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review 2018-03-19 12:45
Fearless - Carly Phillips

Halley & Kane have a history.  One that goes back to the school days and misery.  He was once her protector.  Now Halley has found that she is very attracted to him as a man.


Kane remembers the sad Halley who had so much in common with him in their youth.  He is surprised at how beautiful she has become.  Even more, he finds himself wanting to spend more and more time with her.  To just be near her.


Such a sweet and slow burn.  This story finds two people with similar family issues, just trying to keep it together.  The heat between them gets pretty hot.  I give this book a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2018-02-12 04:36
A View from the Lake - Greg F. Gifune
A View from the Lake - Greg F. Gifune

Katherine and James purchased lake property in rural western Massachusetts when they were in their mid-twenties. They rented out the various cottages while James worked on his poetry. It was an idyllic setting and life. That is, until James discovered the body of a boy floating by one of the cottage docks. The accident sent devastated James and he slowly sank into madness and depression from a broken mind. Katherine watched as James became more and more recluse and angry until one day he disappeared without a trace. Trying to pick up the pieces of a shattered life, Katherine makes the decision to sell the property in the spring and to try and start a new life. All she has to do is get through the winter. Not an easy task now that she's hearing strange thing that sound like James. Is this all in her mind or is he out there somewhere?



I've read a handful of Gifune's work and most of them are noted for the story being enveloped in shadows and fog, to the point where it's hard to tell what's going on, what's real and what's not. A View from the Lake is no different. But where it is different than my other experiences with Gifune's stories is that there is no pay off. The last 1/3 doesn't ratchet up and have this wonderful revelation that ties everything together. In fact, the ending came out of the blue and left you with more questions than answers. The characters weren't all that interesting and I didn't feel for Katherine or James. I know this is one of Gifune's earlier works and I think it shows. When you read his later works, you'll see that he commands things so much better.



2 Confusing Hallucinations out of 5


You can also follow my reviews at the following links:








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review 2018-02-10 11:00
An Ex-Soldier Finding His Way at University: Bells Above Greens by David Xavier
Bells Above Greens - David Xavier

Here's a review of light young adult fiction for a change:


Sam Conry is nineteen, but he has already seen a lot since he was a soldier in the Korean War for nine months and he lost his admired older brother. Now he is back to the USA and he meets the girl whom his brother wished to present to him as a surprise... and his fiancée. After the summer Sam resumes his studies at the University of Notre Dame where also his late brother's girlfriend Elle is a student at St. Mary's College. Sam drifts through student life - confused and without direction.


You'd like to know more? Find my review here on my book blog Edith's Miscellany!

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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review 2018-02-09 16:32
Carnival (Team Umizoomi) - Nickelodeon P... Carnival (Team Umizoomi) - Nickelodeon Publishing

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Cute story. A nice adaptation of the TV show. Good for fans of Team Umizoomi. There are a lot of learning exercises, as in the show, to test shapes, patterns, and counting. 

A nice read for kids.

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text 2018-02-05 07:16
The benefit of a bounty of Beta-Readers


I am constantly amazed at how many errors there are in my manuscripts.


And I don't mean the first draft.


Nothing is more frustrating for me than finding errors in my books, or worse, having others point them out. As well as being patently unprofessional I feel it shows a lack of respect for the work, not to mention the reader. I suppose this could be resolved by hiring a professional copyeditor.


Bookbaby's Copy Editing services include, "A word-by-word edit that addresses grammar, usage, and consistency issues." My soon-to-be-released novella, Cold-Blooded, The Mattie Saunders Series Book II, is about 100 pages and would cost $700.00 to be copyedited by Bookbaby


If I sell the e-book edition of Cold-Blooded for $3.99 on Amazon my royalty will be $1.40, which means I'd have to sell 500 copies to pay for the copy editing alone (in my dreams). So I'd rather recruit non-professionals who are committed to making my work error free.


Beta readers can be anyone, though I tend to shy away from friends and absolutely won't use family. I'm not asking them to review or comment on the story (though I don't discourage it), just read it and make note of the errors. Right now I have two who had previously reviewed my books (favourably). I contacted them to see if they'd like to beta-read my new works. The other one is a friend. None are professionals and they all do it for a free copy of the finished book with their name on the acknowledgements page.


Prior to sending the manuscript to my beta readers, I've developed a process to make it as error-free as possible.

1. Each time I sit down to write I re-read and revise what I wrote during the previous session.

2. After I finish a rough draft I revise it thoroughly, then let it rest.

3. After I've got the story out of my system, which means I no longer have instant recall for each line written (minimum three months), I pull it out and revise it again with fresh eyes.

4. Then comes the computer spell-check.


Then I send it out to my three beta readers.


I used to be pretty confident once I'd done all that I'd caught at least most of the typos and filled in the dropped words, but it's embarrassing how many errors they still find. It's also remarkable how what one misses the other catches.


Once they get back to me I do the corrections which entails another revision. Finally, uploading it to Smashwords, Kindle and Draft2Digital gives me another opportunity to check it since I always do a visual review for formatting glitches.


I strongly urge you to begin recruiting beta readers - from your email list, through your website, on social media, a supportive friend, a note pinned on the bulletin board in the local library, or like I'm doing here in a Booklikes blog (see below). You simply cannot have too many and they tend to fall away.


If you're patient, methodical and persevere you can self-published a respectable book.


Besides, there are no guarantees a professionally edited, self-published book will have any more success than one that is carefully vetted by a group amateurs committed to making your work the best it can be.


Plus you'll save a lot of money.


Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs




If you'd like to become a beta reader and have an opportunity to read (and improve) my new work free, please send me an email at rod_raglin@yahoo.com




Web links associated with this article:

Bookbaby Editing Services https://www.bookbaby.com/book-editing-services

Kindle Direct Publishing https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US

Draft2Digital https://www.draft2digital.com

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com

Rod Raglin's Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU



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