use with your Insert > Symbol feature if you stick to a common font like Times New Roman – my go to font for Amazon, and one of the symbols to insert is a bullet. All you have to do is insert it before each sentence to be in the bulleted list as you type it out, and no auto formatting will be triggered.

Insert Symbol Menu

That’s not a lot of extra work at all. If going the whole Insert Symbol route before each point seems like a schlep, then just copy the first inserted bullet and paste it in as you go. That way there will be no hidden gremlins to mess up your fabulous book. Happy publishing fellow scribblers.

 

Thursday’s Thoughts

Prompt for Challenge

Please remember, this is for fun and to help get that writing mojo of yours flowing. Thursday is only a part of the title, not a deadline.

Here are the following rules:

  • Word count? Who needs word counts? Maybe you’re using the prompts because you just love writing OR maybe you need help to get through those pesky roadblocks. Either way, just let your fingers write the story and when you’re done, you’re done! (Of course, if you like flash fiction, let’s put a limit of no more than, say…500.)
  • Using the prompt of the photo below, WRITE. What is the bird doing? What is he looking at? What strikes your attention about this photo? (REQUIRED)BirdImage Courtesy: Angela Kay

#BookReview of Waterkill by Mark Donovan.

WaterkillWaterkill

By Mark Donovan

Fiction: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Technothriller/Terrorism. 302 Pages Print. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

4_stars_gold

Author Biography

Mark Donovan is the author of the thriller novels “Nano Surveillance” and “Waterkill”. He has also authored 32 eBooks and 2,000+ articles on a wide variety of home improvement topics through his website HomeAdditionPlus.com. Many of his articles are nationally syndicated. He currently resides in New Hampshire, where he has spent his career working in various high tech engineering and marketing positions. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, and holds a private pilot’s license, and seven U.S. patents associated with sensor and communication technologies.

BookReview

Waterkill is the second book in the Dave Henson series and a Terroristic TechnoThriller by Mark Donovan, author of Nano Surveillance, book 1 in the series. In Waterkill, we have Dave Henson going head to head with the Al-Qaeda terrorist Aref Zarin, a techno savvy villain with a new form of terror weapon that makes nuclear weapons obsolete. Along the way Henson runs into an old friend with a new mission and travels from Germany to Iran and around the world. All in an attempt to stop the deaths of over a million innocent people.

When Mark offered the book for review I couldn’t say no. It’s a paperback, not an ecopy and a thriller. How could I say no? The first chapters were a bit slow and hard for me to get into at first. So I stopped. I don’t force myself to read a book or it’ll be a bad review. Then I decided it was time to read and emailed Mark I was getting ready. He told me he had hired a professional editor who spent over a month editing the book and that thrilled me. I read the book, then looked at the edits and I have to say, it was money well spent and Mark has done his work justice.

The story is fast paced after the initial chapters setting up the story. You have the terrorists, the special forces teams, tech gadgets, the beautiful but not helpless damsel in distress. Did I mention gadgets? Mark brings some serious tech knowhow to the storyline. If these things exist, and I am not doubting some do, there is some seriously cool stuff going on in the world. Mark also does a good job of creating a sense of urgency in the story and an ending that just makes sense. He takes the hot topics of today and handles them very carefully and does a great job not overly sensationalizing them to get a cheap punch for his story. You learn a little about people in this book that may help open your eyes just a little bit.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

Get Waterkill at:

amazon logo with link

Connect with Mark at:

facebook logo with linkgoodreads logotwitter logoAuthor Site Image with Link

BatDad: A Parody | Review by ESTyree

I enjoy the BatDad vines and was excited to be sent this book for review. This book is a funny and very quick read.  However, I am highly disappointed with what I received. This is little more than a high quality scrapbook. There was no story, no comic panels, just snap shots that looked almost like polaroid pictures tossed in with sarcastic comments. While the book is made of high quality workmanship, the contents are not up to that standard. Something was lost in the change of format from vine to page.
I wish the book had been comprised of comic panels depicting the moments around those snapshots, a solid look at what was meant to be a humorous outtake on life as a parent.
I would recommend watching the vines and forgetting about the book. I rated this 2.5 stars because of the quality and the 2 pages I found funny.

