Tag Archives: Paperback

#Book #Review of The Typist by Caroline Taylor.

The Typist book coverThe Typist by Caroline Taylor available on AMAZON by clicking HERE.

The Typist by Caroline Taylor? Let me start out by saying that at 250 pages you’ll be able to read this one in one sitting if you choose to but actually because you can’t help it.

Set in 1960s Washington, D.C. the atmosphere is perfect. If you lived there during that time you would swear you were right back there again as you turn the pages. Taylor nailed it.

Judah Lundquist moves to DC to make a better life for herself after growing up having been used in schemes by her father and conflicting being bible thumped by her mother. That had to be confusing, but she finds the courage to move on and she ends up right in the middle of the deep end of secrets at an insurance company. Yes, an insurance company. Think about the 1960s and how easy it would be to do things less than the straight and narrow.

But the intelligent young woman doesn’t back down as the stories moves on although she is a bit naïve about certain things, it still doesn’t stop her.

You get twists and surprises by the end. The only thing I can say against the book is that it that is a bit slow to begin with, which I have found to be common in books lately. I think we as a society are just used to things being crammed into an hour or two hour filmed piece that we forget that books just like this one are behind what we see on screen, just cut up and pieced together. So keep reading and you’ll get in to a groove and finish before you know it.

Who is Caroline Taylor?

Formerly from Washington, D.C., Caroline Taylor is an award-winning writer and editor living in North Carolina. She has written two mysteries—What Are Friends For? (Five Star-Cengage, 2011) and Jewelry from a Grave (Five Star-Cengage, 2013)—and is the author of Publishing the Nonprofit Annual Report: Tips, Traps, and Tricks of the Trade (Jossey-Bass, 2001). Her short stories and essays have appeared in several online and print magazines. She is a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, Sisters in Crime, and Mystery Writers of America. Visit her at http://www.carolinestories.com

The Typist book cover

“Blood Runs Cold” ~ From the Author of “The Murder of Manny Grimes”

I’ve recently submitted my second novel to my publisher at ThomasMax Publishing. With it being my second book, I’m both excited and extremely nervous! My debut, The Murder of Manny Grimes, was released last year, mid-September. I’ve spent seven years sweating over my manuscript, wondering if I’d ever get it published. Finally, it happened, and my “baby” is now available on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble for paperback/e-book. It has had some amazing reviews so far. I hope they keep on comin’!

Sometimes, you live with a group of characters for so long, they become a part of you.

A few readers asked me about a sequel, and I thought, “Why not?” Initially, I hadn’t planned on writing a sequel. However, I was curious as to how my protagonist, Lieutenant Jim DeLong would handle his job and home life. If you’ve read Manny Grimes, you already know that circumstances threatened DeLong’s very existence. Did he overcome his temptations? Well, if you haven’t read the book, I’m not telling! Shhhhh!

And now, Blood Runs Cold is born.

This next case DeLong will be involved with will be the most difficult of his career. It’s full of mystery, intrigue, new characters, as well as old. We’ll learn even more about DeLong–more than he wants us to know. But sometimes, secrets have a way of coming out! No one knows this like our beloved protagonist.

My publisher is working on preparing the book for publication. I don’t know the exact date it’ll be released. My hope is by the end of May or early June. You’ll be kept updated for sure! If you would like to pre-order a signed copy of Blood Runs Cold (or even The Murder of Manny Grimes), I will be selling them for $14–shipping included. If you’d like to order both, I’m offering them for $20! Again, shipping is included.

A New Case. An Old Memory.

A young woman has been murdered at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion and Lieutenant Jim DeLong realizes at first sight this case will be the most difficult one of his career. DeLong is immediately swept into the memories of his childhood and dark secrets he’s longed to forget. With no clear motive, DeLong questions his ability on whether he’s able to remain objective.

Check out my video for The Murder of Manny Grimes.
Check out my video for Blood Runs Cold.

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Follow me on Twitter: @angelakaysbooks

Biography

Angela Kay

Equipped 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 was one of 23 across the United States to win a 2009 playwright contest for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company.

She lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.

#BookReview of A Perfect Square by @IBlackthorn

A perfect square book coverA Perfect Square

by Isobel Blackthorne

Fiction: Literary Fiction/Metaphysical & Visionary. 242 Pages (KINDLE). Odyssey Books (August 27, 2016)

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Author Biography

A Londoner originally, Isobel Blackthorn currently resides in Melbourne, Australia. She received her BA in Social Studies from the Open University, and has a PhD in Western Esotericism. She has worked as a high school teacher, market trader and PA to a literary agent. Her writing has appeared in Backhand Stories, The Mused Literary Review, On Line Opinion and Paranoia Magazine online. She is the author of the novels, Asylum, A Perfect Square and The Drago Tree, and the short story collection, All Because of You.

Book Description

When pianist Ginny Smith moves back to her mother’s house in Sassafras after her breakup with the degenerate Garth, synaesthetic and eccentric artist Harriet Brassington-Smythe is beside herself and contrives a creative collaboration to lift her daughter’s spirits: an exhibition of paintings and songs. Ginny reluctantly agrees.

Mother and daughter struggle to agree on the elements of the collaborative effort, and as Ginny tries to prise the truth of her father’s disappearance from a tight-lipped Harriet, both are launched into their own inner worlds of dreams, speculations and remembering.

Meanwhile, another mother and artist, Judith, alone in a house on the moors, reflects on her own troubled past and that of her wayward daughter, Madeleine.

Set amid the fern glades and towering forests of the Dandenong ranges east of Melbourne, and on England’s Devon moors, A Perfect Square is a work of remarkable depth and insight.

 

Book Review

A Perfect Square combines two mother-daughter stories into one book. Are their similarities? Yes, but not as many as you might think. Both mothers are artists and accustomed to living alone when the daughters decide it’s time to move back home due to the ending of relationships. There ends the similarities.

My favorite storyline was that of mother Judith and the young somewhat rebellious daughter Madeleine. The Judith/Madeleine story flowed well in the alternating structure the author chose. One chapter you have Judith and Madeleine, the next is Ginny and talented pianist daughter Harriet.

