Category Archives: Coming Soon

@FTThum #BookReview ‘Grind’ by Edward Vukovic

When approached by Vukovic for an honest review, I could not refuse as I am an avid coffee drinker. The book cover is enticing, and in itself, pip my curiosity. Coffee grind reading…?

grind-coverTitle:          Grind
Author:        Edward Vukovic
Publishers:     CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 2, 2016)
Format:          Kindle, Paperback
Website:         www.edwardvukovic.com
Pages:             398
Genre:           Fiction – Contemporary

What’s it about?

The story is a microcosm of the world at large, bound by the aromatic substance, coffee.  This is an entirely enjoyable and intelligent book, weaving multi-faceted characters through each other’s lives culminating in a powerful resolution.

We have Ziva, a young migrant woman, intelligent and trapped in a world of poverty. Infused with a talent for coffee-grind reading, she lives by her heightened ‘instinctive’ sense.

There is Simon, an angry direction-less man feeling victimised by life and its injustices; the only valuable thing in his life that which he thought could not be taken from him – his special coffee.

And Isaac, pub owner and a man atoning for his sins as he only knows how – the daily overcoming of the temptation of a former vice.

What of Michel, a homeless man by choice, oddly noble man avoiding his past and seeking in his own way to make amends.

Danielle, the young girl with a mentally ill father, bound by circumstances yet still hopeful for a better world.

Masterfully crafted by Vukovic, their lives intersect and will be forever changed, each character finding redemption.

I cannot help but associate the title ‘Grind’ with a different meaning, the grind that is life for the characters, each with a burden to bear. Will it lighten, I wonder…?

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely. ‘Grind’ draws the reader into the lives of its characters, reminding us that we all have our privates selves, that it is a priilege to be let into that private world.  We are the same – doing the best we can in our world – no matter the texture of our story; and interconnected – our actions have impact on others .

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4.5/5
Made Me Think:                   3.5/5
Overall enjoyment:               4.5/5
Readability:                           4/5
Recommended:                     4/5
Overall Rating:                  4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 2.95
  Hardback USD 18.95

~ FlorenceT

 

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

© 2017 LitWorldInterviews

@FTThum #BookReview ‘Santa and the Christmas Dragon’ by Amanda Roberts

With Christmas round the bend, it is a good time to review this children’s book.

santaTitle:          Santa and the Christmas Dragon
Author:          Amanda Roberts
Illustrator:   Cherith Vaughan
Translator:   Yaqian Gong
Publishers:     Two Americans in China Press (2016)
Format:          Hardcover
Website:         www.twoamericansinchina.com
Pages:             32
Genre:            Fiction – Children, Picture-book

What’s it about?

This children picture book tells the story of how Santa got to China. It is bilingual – presented in English, Chinese characters and Mandarin pinyin.

I had expected an education on Chinese culture, and how both cultures perceive Christmas. Instead, this book seeks to cross cultural boundaries, to connect our humanity through common themes – in this instance, good boys and girls deserving of gifts, and how gifts are welcomed. It encourages cultural sensitivity and understanding. I so want to know what the Dragon and Santa learned of each other’s culture.

I wish the fonts were larger and less ‘curly’; legibility is worth noting given the age of children to which it seems to target. The Chinese translation is appropriately lengthier to fit the rhythm of the Chinese language, its tone familiar to Chinese readers.

There are a few discrepancies, perhaps only to adult readers like myself. I will not list them, as this is a book for the young and their imagination. I see no need to taint it.

Would I recommend it?

Overall, an entertaining read. This beautifully illustrated bilingual children’s book will delight young readers.