 

 

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Szen Zone, BY AUTHOR @GARYSZENDERSKI

41InsPIbHzL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

  • Title:  Szen Zone – Reaching a State of Positive Change
  • Author: Gary Szenderski
  • File Size: 644 KB
  • Print Length: 203 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Finger Touch Books
  • Publication Date: December 16, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN:  B019H83NUE
  • ISBN-10: 1500514977
  • ISBN-13: 9781500514976
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Motivational, Teen & Young Adult, Self Help

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

In the author’s words:

“From the author of Book of Szen, Stories and Inspiration for a Changing World. Whereas ZEN is of the moment and what is, SZEN celebrates what could be. The SZEN ZONE – Reaching a State of Positive Change contains lighthearted and positive narrative on life and its possibilities, with stories that cover the gamut from interesting to profound. The general overarching theme is on change and all of the aspects of it – Creating, surviving and managing change with the goal to recognize the power we have to become what we choose, both when we’re feeling in control and how to manage when we’re not in control.

The SZEN ZONE focuses on identifying the lift-off point for creating positive change. Although everyone is different and it’s a very individual and sometimes internalized process, the principles in this book can help you establish the context and right frame of mind to embrace and manage change. After many years of professionally helping individuals and companies navigate change, I’ve observed how some changes seem to take forever while unforeseen change can come right at you and in an instant move your world.”

Recommendation:

The Szen Zone is a collection of life lessons interwoven into short stories which lead the reader into the possibilities of change, and how making changes can open the doors to further growth. A self-help book in nature, it is written in a down to earth style that everyone can relate to.

The book is split into topics which then flow into each short story. At the end of each story, the author follows with his points to ponder. He then ends with a “Szenippit,” a clever play on words with his last name. Each Szenippit is a quote that really hits home with the subject discussed.

For example, Chapter Four is called, “Living in the Present.” One of my favorite quotes from the book is this:

“There is no perfect time, there is only this time, your best first chance. You know that you’re as ready as you will ever become.”

Each chapter and topic are geared at empowering us as individuals to create positive change in our lives. A detailed description of the five essential elements necessary to create positive changes is shared. They are, self-exploration; perspective; imagination; now and energy. The words create the acronym, S.P.I.N.E. which is a handy way to remember that it takes character to change and succeed in life.

It took me a couple of weeks to read the book because the subject matter really made me think about my own goals and ability to change. I weighed the possibilities and not only lived in the now, I also thought about what some of these positive changes could bring to me at this stage in my life.

It would be easy to read the book in its entirety, or split it into a topic at a time. I found myself highlighting and bookmarking many passages that spoke to me. This is the kind of book that I will refer to often. I liked the author’s message of setting goals and allowing myself the freedom to make changes that will facilitate me reaching the completion of my goals.

Are you looking at making some positive changes in your life? Don’t do it alone. Let the Szen Zone guide you down the path of self-discovery. Remember:

“Achievement is not only about reaching the goal; it’s about setting the right goal to reach. We’ll know we’ve set the right one when we can’t wait to get there.”

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5 stars

 

 

Gary Szenderski

About Gary Szenderski:

Gary Szenderski is an author, speaker, teacher, and branding specialist internationally acclaimed as an expert on the subject. He specializes in helping people and organizations to navigate change and frequently speaks and writes on the topic of emerging brands, personal branding and companies in transition. Gary is an award-winning writer, author of the Book of Szen and SZEN ZONE. He’s an often quoted marketing expert and recipient of the Distinguished Instructor Award from the University of California at Irvine where he teaches branding. He resides in Southern California and welcomes your comments. Email him at gary@bookofszen.com.

To watch an interview with Gary Szenderski, please click the link below.

Make certain to connect with Gary through Twitter @GarySzenderski

Facebook: Books of Szen

Author blog: Szenzone.com

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

Interview | MG Author Chris Grabenstein

Middle Grade Author Chris Grabenstein was kind enough to answer a few questions for me (and here they are!)