The two stories are linked by a mystery that is revealed in the final chapters. It was a surprise to me, although I think I should have realized if I had only known to look for it. The Ginny/Harriet story is obviously well researched from the various subjects discussed and how the author weaves them together to unite mother and daughter.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

Get A Perfect Square @:

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Publishing New Paperback Editions

If you’re planning major changes to your book that will warrant a brand new paperback edition, or if you’ve acquired your own ISBN number and want to use that instead of the free issue CreateSpace ISBN, it’s not a complicated process. Unless you unpublish your Kindle book and start from scratch with that too, you won’t even lose your reviews.

So, assuming you will simply upload your updated eBook file to the currently published Kindle book keeping its Amazon assigned ASIN number, what you need to do is prepare your paperback with its new ISBN number in the front matter, the edition number, and also the new Published By information – don’t use your own name unless you really, really, really want to. Think about this before you buy your ISBN’s and call your publishing business something different. As a self-publishing author you are a publisher, and there’s no reason not to give your business a nice professional name.

When you look at the various editions of the same book from traditionally published authors they generally have a totally revamped look for each of them, so you might want to update your cover – even if only with a tweak or two, that will make it distinguishable from the first edition. Publish this from scratch with CreateSpace as a totally new project.

Contact CreateSpace and let them know that you wish to retire the first edition. This will result in an out of print notice on its Amazon page, which means that new print versions of it can’t be ordered, but that page won’t be taken down due to Amazon’s policy on the sale of used books. CreateSpace will however unlink this from the Kindle book product detail page, and the link the new edition to that instead, and all reviews already received for the eBook will remain right there. Easy as pie.

There’s no harm in revamping some of your backlist this way once you have more readers than you did when you published them. Add details, chapters, images, maps, tweak, modernise your covers and start an old book on a wonderful fresh journey. Obviously if your updates don’t include new ISBN numbers you can update without starting a new project, but sometimes especially if your first paperback didn’t do very well then beginning again could very well be the way to go.

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Fun with Filing

It’s a good idea to keep your virtual filing cabinets in good condition. Rather than having to search through a mile and a half of documents for a document whose title you forgot a year ago, create specific files and folders for specific things, and then make an effort to use them.

When you’re writing your first book you are blissfully innocent of the pitfalls that could await you when the time comes for editing, formatting, and loading onto the various sales sites. Many writers still hit the tab key for indents, and whack the carriage return button to create as much white space as they’d like to see on their title page. While this is fine for the paperback version of your book, it’s going to get promptly spat out of the Smashwords meatgrinder, and the tabs could cause some really terrible things to happen to your MOBI file. So it’s a great idea to be a little pedantic when you’ve written THE END at the close of your tale. It’s a good idea to hit a happy medium, and have a different file for each publishing format, but also not to keep every single old manuscript file “just in case”. Here are a couple of tips to retain a little bit of sanity when the time comes to launch your baby into the world.

Create a master folder for each book, and then create sub-folders within that folder. Keep your original manuscript as simple as possible. Just type it. Don’t fiddle with formatting at all. Don’t use tabs. Be gentle with the carriage returns. Just type it. Just type it. Just… You get the idea. Don’t use one manuscript to format across all publishing platforms. Trying to format a MOBI file from an already formatted CreateSpace file is a bad idea, although the other way around is not as much of a headache. The problem with Word is that it likes to assume what you’d like, based on what you’ve been doing, and Auto formatting can cause lots of glitches in an eBook, especially when you start getting into using a whole lot of different styles. Save yourself lots of future headaches and keep your master manuscript nice and pristine in its own folder. From there Save As new manuscripts for your eBook, Smashwords, and paperback formats, and work on each individually and from scratch. By trying to “save time” and simply trying to convert and then re-convert the same manuscript, you’re guaranteed at least one large headache, and sometimes the only way around such glitches is to completely wipe all formatting and start from scratch – not a fabulous way to go.

It can seem a bit tedious in future to have to visit each folder and manually update a typo found, but it’s worth it. Also remember to delete old files, and to add the latest date to the name of your most recent manuscript file. For instance “XYZ for Kindle 9 15 2016” as a file name will ensure that you don’t accidentally load your pre-proofed copy on to Amazon, a thing that happens very easily when you’ve saved every incarnation of your book file using different names, and believing that you would most definitely remember the most recent.

Even your virtual filing cabinet can become overwhelming. If that’s the case with you, then try and grab a couple of hours to clean it up. Delete all outdated files and manuscripts, and organise the rest, so that whenever you need to update or check on any of your already published works, everything is in place, and you won’t have any sort of disaster lurking and waiting to happen to you. Happy filing fellow scribblers!

Folders

#BookReview of The Rapture: Misunderstood by @JERoyle

the-rapture-misunderstoodThe Rapture: Misunderstood

by Jason E. Royle

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

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Author Biography

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

Book Review

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

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

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

by: Ronovan Hester

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

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Connect with Jason Royle at:

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#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)

 

 

 

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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:

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Connect with Kelly Oliver:

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NEW BOOK! The Land of Look Behind by @AaronBlaylock

The Land of Look Behind

by

Aaron Blaylock

“I just finished the book during my lunch break and the words that come to mind are incredible and awesome!!! I have been an avid reader of Mystery Novels for more than 40 years. I have read dozens of books from many of the great author’s including Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ellery Queen etc. And I can honestly say that this book is in the same league as anything I have read from any of the greats.”-5 Star Review

“The interesting character development at the beginning made you feel like you knew them personally.” 4 Star Review

The Land of Look Behind by Aaron Blaylock

Book Description

“When Gideon, a former missionary, discovers a mysterious drawing tucked in an ancient journal he returns to Jamaica with dreams of finding a centuries old treasure.  He quickly learns there are those who would kill to keep the treasure secret. This thrilling adventure takes you deep into Jamaica’s treacherous cockpit country and back in time for a spine-tingling mystery you won’t be able to put down.”

Author Aaron BlaylockAaron Blaylock, author of The Land of Look Behind, was born and raised in Arizona. As a child he grew up in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains in the far east valley. Later he attended Mesa Verde High School in Citrus Heights, CA, where he lettered in football. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America and has remained active in the scouting organization for over twenty years.