Ratings:
Overall Rating:                  3/5

~ FlorenceT

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

© 2016 LitWorldInterviews

@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 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:

facebook logo with linktwitter logo

@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

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

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

@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

Hope Unfolding – A Review by ESTyree

Hope Unfolding:
Grace-Filled Truth for the Momma’s Heart
By: Becky Thompson (Of Scissortail Silk)
26109226
I have a few issues with the writing style, which brought me out of the narrative with the interruptions every few paragraphs. While I appreciate that she is drawing in the readers with a chat type narrative, I honestly do not believe that she sits in her living room with her friends and interrupts herself in the middle of a story to say, “Now friend, have you ever had this…?” I would have much preferred the entire short story, then the “Dear friend, this is the point…” and then the next narrative in order to keep the flow a bit more smooth.
Also, while this book is definitely geared toward mothers, it speaks a lot about husbands and a bit about in-laws as well. As a woman who is a single mother those parts felt a bit grating to me. They were interesting tid-bits about her life, but didn’t have much for me laced through them. (I’m sure married women will get much more out of them!)
There are some really difficult discussions housed within this short book. In 204 pages she discusses marriage, plans that never work out, insecurities, fears, miscarriages, and faith. The idea of motherhood and faith ties everything together. This little book definitely packs a big wallop.
This book has earned a 3.73 stars from me, the narration interruptus having knocked the score down considerably for me. However, if you are a Mother of young children  (or any age, really) and any sort of Christian, I think you might enjoy this.

#BOOK REVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF THE CROWN’S GAME by EVELYN SKYE

TheCrownsGameA fun tale with a hint of Russian history mixed in. That’s how I summarize The Crown’s Game by debut author Evelyn Skye.

SUMMARY (from back): Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side. And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know.  The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

WHAT I THOUGHT: The concept of a wizarding duel is what hooked me on the book. Well, that and the amazing cover. That said though, I felt like the book didn’t quite live up to the expectations set.

The book started out slow. The first half was filled with introducing characters etc, and I nearly put it down. But with the promise built up for the book, and the fact that it’s traditionally published, I hung in there.

I enjoyed the three main characters: Vika, Nikolai and Pasha. Vika and Nikolai are enchanters while Pasha is heir to the throne of Russia. The three end up in a love triangle, which I didn’t mind, but my problem is I don’t feel like I got t o know the characters well enough to cheer for any of them. Things happen, but I’m left feeling incomplete. I wanted more depth.

As for the plot, this, too, disappointed. I was never clear why either character chose to do what he/she did each turn. Short of one-ups-man-ship, I found what they did creative, but lacking context other than, do the next move bigger.

Then there was the ending. I was hoping neither protagonist had to really die, that their magic would save the day somehow. I was disappointed.

This is the debut of YA author Evelyn Skye so I will give her that, yet with it being traditionally published, I’d hope for more.  I give this book 3 stars.

_______________________________________________________

Final_395x391

Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

Probing the Mind of the Villain

angelakaysbooks

So my question is this: what makes you, as a lover of mystery, scared when it comes to villains? What makes you so afraid, that you can’t sleep at night, yet it’s hard putting the book down? Is it their method of crime? Their personality? Whatever it is, write it down in the comments. Explain what frightens you.

Mysteries are one of the most popular of genres. Particularly murder mysteries. It’s odd, isn’t it, how in real life, we hate the way the world works? We hate when we turn on the news and find out someone committed a senseless murder. Yet we turn to shows like CSI and Law and Order, read books, watch movies, anything to do with murder. It excites us in some strange, twisted way. A lot of us love the idea of being scared, getting into the mind of a killer, solving a crime.

View original post

Raven Cycle

The Raven Cycle

 

There are some stories that you just know are going to irrevocably change you. Stories that you get into and realize, belatedly, that they are unmaking and remaking parts of your sense of self, your reader’s soul, and you will never be the same. I was about 1/3 of the way through listening to The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater when I was blasted with the realization that this was to be one of those books. I thought lightening probably wouldn’t strike twice, or at least not so sharply, and listened to Dream Thieves. Then I thought surely 3 times is too much to ask…Blue Lily, Lily Blue proved that thought a lie. So I bought the entire set. It wasn’t enough to listen to them, I had to have them in physical form on my shelf, within easy reach when I needed them… And Then The Raven King happened.