Here there Be Dragons!

In the past few months I’ve discovered an author that’s been around awhile, but that I’ve only just discovered. Since then, I’ve read multiple books by this middle grade author and can honestly say that he is my new favorite author.

Chris Grabenstein is a funny, interesting, and intelligent author from Buffalo, New York. He co-writes the I FUNNY, HOUSE OF ROBOTS, TREASURE HUNTERS, and JACKY HA-HA books with James Patterson, as well as writing many of his own, fabulous, works. My current favorite is a three way tie between Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, and Dr. Libris Library. You can find Mr. Grabenstein at Goodreads and at chrisgrabenstein.com.

I caught up with Chris this past week and he very kindly answered a few questions for me to pass along to you. So, without further ado, here is Author Chris Grabensteins Interview.

1) I stalked your…

View original post 893 more words

The Chip Maker: The Prophecy of the Beast #BookReview

  • Title:  The Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast
  • Author: Bridget Collins
  • Print Length: 176
  • Publisher: Origins Publishing Company
  • Publication Date: May 8, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979093244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979093241
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Christian Fiction

Most of us already know by reading the Bible that the antichrist will show his face and essentially rule the entire world. As chaos ensues, people will be looking for someone to lead them. Unfortunately, a great many will be looking in the wrong place. The Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast is about a man by the name of Jim Natas. His goal in the story is to insist upon the people of the world to have a small chip be inserted into their body, or they will face severe consequences. This chip will tell everything about everybody from their bank accounts to their social security numbers, to the food they eat.

The Chip Maker reminds me a lot of the Left Behind saga. We start into the story with various Christians vanishing, as told in the Bible. Then, starting in the second chapter, we jump a few months back to the beginning, where Natas is introducing the chip to the public. Throughout all of the chip talk, we hear of behind the scenes where planes crashes, car crashes, etc.

The dialogue can be a bit tedious and long at times, but it tends to give important information as to what’s going on. At times, the conversations between certain characters appear unbelievable. In the narrative, there was a bit of telling, rather than showing. However, at the same time, it explained in explicit detail what we needed to know.

Jim Natas’ entire demeanor was built quite well. It’s easy to see why so many of the other characters were eager to follow him, but as a reader, knowing the kind of man he is, we dislike. Most of the other characters appeared one dimensional or “out there.” One thing that bugged me the most was a man who decided to go by his given name rather than his rapper name. The narrative continued to call him the stage name whilst the character is upset when everyone does the same.

It is a short book, slow, but steady, and somewhat of an entertaining read, considering everything that’s going on in real life today. Bridgette Collins wrote a message in the pages of her story, telling us the time is coming, and we need to start paying more attention to what’s God-like and what’s Satan-like.

Readers who enjoy the Left Behind series would stand to enjoy The Chip Maker.

Overall rating: 3 of 5 stars

Connect with Bridgette Lachelle Collins at thechipmaker.com.

#Author. Should you think about translating your book? 2. Lost in Translation. Adventures when translating your book for China

Hi all:

You might remember that last week I wrote a post asking the above question and listed a few reasons why authors might consider translating their books. (In case you missed it, here it is. As I translate from English to Spanish and vice versa I had prepared a talk about the subject and it occurred to me that I could sample some points of it here). I found the discussion that followed the post interesting, and Teagan Geneviene (I recommend her blog if you love great stories and recipes, check it here) reminded me of a story I had told her about some of my experiences when using Fiberead to get my book translated for the Chinese market.  And I thought you might find it interesting. I surely did.

It brought to mind how I had started originally the presentation about translations…

Here it is:

What does the word ‘translation’ bring to your mind?

In my case, it always makes me think of a scene in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Bill Murray plays an actor filming a spirits’ advert in Japan (I think it was brandy) and the director is giving him instructions. As he doesn’t understand Japanese, there is an interpreter. The director talks for several minutes, gesticulating, quite intensely. He eventually stops talking and the interpreter just tells him that he wants him to say the lines looking at the camera. ‘Is that all he said?’ Yes, we’re never quite sure. (By the way, you can watch the scene that goes on, here:

Of course, that’s interpreting (rendering live and orally a conversation, conference, speech…) whilst translation implies a written piece of work, but there are connections.