Currently he and his wife Lola live in Mesa, AZ, and are raising their four children. When not working, writing, or serving at church Aaron volunteers as a soccer and baseball coach for his children and enjoys chasing a small white ball around a golf course.

His storytelling draws heavily on his love of history, adventure, his faith, and his own life experiences.

Order The Land of Look Behind on

Amazon or at Barnes & Noble

 

 

BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “PINEAPPLE LIES” @AMYVANSANT

Pineapple Lies

Title:  Pineapple Lies – A Pineapple Port Mystery

Author:  Amy Vansant

Website: Amy Vansant.com

ASIN:   B00VV773I8

Published:  April 8, 2015

Pages:  308

Genre:  Cozy Mystery

Welcome to the Pineapple Port Retirement Community located in sunny Florida where Charlotte, a young woman in her twenties resides with a zany bunch of retirees. After Charlotte’s grandmother passes away she finds herself left with a home surrounded by a society of grandparents who look after her like she was their own.

As idyllic as this all sounds, Charlotte feels like life is passing her by. Her life and career is at a standstill. Looking for some sort of excitement she decides to plant a garden. When the neighbor’s dog helps her dig up a patch of ground a skull is uncovered which leads to the mystery of who is buried in Charlotte’s backyard.

Along with help from sexy Declan, the owner of the local pawn shop, and the only other young person in the town, Charlotte and a whacky cast of elderly characters delve into the mystery of identifying the body. The terrifying part is that the murderer lives right under their noses!

I loved the chemistry and humor shared between Charlotte and Declan. Numerous times I found myself laughing out loud, as the two young people try to deal with a mutual attraction to each other while surrounded by nosy neighbors watching them at all times. I look forward to seeing how the author, Amy Vansant brings the two of them together in subsequent novels. They are a great match and it will be fun to see their relationship advance.

amy vansant

Author, Amy Vansant

This is a cozy mystery with a romantic sparkle. It is filled with humor and kept me laughing till the end. On top of that, I did not figure out the ending until the very last, which was a pleasant surprise. If you are looking for a book to take on vacation or for a trip to the beach, Pineapple Lies is a lighthearted and fun read to enjoy with a relaxing glass of wine. Cheers!

RATINGS
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.0

Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing
Paperback: $11.30 US
Kindle: $2.99 US

Goodreads

 

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@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “THE BIRR ELIXIR,” BY AUTHOR @Sparks777

The Birr Elixir

  • Title:  The Birr Elixir, Book 1 of the Legend of the Gamesmen
  • Author: Jo Sparks
  • File Size: 1178 KB
  • Print Length: 196 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Oscar Press
  • Publication Date: May 31, 2013
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D4R7PZ4
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction,

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

In the land of Missea – under Skullan rule

King Bactor’s son Tryst, must undertake his first epourney in order to become a man to fulfill his destiny of becoming the future King of the Skullan people and all Trumen. Since a prince’s epourney is undertaken with a best friend, Tryst leaves with three of his best friends, Baldar, Mauric, and Jason. When it is determined that Mauric is ill and cannot travel, Kellan one of the prince’s lesser companions goes in his stead. Now, the adventure begins!

In the City of San Cris, one of the Sandy Towns…

A young apprentice potion maker, named Marra, works in the potion shop of her dead mistress, under the care of Snark, her mistress’ evil brother. Marra’s training was to include, “… learning the power of herbs, the alchemy of powders and potions to heal and enhance…” (pg. 9). After the death of Mistress Britta, Marra’s training stalls under the cruel care of Snark.

Until one day, when the mysterious Drail, a legendary gamesman, comes to the shop begging Marra to make a special potion for him and his crew of men set to play against the Skullan gamers. Marra agrees to make the potion, called “The Birr Elixir,” and Drail and his team win, believing the potion is responsible for their success.

Drail returns to the shop where he witnesses Snark beating Marra, who did not believe she had brewed the elixir that helped the Truman beat the Skullan’s at the game. After taking care of Snark and knocking him out cold, Drail invites Marra to accompany him and his team so that she can make more of the Birr Elixir for them.

A new life

Marra agrees to leave the only home she has ever known to follow Drail and his men as their Brista. As she is gathering her things to leave, she spots an unconscious man on the floor of the shop. Not wanting to leave the man to Snark’s mercy, Drail decides to take the man with them.

Marra realizes that the man is under a deep spell. Along the road, she works hard gathering herbs and preparing potions to heal the young man. Finally after many days, the man awakens and says his name is Tryst…

Recommendation:

As Jo Sparks debut novel, this book has the potential to be a great story and series. I loved the richness of the characters and enjoyed the interactions between them. Many of the apt descriptions of the desert towns reminded me of the book, “Dune,” by Frank Herbert.

However, I was left with so many unanswered questions as to where the story was going that I had to go back and reread various passages to make sure that I followed the story. I felt like there was an attraction growing between Tryst and Marra, although Drail seemed to care deeply for the girl also. There are few clues in this book to shed any light on their relationship.

I would say the main attraction of the story is the “games” themselves. The “game” appears to be played in an arena with two opposing teams. In the words of the author,

“It is a wild game with few rules. Players wore leather vests to protect themselves, but in truth, the decorated material was more to mark the teams for the spectators than any real padding.” (P. 17)

At the inner circle in the arena, a line is drawn in the sand by a judge. It is forbidden for the teams to cross the line until the judge allows it. There is much jockeying for the balls by both team members. There are four leather balls that need to be dropped into a cone shaped area in order to score points, which are determined by the judge. Each ball contains special markings which determine the number of points each ball is worth. As contact sports go, I envisioned the game to be a combination of football and hockey with players participating in a game to the death in order to win, if necessary.

If you love the excitement of a fast paced game and the mystery and intrigue of a fantasy world, you will enjoy this book as much as I did. I do hope in the next sequel, the author will shed more light on where the story is leading. Right now, the possibilities are endless.

Jo-Sparkes

Author, Jo Sparks

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

A well-known Century City Producer once said that Jo Sparkes “…writes some of the best dialogue I’ve read.”  Not only are those words a compliment to Jo’s skills as a writer, but a true reflection of her commitment to her work as a screenwriter.