I don’t have the words or the emotional fortitude left to explain how it all worked on me. I can piece bits together…like the fact that when a certain someone speaks of being fully of the white fuzzy light, I felt it right along with them. When the fear and terrible hope for and because of a best friend lit through them all, I was there. Maggie’s writing drew me, a 31-year-old author and teacher, into the world of magic and high school so completely that I had to wrench myself back into reality with much more effort than it should ever have to take. At page 416, Chapter 65, of The Raven King I had to stop. I literally couldn’t take it anymore (in the best of ways) and HAD to go refill my coffee, take a potty break, check the laundry, and allow myself to sob uncontrollably for exactly 45 seconds. The things that we always knew would happen. That we learned of in the first chapter of the first book before any of us knew the characters that now inhabit our hearts and minds and souls…they hurt more for the fact that we can’t do anything but watch and ache with them. Like being the helpless bystander of a horrendous accident.

This book, this finale to a series much beloved, destroyed me, remade me, and then kicked my ass before telling me it loved me and stroking my hair as a cried and giggled. This devastated me in the best possible of ways. Maggie Stiefvater has said she may revisit this world when she’s lived another 20 or so years…I beg of you Maggie, don’t leave it that long.

Overarching Storyline for the Series – Is one of love, friendship, growth, discovery, and magic…always magic.

We spend 4 books in suspense, waiting to see if the first thing we’re told about two main characters will culminate into a truth that will destroy the lot of us, ripping our hearts out and stomping all over our emotions. We are not disappointed in any way. From the first book we are drawn in to Blue’s psychic family, we feel her frustration and distress at being an ‘amplifier’ with a terrible destiny…if she wants to ever date anyone, that is, and we are bowled over by her extremely intense beliefs. One such strong held belief is that the Raven Boys of Aglionby Academy are the worst sort…which is, of course, why her future revolves around and intertwines with that of 4 such boys. The different personalities, backstories, and paths of each character take the reader on a roller coaster across the The Raven Cycle and it is unlike any other, and well worth with the price of the ride.

I give this series 5 out of 5 dragons, 5 out of 5 stars, and all 4 sections of my heart…one for each of them.

Picture Book Reviews

Here there Be Dragons!

Hello everyone! I thought that I would do a quick post today and give you some short reviews on Picture Books that we’ve been reading lately. I hope you enjoy them!

 moonflute One of the first things we noticed was that there are no illustrations on the end pages (my daughter is keen on them!) However, the book was beautiful enough that she now forgives them. Though this book is an older picture book, both in publication date (1980) and intended audience (probably k-2) we had a lot of fun looking at the illustrations and reading the story together. The story line is a bit of nonsense, but very well written and beautifully dreamlike. I definitely suggest this to anyone Moonflute

Written by Audrey Wood and Illustrates by Don Wood

One of the first things we noticed was that there are no illustrations on the end pages (my daughter is…

View original post 653 more words

“Blur” Book Blitz

angelakaysbooks

Book & Author Details:Curse
Curse by Steven James
(Blur Trilogy #3)
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: May 24th 2016
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Synopsis:
Don’t miss this intriguing and climactic conclusion to the Blur Trilogy.
As Daniel Byers prepares to attend a basketball camp before his senior year of high school, the terrifying blurs that’ve plagued him for the last nine months return.Dark images begin to haunt him—creatures crawling from the deepest pits of his nightmares, glimmers of chilling memories from his early childhood. But before he can unearth the meaning behind his mysterious hallucinations, Daniel must team up with two other extraordinary teens to save a young woman who has been abducted by a scientist obsessed with enacting his own warped form of justice.This atmospheric mystery picks up where Fury left off and takes readers into the uncharted regions where reality and madness intertwine.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28230959-curse?from_new_nav=true&ac=1&from_search=true

Purchase:


Enter for a chance to…

View original post 1,947 more words

Artsy Animals

Here there Be Dragons!

Do you like random facts? Do you enjoy animal artwork? Do you love tiny little books that can conveniently be carried with you virtually anywhere???