It also makes me think of the risks of mistranslating texts. In the case of the Bible mistranslating a Hebrew word and instead of rendering it as ‘beam of light’ it ended up becoming ‘horn’ and we have poor Moses depicted with horns (and not only in Michelangelo’s famous sculpture, that judging by the small size of the horns, makes me think that he wasn’t that convinced about the translation). Oh yes, if you’ve used Google Translate (that seems to be improving, to be fair) you know all about that.

And now, I wanted to tell you a bit about my experiences with Fiberead, that is a website that offers you to get your books translated for the Chinese market. If they are interested, you give them the rights to the translation for a number of years, and you spilt the earning with them and with the translating. Yes, team…

What happens is that a team leader or manager decides that your book is worth translating, and then they set about getting a team of translators to translate the book. I’m not sure how the division of work is made, but I know you get notifications when evidently translators provide a sample translation and the team leader decides if it’s good enough. Once they think they have a big enough team, they start the process. The beauty of it is that they contact you with questions if they have them. In general in my case it’s been mostly the team managers but sometimes also other members of the team.

I realised when they started to ask me about my YA novella Twin Evils?, asking me if Lucifer and Satan were the same, and asking for the meaning of references to angels playing harps or being dressed in white, that of course, although the novella is not religious, such content would not be understood in a mostly non-Christian country. And although I tried to send them links to images of angels playing the harp, I am also aware that some links to websites might not work there. We might assume that certain things are common knowledge, but the world is huge and people’ s beliefs and lifestyles very different to ours.

Some of the other questions showed extreme literalness. It might be to do with the language, but when I tried to explain that I prefered to allow the readers to make up their minds as to why characters might say or do certain things (whatever I thought the reason was) they wanted a full explanation. I suspect ambiguity is not a well-received quality.

I had some interesting and curious exchanges too, like a policeman who told me he was translating one of my thrillers (so far, although not published yet as they’re still in production, they are working on both of my Escaping Psychiatry stories and have also translated Family, Lust and Cameras, so they seem intrigued by my thrillers) and really enjoying it, and I had the manager for the translation of one of my books asking me for help understanding a couple of pages she was trying to translate for a different project.

Ah, and to give them their due, they caught a mistake that neither I, nor quite a few readers and editors of both my Spanish and my English book had seen, so, kudos to them.

Here I leave you the cover of the other one of my books available so far (and that although it hasn’t been out very long, it seems to be doing much better than Twin Evils? and for sure much better in the Chinese version than in Spanish and English).

Family, Lust and Cameras by Olga Núñez Miret version for the Chinese market
Family, Lust and Cameras by Olga Núñez Miret version for the Chinese market

Thanks very much for reading, and if you’ve found it interesting, please, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

Interview with @NickyP_author of Horror, Vampires, & More.

A UK lady with a knack for helping young authors while creating her Nicky Peacock Imageown series of books, Nicky Peacock.

Where do you hail from?

I come from a medium size town in the middle of England called Corby. It has a bit of a reputation as a place to live, but I love it. It’s close enough to beautiful wild countryside to appeal to my nature loving side and close enough to pretty decent shopping centers to appeal to my shopaholic side!

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

I think that most authors will influence your writing style – whether you want them to or not. Reading a broad range of genres and authors is a necessary part of writing. When I was younger, Poppy Z Brite was a big influence on my horror writing; somehow she made the grotesque beautiful. Anne Rice was definitely the writer that got me hooked on vampires and other monsters.

What’s your favorite word and why?

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious… as it’s really quite atrocious 😉

Things readers may want to know, hmm, are you married?

I’m currently single. I’m pretty happy with it, although I certainly wouldn’t turn down a gorgeous man with a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates at my door! It’s quite a hard life being an author. Most of us still have to work full time jobs, you know if you want those luxuries in life like food and shelter! So, once you try to squeeze in writing and have some semblance of a social life, well dating can kind of feel like an after-thought. Also, I’ve had some pretty dismal dates recently: One guy burst into tears over his ex, another talked all night about his dogs, but by far the worst was the guy, who after learning I was an author, decided he wanted something to eat…at home. He just left! 