Jo Sparkes graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washington College, a small liberal arts college famous for its creative writing program.  Some years later, she renounced life in the corporate world to pursue her passion for writing.  Jo went on to study for two years with Robert Powell; a student of renowned writers and teachers Lew Hunter, and Richard Walter, head and heart of UCLA’s Screenwriting Program.  The culmination of those years of hard work was the short-film “The Image”, which Jo wrote and produced single-handedly.

Since then, Jo hasn’t looked back – having written seven feature film scripts.  Jo’s body of work includes scripts for Children’s live-action and animated television programs, a direct to video Children’s DVD, commercial work for corporate clients, as well as a being a feature writer on ReZoom.com.  As a contributing writer for the Arizona Sports Fans Network; where she has been called their most popular writer, she was known for her humorous articles, player interviews, and game coverage. Jo was unofficially the first to interview Emmitt Smith when he arrived in Arizona to play for the Cardinals.

She has served as an adjunct teacher at the Film School at Scottsdale Community College and even made a video of her most beloved lecture. More recently she has teamed with a Producer and a Director on a low budget thriller. Her book for writers and artists, “Feedback  How to Give It  How to Get It” was born to help her students — and indeed, all artists.

Her original script, Frank Retrieval, won the 2012 Kay Snow award for best screenplay. Her fantasy series, The Legend of the Gamesmen, has garnered two B.R.A.G. Medallions and a 2015 silver IPPY award for Ebook Juvenile/YA Fiction.

When not diligently perfecting her craft, Jo can be found exploring her new home of Portland, Oregon, with her Husband Ian, and their dog Oscar.

To watch a trailer for the book click the link below.

Make certain to connect with (author) through her Twitter @Sparks777

And her blog at, Jo Sparks – Quill & Hound.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 10.2015

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “THE MYSTERY OF THE SOLAR WIND” BY AUTHOR @LYZRUSSO

  • Title: The Mystery of the Solar Wind
  • Author: Lyz Russo
  • File Size: 1570 KB
  • Print Length: 430 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 062046593X
  • Publisher: P’kaboo Publishing (Owned by the author)
  • Publication Date: August 18, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0145T724I
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance, Futuristic Fiction, Mystery,

In the year 2116 the Unicate, a conglomerate formed from all the governments in the world, have stopped the wars that ravaged the earth. Peace now reigns supreme – except on the oceans, where Captain Radomiur Lascek and his band of pirates sail upon his ship, the Solar Wind. This unruly band of misfits travel the high seas, seeking out outlaws and fugitives, all the while steering clear of the Unicate and their associates.

On a routine stop in Dublin, the Gypsy chef, Federi takes a chance and hires three teenage Irish musicians, “The Donegal Troubles,” Paean, her older brother Ronan, and her younger brother, Shawn to entertain the crew. The young trio had been searching for work and a safe place to hide from their past and the Unicate, who are hunting for them in connection with a mysterious death that still haunts Paean and her brothers.

Mystery and adventure surround the Donegal’s as they sail aboard the Solar Wind. When the Unicate gained power they outlawed all knowledge and culture that dated back more than thirty years. This is the war the pirates wage against the Unicate. Using current technology and the old ways of sailing, knowledge now forbidden, Captain Lascek and the crew capture and sell enemy craft to the rebellion.

However, all is not what it seems aboard the Solar Wind. The Unicate and bounty hunters are closing in on Captain Lascek and the crew. Time is running out! The only answer must be sabotage from within!

Recommendation:

Do you love pirates? Young adult adventure and mysteries, too? How about if you throw in some gypsy magic and a romance or two? The Mystery of the Solar Wind is all that and then some.

The cast of characters is a motley crew with two things in common, their love of the sea and their hatred for the Unicate. Add in the young Donegal kids who knew nothing of living upon a sea vessel and you learn about life aboard the Solar Wind through their eyes. If you ever wondered what it was like to sail a ship, you will learn all there is to know within these pages.

I was intrigued with the in-depth personality of Paean, a real tom-boy who stuck me as a level headed teenager faced with the difficulties of living under a corrupt world government. The choices she was faced with really made me think about the way our world is today and what our future might hold for all of us. The future presented within these pages might not be too far off in our own future.

Although, for me the real stand out in the novel was Federi, the Gypsy chef, who bewitches you with his smooth talking ways and his undying loyalty to the captain and the crew. The Romany Federi carries dark secrets from his past that seem to surface at exactly the right time, moving the story along in exciting new paths.

There is a great deal of detail presented within the pages of this book. At times, I had to backtrack to make all the connections, even though I was always glad I did. Lyz Russo is a master story weaver and I was drawn into the community of pirates who seemed to be the real good guys in this futuristic world.

I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I have to know what happens next!

“The Mystery of the Solar Wind,” is Book 1 in the Solar Wind series. “The Assassin,” is Book 2, “Freedom Fighter,” is Book 3, and “Raider!” is Book 4, all part of the Solar Wind Series.


Author, Lyz Russo

Character Believability: 4
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4

About Lyz Russo:

I’m a South African writer and musician. Between running a violin studio and raising 3 beautiful children, and writing through nights, I also run a maverick indie publishing house in South Africa called, P’kaboo Publishers.  Have a look: http://pkaboonews.blogspot.co.za/

Find me on my blog: “Violin Tricks” https://violintrix.wordpress.com/

My social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lyz-Russo/50736424488

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5274509.Lyz_Russo

P’kaboo Book Club (FB): https://www.facebook.com/groups/139271869584780/

The Solar Wind Fan Club (FB): https://www.facebook.com/groups/26966456822/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lyzrusso

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/lyzrusso

Links to the book “The Mystery of the Solar Wind:”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lyz-Russo/e/B00I2W7MYK

On P’kaboo: http://www.pkaboo.net/LRusso.html

Lulu.com: http://www.lulu.com/shop/lyz-russo/the-mystery-of-the-solar-wind/paperback/product-22440561.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/516535

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12876378-the-mystery-of-the-solar-wind

Book Review by: @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Levant Mirage by @OliverFChase “It’s so possible, it’s scary.” #Book Review

  • Author: Oliver F. ChaseLevant Mirage by Oliver F. Chase
  • Title: Levant Mirage
  • File Size: 3416 KB
  • Print Length: 309 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pearl River Publishing Group; 1 edition (October 15, 2015)
  • Publication Date: October 15, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015G7TWYQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Formats: Paperback & Kindle
  • Pricing: $13.99 & $3.99
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller, Suspense, War

I received a copy of this book for an honest review and I’m glad I did.