THEN I HAVE JUST THE BOOK FOR YOU!!

9781607748328*Slightly smaller than actual size*

Maja Safstrom is an architect and illustrator from Stockholm who has worked with Ten Speed Press to bring us a small book with a big impact. Coming at a mere 6.3×0.7×7.8 inches in dimension, The illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts combines pen and ink/black and white drawings with facts about several different animals, all seemingly hand lettered. This book gives us not only  peek aat nature, but  look at the author’s nature journal (of sorts).

The book is very well made, the cover binding feels nice and fits very well into a hand, the interior pages have the look and feel of thicker art paper, and the entire piece feels like…

View original post 56 more words

Like our Facebook Page.

Click ‘Like’ for our Facebook page and get all our latest. It’s easy. Click the image below, or look to the left on the sidebar and click like there. That’s right, you don’t even have to go to facebook to do it!

LWI Facebook page image

Meet Angela Kay. New LWI Book Reviewer.

Angela Kay, Author imageEquipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University, Angela Kay is a southern lady who spends her days and nights dreaming up new ways to solve dark murders of normal people.

Angela Kay is one of 23 across the United States to win a 2009 playwright contest for her one-act play entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at Horizon Theater. In addition to this, Angela is featured in the poetry Anthology, “Under the Sun,” for her poem “A Little Hope.”

Now you know her Bio, here’s why she’s here. While her novel is in editing and she’s working on the sequel, she’ll be doing Book Reviews here on LWI as well as sharing her adventures in becoming a published author.

Also, Angela offers proofreading and editing services, which you can read about on her blog Service Page HERE.

Click HERE to go to her LWI page.

You can also follow her on her author site AngelaKaysBooks and on Twitter at AngelaKaysBooks.

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “TEARS IN THE SUN,” BY AUTHOR @JAOWENBY

Tears in the Sun

  • Title:  Tears in the Sun, A Short Story
  • Author: J. A. Owenby
  • File Size: 439 KB
  • Print Length: 16 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: J. A. Owenby
  • Publication Date: December 25, 2013
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HBZOKY4
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Drama, Teen & Young Adult, Parenting & Relationships

*The author gifted me a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review which follows*

From the Author, J. A. Owenby:

“A Short Story – Lacey, a senior in high school, has never heard of borderline personality disorder yet she lives with it every day. As she begins realizing her family isn’t as normal as she thought, she searches for help and answers. Those answers turn her world upside down, and she is left with making life changing decisions for not only herself but her mentally ill mother who she loves more than anything.”

Recommendation:

This is an entertaining short read that really takes your breath away. Mental Illness can be debilitating to a family’s structure and Lacey’s family is no exception. I won’t kid you, there are some scenes in this story that will affect you deeply.

I found the characters to be well thought out and totally realistic. I felt great empathy with Lacey as a teenager trying to cope with her mother’s religious obsessions which she forced on everyone, near and far, all symptoms of a deepening mental illness burgeoning out of control.

The one salvation for Lacey was Patsy, her mother’s lover who had bought the house with her mother years ago. Their relationship hints at a deep friendship and emotional alliance against the shame and humiliation forced upon them from the ravages of the mother’s mental illness.

All books start somewhere and J. A. Owenby shared with me that she wrote this short story in 2011. She worked with an editor from Writer’s Digest and decided to put it on Amazon a few years later. Jen said that after her short story was published she had many people reach out and ask for a full novel, so she finally wrote it.

Her novel will be released later this year and called, “The Truth She Knew.” The book will include Lacey, Mama, and Patsy from the short story, and additional characters. Jen adds that she addresses issues in the novel including mental illness, mental/physical abuse, and religious manipulation. Lacy falls in love for the first time in the novel and is able to summon all her strength to make some very difficult decisions.

As of the date of this review, Jen was not sure of a publication date for the novel. I understand it is in the hands of her editor. However, I am sure if you connect with her on her blog or social media you will be able to follow the novel’s progress.

This is one you won’t want to miss!