How does working with young aspiring authors help your own writing?

Growing up in Corby, I didn’t have a mentor, or someone to look to, for my writing, so I decided that I would try to be that person for the next generation. Writing is hard, getting published is harder and being an author is the hardest of all. You have to not just produce work but have reasonable editing skills, marketing knowledge and time to spend on social media plus all the literary specific sites such as Goodreads and LibraryThing. Having someone who has been there and done all that can help make those jobs easier and less time consuming so that a budding writer’s desire to tell a good story isn’t consumed in the fires of work.

Lost In Wonderland imageTell us about your two series with Evernight Teen, Battle of the Undead and The Twisted and The Brave.

Battle of the Undead is a vampires VS zombies YA urban fantasy set at the start of the zombie uprising. Vampires, fearing the loss of their food supply (us) start to make plans to protect uninfected humans.

The Twisted and the Brave is a YA series that twists the themes of classic children’s books into contemporary, violent thrillers with a supernatural edge.

Being two different animals, which do you enjoy writing more, the anthologies or novels?

LOL, I’m not above saying that I want to sell books and make some money, and that only really comes from novels. Anthologies are great for a quick fix. Short stories are, well short and there are plenty of publishers out there putting out call-outs that writers can answer, but they’re not Battle Covers imagegoing to help boost that bank balance! I do enjoy a good challenge for a short story, but right now I’m focusing on the longer fiction.

Tell us how you get included in so many anthologies. I know some don’t know how to go about getting involved.

The website Duotrope, although you need to pay for it now, is a great investment for writers. It’s a complete database of publisher call-outs for anthologies and magazines. The best advice I can give is to stick to genres that you feel you can write well and don’t take on too much. There are always deadlines for these and part of the trick is picking what you can realistically do, rather than what you wish you could do.

Where can we find your most recent work, and what is your next piece coming out?

You can find my books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nicky-Peacock/e/B007UH2ACW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1467062178&sr=8-1

It’s a race at the moment because I’m currently working on both the last book of the Battle of the Undead series, Bad Karma and also the second in The Twisted and The Brave, The Assassin of Oz.

What’s your guilty pleasure movie that would surprise people, being that you are into the horror genre in writing?

Hmmmm, I do like a good superhero movie. I really enjoyed Deadpool and Antman, although they are quite acceptable within my genres. Although not a movie, at the moment I’m binge watching RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix – I love that show, it never fails to make me smile!

Thank you for having me on your site today, now I’ll sashay away…

You can get Nicky’s books at:

amazon uk logo with linkamazon logo with linkauthorgraph logo with link

Connect with Nicky at:

facebook logo with linkgoodreads logotumbler logo with linktwitter logo

Help an Indie Author out.

We have several authors that work here on LWI. We’re all Indie Authors and you know what that means. Out of our own pockets for everything.

First time Author,  Angela Kay is trying to raise funds for her novel The Murder of Manny Grimes. But she’s doing something I’ve never seen before, although it’s probably been done. She’s giving away stuff at each level of donation.

Click the link to check it out and if you can’t donate at one of the levels, any amount helps. We all know that if everyone that saw this gave just a little then it would be done in no time.

You can see a mock up of her cover below.

Now back to editing her book.

Ronovan

https://www.gofundme.com/manny-grimes-novel

Manny Grimes Cover

Planning for the Holidays

Whether you have a new book coming out this year or are just concentrating on marketing your already published backlist, now is actually a great time to ponder your end of year sales campaign. I know that some authors keep at it all the time, but I find that three or four times a year is a good way to give your books a bit of publicity without irritating the daylights out of your followers. It’s also always a good idea to have a comfortable plan in place for the event all ready to go in plenty of time. Get as many goodies in your Christmas bag as you can.