Levant Mirage takes snapshots from the headlines of the past few years to build a character and combines it with frighteningly realistic possibilities to give a story you pray never happens.

35 year old U.S. Army Major Adam Michaels is no James Bond, nor did he ever set out to be. What is he? He’s a man who rejects the easy path that being the heir to a shipping empire gives him in order to join the military, serve his country, and be a father. Right, no money other than what he makes as a Major in the Army. You don’t see jet flying, limousine riding, womanizing and all of that. I would trade in the 10 year old Corolla for something a little better though. Tap into the trust fund already.

Finding himself used as a scapegoat for a foreign relations nightmare, Michaels works out his days in the Pentagon pushing papers, and paying alimony, child support and the mortgage on his rising political star ex-wife’s house. You see the everyday life to some extent leading up to the changes in life the military can throw at you. You don’t control you in the Army. And there are times when that twists the guts out of Michaels.

Michaels is of a dubious parentage, with his father not being who he thought he was, but upon finding out explains a great deal. This in part leads to his choice of path in life. He wants to be his own man. He doesn’t want to be identified with a past that isn’t really what he thought it was.

But part of that past comes back in one night and changes a quiet world into a search to find the defense against a missile guidance system he created that is now in the hands of terrorists. Which terrorists? Who is the enemy? You won’t believe it. Or you will believe it but be surprised.

The believability of Levant Mirage is what makes it so freakin’ scary at times. Perhaps the guidance system isn’t real, or I hope it’s not. But I’m sure there is something like it out there. The enemy Michaels must fight against is out of this world. If he fails, billions die. If he succeeds?

Chase writes with detail and a knowledge base that gives the story realism. You are able to submerse yourself into Levant Mirage and you don’t get pulled out by oddities and unbelievable scenes. Some scenes are high energy and amped up, but still possible.

Being honest, the amount of detail is incredible at times and I could have done with a little less of the technological speak, but it doesn’t take away from the story. In truth, it adds the believability—you don’t have these leaps from action to intellect in the span of a few seconds. Okay, maybe you do but for a whole different reason, but I’m not giving those parts away. Ah, that does remind me of one scene that did cause me pause and have to reread in order to get it clear. In part, that was due to the surprise of those involved.

I enjoyed the handling of the terrorists. As you read you’ll develop ideas but never get to comfortable, you never know what is going to happen next, who is going to happen, or what the truth is until it’s almost too late. But there are clues along the way.

Recommendation

I would recommend Levant Mirage to those who like believable action thrillers. Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt and other NUMA series books come to mind, but not that fantastical or off the charts. Where Cussler takes you over the edge of believability at times, Chase keeps you here on earth and scares the life out of you with reality you can find in your neighbors living room.

Character Believability: 4Levant Mirage by Oliver F. Chase
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4

 

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About the Author

olvier-chaseOliver spent five years in a police department working narcotics and SWAT, and the next 22 in the FBI. Now he’s the author of Marsh Island, Blind Marsh, the first two installments of the Hirebomber Series. And now Levant Mirage, releasing Oct. 15, 2015.

oliverchase.net

https://oliverchase.wordpress.com

facebook.com/oilverchase

https://twitter.com/OliverFChase



About the Reviewer

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, blogger and former educator who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of  LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com, a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources.  For those serious about book reviewing and interested in reviewing for the LWI site, email Ronovan at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com to begin a dialogue. It may not work out but then again it might.

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 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.wordpress.com 2015

#Book Review of Dancing to an Irish Reel by @cfullerton3

Author: Claire FullertonDancing to an Irish Reel
Title: Dancing to an Irish Reel
File Size: 373 KB
Print Length: 237 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0990304256
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing (March 6, 2015)
Publication Date: March 6, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00UCOZJXM
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Enabled
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Literary Fiction
Kindle: $1.99
Paperback: $13.99
Audible: $17.95

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. And of course with me, you know that’s what you get. Good or bad. Here we go!

What happens when an L.A. music exec goes on sabbatical to Ireland? Well this is a romance, so I’ll say romance, along with love, music, and most of all confusion—caused by love, language, and longing. You might think a Southern girl who moved to L.A. might be accustomed to culture shock and speaking a different language, but Ireland is an island unto itself.

Dancing to an Irish Reel is about American Hailey meeting real Ireland and new-to-love Liam Hennessey. What you get is a story of Hailey learning about the place she comes to call home and as she learns about it and begins to understand it, she also begins to understand the man she falls for.

I like the character of Hailey. She is not your stereotype romantic leading lady that people like to think of. She is strong, knows what she wants, has common sense, and above all—she doesn’t do the typical damsel in distress routines.

Men, you will like this book. I say that because men need to realize that a great deal of books with Romance in the genre are not exactly what you may think. Movies men seem to like have romance in them and could be labeled as such in genre. So get a clue.

In other words this will hit with all people.

I found this book a bit of a surprise in some ways. Things don’t happen the way you expect, which to me is good. You want to be surprised these days. I do want to say that the character of Liam, well—Fullerton does a great job of explaining the Irish male in several places from different viewpoints. Very interesting, I thought.

You might at times want to hit Liam over the head with something, like his accordion, but then, he is a man, it’s love, and he’s young, so what else would you expect? And that is one thing that makes this book real and allows the reader to connect with it. No one is perfect in the book. Even those thought to be perfect are flawed deeply, and not entirely due to their own doing. And as for the accordion, it’s a loved instrument in Ireland and makes Liam somewhat of a local celebrity.

I loved the description of Ireland, the people, how the language works and the culture itself works in so many different ways. Those parts alone make you think you have read a much larger book because you learn so much. I view the romance part of the story as a side by side symbolic representation of Hailey’s coming to terms and coming to understanding Ireland itself.