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

4.5 stars
J.A. Owenby

About J. A. Owenby:

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

She’s a published author of six short stories and is beginning her first full-length novel. J.A. doesn’t mess around when it comes to working with a professional team in order to present her best writing.

She also runs her own business and helps people find jobs they love as a professional resume writer.

She is an avid reader of thrillers, romance, new adult and young adult novels. She loves music, movies, and pop tarts. Her downtime consists of a beautiful summer evening, snuggling with her hubby outside underneath the stars. If it’s winter, listening to the rain and watching NFL football.

You can follow the events of her upcoming novel on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JAOwenby, and on Twitter at J A Owenby, Author at https://twitter.com/JAOwenby. Look for J. A. Owenby on her blog at Jen’s Thoughts https://jenowenby.wordpress.com/.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 1122016

What do you want in a Book Review?

Book Reviewing is one of the main things we do here on LitWorldInterviews. So much so, that at one time or other most of us write about them. We write about the importance of them, how to do them, where to find people to do them, and the list goes on.

Most of the time the idea of Book Reviews is looking at it from the point of the author or how to relay helpful information for the author. Today I want to change it up a little.

Today we’ll talk about the Amazon Book Review, or the B&N Book Review. Sites that sell books, not sites that are for people digging for in depth analysis of a book, not that you get that from me.

My belief is regardless of which type of review you do, there is a golden rule to follow; don’t give spoilers. I don’t even care if you mention ahead of time that a spoiler is coming up, I don’t believe it needs to be out there. I do believe in trigger warnings. That’s fine. If you have a book advertising itself as a humorous cozy mystery and you find some type of assault against a woman or children, I say trigger alert away.

Now for the Book Seller Site Reviews. What is the normal person surfing through Amazon looking for? What are the first two things that catch their eye about a book?

That’s right: the Book Title, and Book Cover.

I know when I see a title I then see the cover and if still interested I go to the description or price next. Then I go to the reviews. If you want to know the truth, if the book has a lot of reviews and I see the percentage of 5 and 4 star reviews are high, I may not even read the reviews, unless the price is pushing my thrifty nature a bit.

Now I’m at the reviews. What do I want to know?

Enjoyment Factor is what I want to know.

  • Did they enjoy reading the book overall?
  • Was there anything in the book that took away from the enjoyment?
  • Did it deliver what it said it would?

Notice I didn’t mention unfavorable comparisons to other authors, long diatribes of things hoped for, or saying the author is the worst ever. There was mention of showing of a literature degree.

So what’s the difference in the writing of a review site review and an Amazon review?

If I came across a book I didn’t like, and the author asked me to post the review regardless of my score, I would keep in mind what needs said for the book buyer to make a decision. The more detailed version, if an unfavorable review, would go directly to the author in an email. On the site here, I would put detail as well, but still keep in mind not to rip the author apart. There might be several paragraphs explaining why I didn’t like the book.

Here is what I might say about a book I didn’t like on Amazon, if I dared put such a review on there. I doubt I would even if the author asked me to put it on there.

2 Stars

“The books idea seemed to be a good one from the description, but for me, it just didn’t come through in the actual story itself. I liked the main character most of the time, but there were inconsistencies that didn’t make sense to me within the given storyline, maybe in a sequel? What seemed to be important subplots never played out or ended up later contradicted with other plots. I’m not sure if this was intentional or oversight. It felt to me as though the author was so excited to get the book into our hands, they raced to the finish line when a little more time would have made a much better finished product. I’m not sure I would read it a second time in its current edition.”

What the review means.

“The author’s story does not match the excitement or intrigue of book description given. The main character is not well developed. In addition, the main character is like reading a confused jumble of ideas that never comes together for any reason. Maybe the author kept changing their mind during the writing and didn’t go back to edit for character continuity. Important subplots are left behind and ignored, as if the author completely forgets he ever wrote about them, and that makes for irritating points later that didn’t match up. It feels to me the book was rushed to market without being properly proofread and edited, which is what a customer is paying for. I would not recommend this book to anyone.”