First decide on a budget. It is very, very hard to sell books with a zero advertising budget, but even a little will help. When it comes to presents and bookmarks though, I’ve seen some fabulous homemade ones, so you don’t have to break the bank. Rafflecopters and events with prizes don’t always have to be about Amazon gift cards. You could have something a little more special to win – something related to one of your books or characters. And one thing’s for sure – fans absolutely adore getting something personal from a favourite writer. So – on your holiday campaign to-do list—

Pick your dates.

Allocate a budget if you can, and decide what you’re going to spend it on.

Choose one or a couple of paid book advertising newsletters and pay in advance if you can to avoid price increases. Get a list together of free sites too.

Open a new word document and copy and paste all the links you’re going to need – get your Global Amazon Links there so you don’t have to post separate links for each site, making it easy for readers to use one easy click to buy your book. Shorten your URLs in readiness for your Twitter shoutouts, and get your book covers or artwork all stashed in a file ready to go for the same thing.

Collect some fabulous short excerpts from your book and zoom over to Picmonkey to add them to images that are going to make people want to share.

Set up dates on your list to remind you to go to Amazon and create free days or countdowns for your books. Remember, that as well as your own advertising, Amazon always has a page for countdowns that a lot of readers regularly check.

Set up your swag early. Order or make bookmarks. Get your paperback giveaways ready for posting with personal notes all ready to go. An absolutely fabulous idea is to go to Zazzle and order mugs or just about any other thing on the planet with images of your book covers on them.

Best of all, boost that celebratory excitement by heading over to TSRA Book Trailers and getting yourself an awesome trailer made. These really are attention grabbers, and another wonderful way to find new readers. We all love retweeting cool trailers on Twitter.

I suggest that you do all this well before the actual celebration days begin. There are a lot of people buying books after getting Kindles for Christmas – that’s true, but you’re going to sell a lot of books when people are still in shopping mode too, so try and at least begin before the big bang and let your event zoom through till the end.

Once you have your plan in place you’ll probably find yourself so hugely inspired that you just might not be able to stop yourself from making sure that it’s going to be a brand new book that you’ll be throwing a party for. In that case, get to scribbling scribblers! You’ll find it a lot more fun having everything ready to go in December, rather than having a mad dash at the last minute.

Party

@FTThum #BookReview ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr

This is a Christmas gift which took me three months to read (yep, been extremely busy) and another four months to review…

all the light

Title:          All the Light We Cannot See
Author:          Anthony Doerr
Publishers:     Scribner, Simon & Schuster (2014)
Format:          Hardback
Website:         www.anthonydoerr.com
Pages:             530
Genre:            Literary fiction; Thriller

What’s it about?

This is a story of morality – of doing and not doing, of being and non-being – and science set in Germany and France during WWII. It tells of how the two protagonists’ lives intersect in the lead up to the German occupation of France.

I was introduced to Werner a 7-year old German boy gifted in science who lived in an orphanage with his sister, Jutta. Marie-Laure was 6 years, blind and much loved by her father, a locksmith and the keeper of keys at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. And there in the museum was hidden an accursed gem, which would be the thread running through both Werner and Marie-Laure’s lives.

From 7 to 18 years old where the story ends, Werner knew he had a calling, to repair and build radios. This brought him to the attention of the Nazis and subsequently sent to a school that produced elite cadre for the Third Reich. There, Werner’s friendship with his best friend Frederick was tested repeatedly as he experienced the conflict between his love for science and his love for his friend. Jutta’s voice rang as his conscience until he chose not to listen. Ultimately Werner’s fate was tied to the accursed gem, with which his commanding officer was obsessed.

During these years, Marie-Laure had a happy life deciphering puzzles her father built, and learning about her sightless world through the delightful miniatures her father had constructed. It was because of them that she managed to survive when she was brought to live with her great-uncle’s home in the town of Saint Malo, on the coast of Brittany after escaping Paris when her father was entrusted with the accursed gem. Her great-uncle, Etienne, a former soldier suffering from psychological distress, had been using his radio transmitter for the Resistance.

How do all these lives intersect? I suppose you can see the obvious connection, however there are many more. I will leave you to discover what they are.