How does the book end? Is it a happy ending? That’s something you have to find out for yourself. Does Fullerton leave things open for a sequel? Could there be a trilogy or even a series of Hailey books? Personally, I would like to see more of Hailey in Ireland. How Fullerton uses Hailey to teach us about the real Ireland is something that needs to be revisited.

Recommendations:

I recommend this book to lovers of Ireland, real people, common sense romance, and reality.

Character Believability: 5Dancing to an Irish Reel
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4.8

 

You may be looking at that Reader Enjoyment number and wondering why. There were certain characteristics of Liam that somewhat annoyed me at times. I think maybe it was because I’m American and he’s Irish and as Claire Fullerton explains in the book, those two types of men are different. But Liam is real to the Irish male character. Perhaps being of Scottish background, maybe it’s just me.

http://www.clairefullerton.com/about-claire
https://www.facebook.com/clairefullertonauthor
http://www.vinspirepublishing.com/#!about/cjg9
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7388895.Claire_Fullerton
https://twitter.com/cfullerton3
 
 

Claire Fullerton PhotoClaire Fullerton grew up in Memphis, TN and now lives in Malibu, CA. She is the author of literary fiction, “Dancing to an Irish Reel,” which is set in Connemara, Ireland, where she once lived. She is also the author of “A Portal in Time”: A paranormal mystery that unfolds in two time periods set on California’s hauntingly beautiful Monterey Peninsula, in a little village called Carmel-by-the-Sea. Both of Claire’s novels are published by Vinspire Publishing. Claire is a three- time award winning essayist, a former newspaper columnist, a contributor to magazines including Celtic Life International and Southern Writers Magazine. She is a five-time contributor to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series and can be found on Goodreads as well as the website under her name. Currently, Claire is writing her third novel, which is a Southern family saga based on her award winning essay in the 2013 San Francisco Writer’s Conference.


 

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 19,500 other followers

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.wordpress.com 2015

 

 

#BOOK REVIEW BY @ColleenChesebro OF FACES OF A SMALL CITY BY AUTHOR @PaulStearsNews

  • Title:  Faces of a Small City
  • Author:  Paul Stears
  • File Size:  879 KB
  • Print Length:  322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date:  December 11, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00QJI5VL0
  • ISBN-10: 1505349648
  • ISBN-13: 978-1505349641
  • Formats: Paperback  Kindle
    Goodreads
  • Genres:  Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Drama

* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review which follows. *

Recently graduated from University, James is excited to get on with living the rest of his life. His existence in Canterbury seems to crawl by and his prospects are slim. With no job, no girlfriend, and without a place to call his own James drifts, all the while self-medicating himself with alcohol and women that mean nothing to him. One night, celebrating at a local pub with friends, James has a chance encounter with the elusive and stunningly beautiful Maisie. For James, Maisie is the stuff dreams are made of and he can’t shake her memory from his mind. He can’t wait to see her again, although it seems they are never in the right place at the same time.

Maisie has insurmountable problems of her own to contend with as her mother continues to lose touch with reality. Maisie struggles to live up to the demands her mother places upon her. Much like James, Maisie is floundering in an adult world while desperately trying to get on with the business of living and finding her own identity.

James and Maisie’s stories wrap around each other while both live in the small city of Canterbury. Their lives intertwine through their friends, families, and life circumstances.  Jakes, the narrator of the story leads you into the contemporary lives of Canterbury’s younger population who are filled with hope at the beginning of their adult lives.

Recommendation:

“The Faces of a Small City,” is Paul Stears debut novel. Although, the book starts out slowly, I found myself swept up in the descriptions of Canterbury, the people, and the many life situations that are thrown at the characters of Maisie and James. It was easy to identify with both, James and Maisie as each seemed to be real characters with strengths and weaknesses just like the rest of us.

A true coming of age love story, Stears does a marvelous job depicting and adding depth to the characters featured in this story. Many times I found myself reminiscing about my own first love experiences and how it felt to be that young again. Throughout the novel, a message of hope resounds in the face of formidable life obstacles. I really enjoyed seeing James and Maisie grow up and enter the next stage of their lives.

If you enjoy contemporary love stories with the backdrop of an English city to add culture and ambiance, you will enjoy this book. It is a quick read that will leave you feeling hope that there truly is someone out there for each of us, sometimes found right in the small city we live in.

Character Believability: 4
Flow and Pace: 3.5
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 3.5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4

About Paul Stears:

PAUL STEARS has recently released his debut novel, “Faces of a Small City.” Graduating from Canterbury University in 2010, he spent his time working and writing. Born and bred in Kent, UK, he lives to write. You can follow him and find out more information about him at his blog: paulstearsauth.wordpress.com.

Please make certain to connect with Paul Stears through his Twitter @PaulStearsNews.

Book Review by: @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 10.21.14

 

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF HOSTAGES OF VERA CRUZ BY AUTHOR @GRADYMILLER

Hostages of Vera Cruz

  • Title:  Hostages of Vera Cruz
  • Author:  Grady Miller
  • File Size: 599 KB
  • Print Length: 113 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:  1499545320
  •  Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Publication Date: August 27, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00N49QBN4
  • ISBN-10: 1499545320
  • ISBN-13: 9781499545326
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Genres: Mystery, Mystery/Suspense, Thriller, Romantic Mystery

* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review which follows. *

And so it began…

Peter Vandervoort, a wealthy photographer living in Mexico with his girlfriend, Xochitl, take part in a photography exhibit presenting some of Peter’s photos from around Vera Cruz. One of the photos Peter includes in the show, reveals a grainy image of a child being abducted which lends credence to the rumors circulating that organ trafficking is happening in the city. The photography exhibit fails and Peter falls into a deep depression over the rejection of his work; unaware that there are ulterior motives to the failure of his show. He has no idea what he has stirred up with that photo of the child abduction.

To bring Peter out of his depression, Xochitl suggests a trip to the local carnival. While they are getting ready to go to the carnival, Peter receives a telephone call demanding the photo of the child, including the photo negative. Visibly shaken, Peter keeps the negative with him and the couple attends the carnival. In all the gaiety of the carnival atmosphere, Peter and Xochitl end up getting separated. Peter becomes a victim of foul play, although Xochitl has no idea of what has actually transpired. She searches for Peter for days and is unable to locate him.