Why do I not say the second review in an Amazon review?

There are a number of people involved in getting a manuscript to book form. It’s not only the author or authors. You also have proofreaders, editors, and publishers. An author cannot wholly depend on their own judgement about their baby. With my book, co-authored with PS Bartlett, we had each other to look to for any problems that came up and to push each other forward. That did not stop us from going to beta-readers, to test the story out. Then we took suggestions and made some edits. Then PS Bartlett sent it to her editor she’s worked with on some of her previous books.

Does all of that make for a perfect book? No. There is no such thing as a perfect book, but through that time taken, you can end up with a very enjoyable read.

What an author does is realize a book will never be good enough in his or her own eyes, and must trust others to help push them forward. Books I’ve written, that haven’t seen the light of a Kindle screen yet, are those I haven’t trusted to the eyes of beta-readers because I am not happy with them. In other words, I need someone to push me forward, but I don’t have a person on premises that does that, that encourages and nudges me forward. With the reviews coming out for Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, I’m getting the confidence I need to move ahead with the more than a dozen books I’ve written.

Now do you see how important a properly written review is? The first review tells a reader that they may not want to read this, warns them there are problems. At the same time, it doesn’t destroy confidence in the writer because they realize they have something there, but they need to work on it longer and take time. They need help getting it in a polished state.

Everything we write has an effect somewhere along the way. We may think we are being funny at times when we hit publish or submit, but the truth is, we could be doing more damage than good. Be honest, but be professional at the same time, even in an Amazon review. Help, not hinder.

As a Reader or as an Author, what do you want in an Amazon Review? Share for others to know. Maybe I’ll compile the results in a future article.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by Ronovan Hester 2016

Finding New Readers

Many authors view marketing their books as a necessary evil to be endured rather than enjoyed. This can be true if our entire focus is on simply finding people—any people—to buy our books, and sharing our book blurbs, book links, and other book related things every day, generally in the same places and with the same people. Marketing doesn’t only have to be this way though. You can find new readers without doing so to the exclusion of all else, and enjoy yourself in the process too.

Us scribblers naturally gravitate to each other, and there is a lot of fun to be had socializing with our own kind. It’s great chatting with like-minded people who are knowledgeable in our ways. Our families and “normal” friends are not going to want to talk about formatting and cover design, and are most unlikely to instigate any conversations about grammar. Authors, whether Indie or traditionally published all need the support of our tribe, whether to cheer us on when we hit walls, celebrate our successes, or generally to inspire us with their own stories and knowledge. As well as having fun with our online writer buddies, we should also find out what our “thing” is, and move around in places where we’ll find people interested in that in order to increase our readership.

So, what is your “thing”? Yes—writing is your thing, but unless you write about writing then you’re going to have something else that you’re an expert at. Do you write historical fiction? Detective thrillers? Science-fiction? All of these things also have other things within them that could be your “thing”. Are you fascinated with England’s royalty, American politics, serial killers or faster than light travel? All of these topics and thousands more have thousands of fans who are not also writers. They gather online in groups on Linkedin, G+, Facebook, or specific websites and forums.

Do you actively participate in groups that are interested in aspects of your expertise related to your fiction or non-fiction? If not, you should consider joining a few. Finding these places is easy using the search engines on each site, or even just using Google search. Don’t join in your capacity as an author and try and sell your book. Rather enjoy the fellowship of those who share your passions and let others be keen enough to seek out your books because you yourself have interested them. Obviously, don’t hide the fact that you write westerns or whatever subject it is that the group is about—just don’t talk about your books all the time. Have fun interacting as simply another person, and you could find a whole group of new readers while you’re at it.

Follow non-writing blogs, join groups, and interact in places where people share your passions as who you are and without the obvious end result being to sell your books. If you haven’t considered what your “thing” is before, then set aside a few moments to think about it. Don’t be self-deprecating with this. What are you knowledgeable about? What are you passionate about? Find your “thing” and use it to find new readers.

community-580297_640