For me, the only character that seems to be predominantly two dimensional is von Rumpel, Werner’s commanding officer. The  book’s approach to Nazism fell short of the realism that was conveyed throughout other parts of the book. The other secondary characters were fascinating and I almost wished they had their own words for their experiences.

Would I recommend it?

‘All the Light We Cannot See’ is thriller and literary fiction, rolled into one. A delightful book with detailed descriptions of the towns and well-presented characters – Marie-Laure more believable than Werner, nevertheless entirely absorbing.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think:                   3.5/5
Overall enjoyment:               4/5
Readability:                           4/5
Recommended:                     4/5
Overall Rating:                  4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 11.30
  Hardback USD 16.39
Booktopia Paperback AUD 39.25
Bookdepository Paperback £8.87

 

~ FlorenceT

florence-2

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

© 2016 LitWorldInterviews

Interview with John Nicholl

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

I wrote ‘White is the coldest colour’ primarily as an entertaining dark psychological thriller, but I also hoped it would play a small part in increasing public awareness of the heinous risks posed by sexual predators.

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

The book draws heavily on my working life. Some years have now passed, and that time sometimes feels like a different life; but, with that said, writing the book brought back some memories of real events that were perhaps better left in the past.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Writing some aspects of the book proved cathartic, in that you can control events in books a lot more easily than in real life.

Are there misconceptions that people have about your book?  If so, explain.

I think the vast majority of reviewers understood what I was trying to achieve. I have had to accept, however, that you can’t please everyone. The book addresses an emotive subject, and was always going to engender strong emotions.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I read an eclectic range of books, from historical biographies to modern thrillers. I find books written by people who have experienced extraordinary events particularly interesting.

How long have you been a police officer and child protection social worker? Is there anything you can tell us about that?

About 21 years in total. I finally retired from a post heading up child protection services for the county of Carmarthenshire in Wales.

When did you decide to write this series?

The first book tells the story from the perspective of the offender, his intended victim, and the boy’s family. The sequel tells the story in the words of the perpetrator’s wife, and explores issues of domestic violence and manipulation. It answers some of the questions readers are left with after book one.

What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject, that isn’t so?

When I first worked in child protection it was extremely difficult to convince other professionals, let alone the general public, that a significant number of adults, most of whom were male, posed a significant risk to children. This lack of knowledge was one of the reasons men like Jimmy Saville avoided arrest for as long as they did. That’s changed now, and I think the public have a much better awareness of the activities of this group of deviant criminals. That has to be a good thing from a protective perspective.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

While fictional, my books are influenced by real experiences. Readers tell me that that shows in the writing.

Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?

I used to run a Taekwondo club and play squash, but these days it’s yoga, swimming and travel.

Do you have a ritual you use while writing? (During commercials, certain music, etc)

I tend to write until lunchtime, with weekends off; always with music playing.

Are you working on anything presently?

Yes, I’m working on a serial killer thriller, which I hope to finish by September 2016.

What is your writing space like?

I only wish I had one! I write at the dining room table with family life going on around me. Such is life.

Mysteries – Reader Survey!

If you haven’t answered the Survey Questions yet, we still need more responses. It doesn’t take long.

Here we are on LitWorldInterviews with our first of many Genre oriented surveys. The success of our previous survey “Why do people stop reading a book?” and the response in the comments prompted a more detailed evaluation of the topic.

Please reblog and share this with as many people as you can so we have a lot of responses to make the data we share as accurate as can be expected.

We need at least 100 responses or there’s no reason to post the results.

This month’s survey is the genre of Mystery.

Thank you to the following 19 bloggers for making our previous survey such a success by reblogging the survey:

James Glenora

Aurora Jean Alexander

Juliette King

Stevie Turner

Linda G. Hill

Vanderso

Wendy Anne Darling

Adele Marie Park

Woebegone but Hopeful

Lori Carlson

Colleen Chesebro

E.S. Tyree

Ravenhawks’ Magazine

Sally G. Cronin

Gipsika

Tricia Drammeh

Susan Gutterman

Kate MacClelland

Jo Robinson


by Ronovan Hester

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