The suspense builds!

While Xochitl is searching for him, a drugged Peter awakens in the midst of the real organ harvesters where he witnesses the horrors taking place amongst Vera Cruz’s children. Realizing that he is next in line to have his organs taken from him, Peter escapes and makes his way back to Xochitl.

Traumatized by the kidnapping, Peter blocks the experience. He just cannot deal with the abduction and the fact that no one cares what is happening to the children of Vera Cruz.  Xochitl and Peter drift apart as the experience overwhelms him and their relationship. Troubled, Peter returns to Holland and the comfort of his parents.

Slowly, Peter regains control over his life.  He travels to France on vacation where a chance encounter brings him face to face with his old girlfriend, Michelle, a journalist struggling to give her career a much-needed reboot. Peter divulges his experiences to Michelle and together the two embark on a chilling investigation of what is really happening to the children of Vera Cruz.

Part mystery and suspense, part love story, the Hostages of Vera Cruz will keep you guessing until the very end.

Recommendation:

If you are drawn to romantic mysteries or thrillers you will love this novella. I found myself marveling at all the layers of romantic and suspenseful intrigue that surrounded the characters and their experiences. Grady Miller gives them breath with real situations that mimic life in a meaningful way. A novella at only 113 pages, I was mesmerized and could not put it down until all was revealed in the end!

Grady Miller

Author, Grady Miller

Character Believability: 4.5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4.5
Reader Enjoyment: 4.5
Overall Rate: 4.5

About Grady Miller:

Grady Miller’s humor appears frequently in numerous publications, including the LA Times and his popular blog at www.canyon-news.com. In “Lighten up Now: The Grady Diet,” Grady urges people to ‘count the laughs, not calories.’ He is the author of a nail-biting thriller, “The Hostages of Veracruz.”

Make certain to connect with Grady through his Twitter @GradyMiller

And Facebook at www.facebook.com/grady.miller.58

Book Review by: @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

 

Can You Change Paper Trim Size and Colour on CreateSpace?

Before publishing your first paper book with CreateSpace there are a couple of things to consider. Even though you can update it and change the content, once the book has its ISBN and is live for sale you can’t change its size and the colour of the paper. Also, once it’s linked to its Kindle book on Amazon they keep a certain amount of printed books in stock for their quick delivery system, so if you find any major errors in it and rush to fix them, those in stock books will still have to sell first before the corrected ones become available. You could order them yourself I suppose, but I’m not sure how many are printed for this and I don’t see how you could get them from Amazon’s other country sites.

Most of the CreateSpace books that I have bought are 6” x 9”, mostly printed on white paper, as are two of my own books, but there are actually quite a few size choices. I wanted to change the first book in my series to 5” x 8” with cream paper and only then discovered that it couldn’t be done, so now I have no choice but to use the same for all the books in the series. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s nice to know these things before rather than after publishing.

When you’re ready to publish in paper, take your time making sure you’re totally happy with all of your choices. First grab a handful of books from your bookshelf and see what finished product you prefer. Measure those puppies. Unless you have lots of pages, the 5” x 8” with cream paper looks really good. I will only be using cream paper for my fiction books from now on because I love the way it looks and feels, and you don’t see many fiction books with white paper. CreateSpace actually does a great job quality wise when you compare their finished products to some traditionally printed books. White seems the obvious choice for non-fiction, although that would depend on the look you’re going for.

Once your paper book is live and for sale on Amazon you can’t unpublish it and take it down and then republish it again if you hate the way it looks, because they won’t allow that in case someone who bought it wants to sell their copy. It’s so easy to chop and change or even unpublish eBooks that we’re not happy with, but once the paper books are published and selling, it seems they’re forever.

1194985952866884806stack_of_books_01.svg.hi

A @COLLEENCHESEBRO #BOOK #REVIEW “RIDING AT THE GATES OF SIXTY-VIRGINIA WOOLF” by @ALIENORATAYLOR

alienora-taylor-riding-gates-sixty-virgina-woolf

 

Title:  Riding at the Gates of Sixty – Virginia Woolf

Author:  Alienora Taylor

Website:  https://alienorabrowning.wordpress.com/

ASIN:  B00UJFIE6I

Published:  March 10, 2015

Pages:  153

Genre:  Fact-based Fiction, Drama

Virginia Woolf’s last days before her tragic suicide in March 1941, at the age of 59 years, is the setting for this partly true/fictional account told through the eyes of her family and friends.  This haunting novel is written much in the first person, and you get a firsthand account of the events from her husband, Virginia herself, and her friend, Vanessa Bell.  This in depth character study shows Virginia Woolf, as she truly was, a woman comprised of more than just the tragedy of her early demise.

Virginia Woolf was one of the most respected British writers of her time.  Self educated at home by her father, she developed a particular writing style that was intriguing in her ability to write dream like sequences within the orderly plot line of her stories.  This non-linear writing style allowed Virginia to be more creative, a form of writing that had never been done before by other authors.

In true form, Alienora Taylor employs the same non-linear writing style in her account of Virginia Woolf’s last days.  At times, I felt like the author must be channeling the memories and feelings of Virginia, the writing was so engaging.  Virginia came alive for me.  I like to think that I now better understand her depression and the demons that pursued her.  I got to know the real Virginia Woolf.

Alienora Taylor

Author, Alienora Taylor

The happenings in the book are based on fact.  The author studied in detail, letters belonging to Virginia Woolf in preparation for writing this novel.  The only speculation can be, as to what really existed in the minds of the characters.  I felt the author’s attempt to understand and empathize with Virginia’s consuming depression portrayed her, as a successful woman filled with many self doubts, much like modern women today.  Virginia seemed to have it all – success, a loving husband, family.  It just was not enough to help her in the end.

I loved this book.  I knew little about Virginia Woolf, other than that she was a successful author who committed suicide.  What I found reading this novel, was that Virginia Woolf was a strong determined soul, a creative genius, tortured by her madness.  I cannot wait to read her novels!

RATINGS
Realistic Characterization: 5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4.5/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5.0

Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing:

Kindle: $2.99 US

Goodreads

 

 Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

Judas: Hero Misunderstood by @JERoyle

Jason Royle

Title: Judas: Hero Misunderstood
Author: Jason Royle
Paperback: 60 pages
Print Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500884200
ISBN-13: 978-1500884208
File Size: 2035 KB
Print Length: 62 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Kindle Publisher: Jason E. Royle; 1 edition (August 17, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
ASIN: B00MTCDRG6
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Lending: Enabled

 

Judas: Hero Misunderstood is the story of a man out of history that is perhaps the least known about but one of the most significant disciples during the actual life of Jesus and what happened after that night in the garden, after the Judas kiss.

Jason Royle takes the reader on a journey of what if. Or maybe it really is a journey of what did happen. The style he chose to use is contemporary in the use of language and symbolism in order for anyone today to relate and connect to the story. Unlike many other takes that are similar to what Royle has done you don’t get a preachy style. At the very end, after the story is all done and over with, you receive a look at passages from the Bible to show you what may or may not bring credence to what Royle has written.

The story itself is a journey of what happens after Jesus has been taken away, what thoughts go through the mind of Judas, and what happens after his death. Where does he go? Who does he see? We see Judas, just like all others according to the Christian faith, answering for what he has done.

The manner in which Royle chose to do this is very interesting and relatable to today and I found the use of gender at times a surprise. For the Bible Belt the book should be something that doesn’t threaten what they believe, as if one studies their Bible perhaps they might come to similar conclusions as the author has for this book, or at list not so far off as to be offended.

The story is told to educate but in a ‘what if’ kind of manner. It is meant to get the reader to thinking.

I would recommend this book to anyone really. It’s an easy and quick read. I read it in one sitting and had little problem with flow or pace. I wanted to continue on. The beginning chapter or two were a little bit, I’m not certain if confusing it the right word. What the author wrote had to be written in order to set the stage for what was to come next, to get to what would really get us in the learning mode. The author had no idea I had agreed to review the book so there was no reason I had to read it as quickly as I did, it was simply that type of book. You just don’t realize you’ve done it.

Review Rating

1 being I would almost rather die than read the book and 5 being a superior book that truly excels to perfection.Judas Hero Misunderstood

Character Believability: 4
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 4.5
Overall Rate: 4.1

Bio Back of Book Version:

Jason is the pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania. A Social Worker before his call to full-time ministry, Jason received his Doctorate in Ministry from Sewanee: University of the South School of Theology and his Master’s from Johnson University. He and his wife, Heather, have two children (Katelyn and Nate) and one loyal but lazy dog (Rudy).

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#Book #Review @OlgaNM7 ‘The Fallen Angels of Karnataka’ by Hans Hirschi

Book Title: The Fallen Angels of Karnatakafallen-angels-hans-hirschi-olga-nunez-miret

Author: Hans M. Hirschi

Print Length: 264 pages

Publisher: Yaree AB (September 15, 2014)

Language: English

ASIN: B00MRXVK84

The Fallen Angels of Karnataka is a novel that reminded me of a variety of genres. It’s a bildungsroman. Haakon, the protagonist, is a young man from a small Norwegian farm, naïve and not knowledgeable in the ways of life. The book shows us the process of his sexual awakening, how he discovers he is gay, his first experiences, his first rejection and heartbreak, his first love, and his first loss.

At a time when he’s lost everything and he’s been given what he thinks is a death sentence, an Englishman steps in, Charles, and makes him an offer that seems too good to be true. (Yes, we know all about it, but…) Haakon has always dreamt of travelling, and Charles offers him a dream contract to be his travelling companion, acting as a fairy godmother (or godfather) of sorts. He solves all the problems (including finding him medication for his newly diagnosed HIV infection) and does not seem to want anything back other than company and organisational skills. Of course, things aren’t quite as they seem, and the fairy tale turns much seedier and darker later in the book.

We follow Haakon and Charles in their travels, and the book could have become a travelogue. But although the novel provides beautiful vignettes and interesting observations and reflections about the places visited, their travel is described more in terms of an emotional and spiritual experience than a guide book. The journey our hero embarks on allows the readers to follow how the character grows, loses his —at times terribly annoying, at least to me— naïveté and manages to find not only a partner (gorgeous, good and who has suffered too, one of the fallen angels of the title), but also a worthy mission.

Hans Hirschi tackles a difficult subject in this book. One of the most difficult subjects. Paedophilia. The fallen angels of the book title are not really fallen, but rather dragged down by adults who either aid and abate others or are themselves abusers. The author shines a light on some of the least tasteful aspects of an already difficult to deal with topic, by highlighting the plight of children who are abused because they are seen as dispensable. We’ve all heard of sexual tourism and this is an extreme example of it. Although the topic is distasteful and something that plenty of readers would much rather not read about, the author manages to build credible characters that do not completely lose their humanity, even though some of their behaviours might be abhorrent. Haakon acts, in a way, as a foil and reflects the attitude of most readers, who would find it difficult to reconcile how somebody who seems so kind, educated, sophisticated and helpful could also abuse children. It is also a cautionary tale that reminds us appearances can be very deceptive.

The ending is positive, in keeping with the fairy-tale aspect of it, and although not perfect, the hero’s journey shares on universal themes and shows character development and a well-constructed plot and structure. We can’t help but hope that in real life all these kids will find a place and there will be no more fallen angels.

The book is beautifully written and the omniscient narrator allows us to see and understand things from different characters’ point of view (mainly Haakon’s but not exclusively). That helps up share in his experiences but at times puts us in a very uncomfortable position, being party to thoughts or desires and impulses of deeply flawed characters.

I would recommend this book to readers who dare to explore darker subjects. It will be quite a ride but the rewards will be plenty. I don’t know if the writer has thought about revisiting any of the characters again, but I for one would love to hear more of Mahender’s story (hard as it would be). And I will put other works by the author in my list of future reads.

 

Ratings:fallen-angels-hans-hirschi
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 

Buy it at:  Amazon.
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $14.39
Kindle: $6.66

 

Olga Núñez Miret

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ROMANCE SHORTS by LWI Author Sourabh Mukherjee

New For the Month of Looooove!

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Sourabh Mukherjee

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PAPERBACK release!

ROMANCE SHORTS

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