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review 2018-07-18 19:16
MERCY BLADE by FAITH HUNTER
Mercy Blade: Jane Yellowrock, Book 3 - Audible Studios,Faith Hunter,Khristine Hvam

Audiobook

Each book in this series gets better and better. A little cliffhanger of an ending. They had a little of the next book in the series after this audiobook was finished that I hoped would say what happened next. But nope, it was a few days/months(?) later. I'm so interested in what is happening next that I'm going to read all of the novellas between this book #3 and the next #4. I think there are about 4-5 novellas. Good book/series.

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review 2018-07-18 17:19
Review: The Rending and the Nest by Kaethe Schwehn
The Rending and the Nest - Kaethe Schwehn

When ninety-five percent of the world’s population disappears for no apparent reason, Mira does what she can to create some semblance of a life: She cobbles together a haphazard community named Zion, scavenges the Piles for supplies they might need, and avoids loving anyone she can’t afford to lose. Four years after the Rending, Mira has everything under control. Almost.

Then Mira’s best friend, Lana, announces her pregnancy, the first in this strange world and a new source of hope for Mira. But Lana gives birth to an inanimate object—and soon other women of Zion do, too—and the thin veil of normalcy Mira has thrown over her new world begins to fray. As the community wrestles with the presence of these Babies, a confident outsider named Michael appears, proselytizing about the world outside Zion. He lures Lana away and when she doesn’t return, Mira has to decide how much she’s willing to let go in order to save her friend, her community, and her own fraught pregnancy.

 

 

 

 

*I received a free copy from the publisher and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!*

 

 

1 ½ ★

 

 

Sadly this book was a DNF, I don’t like to DNF books and I rarely do it but I just couldn’t connect with this book.

I like to say that the writing is what put me off, and that I’m sure many people will enjoy this book and its writing style. It just was not for me.

For one it seemed a bit too much philosophy for me. Yes, I like when I book makes you think and maybe see a bigger pictures but as far as I read this book was too much of it, almost was like fill in the blanks feeling for me. It started out with the world building or the lack of it, in this case. We are just thrown into the story with very little info about the world or prior events. We don’t know why 95% of humanity disappeared or what lead up to it. It’s just a fact no explanation or anything and we just supposed to take it. While sometimes that can make a book, it defiantly didn’t in this case, at least not for me. It just made me feel lost and disconnected to the book. That also goes for the characters. I had a hard time to connect to any of them and it just felt sort flat to me.

Another issue I had was that it seemed incredible slow to me , I only made it to page 116 but it felt like I read 300 some pages. But to be honest it could have been just the fact that I was not a huge fan of the book.

While this book was not for me, I still think plenty if people would enjoy it and appreciate the writing style much more than I did.

I rate it 1 ½ ★ for the 116 pages that I have read if the book.

 

 

Image result for nah gif

 

 

 

 

Buy Links

 

 

Amazon *** B&N *** Kobo 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2018/07/18/review-the-rending-and-the-nest-by-kaethe-schwehn
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text 2018-07-18 14:56
Reading progress update: I've read 189 out of 448 pages.
Changes (Dresden Files, Book 12) - Jim Butcher

 

 

A little urban fantasy pick-me-up.

 

 

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text 2018-07-18 11:00
Facts About Me: Always Learning

As an author, you have to be prepared to learn every single day of your career. Nothing ever stays the same and nor should it. It's a world of revolving rules, etiquette and creativity.

I'm not someone who writes to the latest crazy genre, but I do like to keep my writing as varied and as up to date as I can make it. That's why I brand myself a 'romantic at heart', because I will always write romance novels, but sometimes those romance novels will be in the guise of a contemporary or historical setting, or a science fiction alternative world, or be full of supernatural/paranormal creatures. Either way, romance will always be at the heart of my stories and that's why I can write such a variety of sub-genres, because they all fit into what I discovered as my niche: romance. I've tried and failed to write other genres without a romantic setting and I learned why it failed and how I could fix those stories to be used at a later date. It all revolved around learning who I was as an author.

But, just because I write a particular genre doesn't mean that I can't learn or adapt to write a new one. I used to only write paranormal/supernatural stories. Then I drifted into Contemporary and, because of my passion for reading them, attempted my first ever fantasy novel. It didn't work, but I kept the story and waited, then I eventually figured out why. In the time I'd been away from that story - nearly two years - my writing had evolved, my storytelling ability had evolved and I had learned how to better focus my words on what was important. I had learned enough to give it a second shot and it turned out brilliantly, if I do say so myself. I did the same with science fiction, eventually finding that I had a real freedom of creativity within those worlds.

With my writing ability, my creativity grew. Not just for the writing itself, but also in how I wanted to market and brand and portray those stories. I found a 'voice' I never knew I had for visually effective marketing and branding. But even that is constantly evolving. Over time, I realised that a look I loved a year or two ago is no longer who I am as an 'artist' (though I would never deign to use that label on myself, it's the only appropriate word for this explanation.)

I learned so much about effective branding and marketing from my publishing house, CHBB Publishing, and the wonderful people there. They have a handful of experts who can look at my posters and help me hone in on what I'm trying to say or show an dhow I can go about doing it. This post, really, is to celebrate that evolution, where they helped me grow from naive little me into someone confident enough to rebrand every book I've ever written, just because I know myself and the books better now. In a few years, when I've grown even more, I may look back on this new progression and think 'oh how naive I was, even then', but that's the whole fun of being an author. Everything is in constant flux.

In the end, these posters I'm going to share with you are a representation of me and my work, as well as the book's themes/brand. I want to portray them the best I can, to show what the books are about, what they mean and what the 'tone' might be. It took me a long time to find my "brand" for each series/solo novel, but I'm happy with what I have now. I've chosen something that, for each theme/brand, has a lot of scope but is instantly recognisable at a glance. So people see chess or invitational elegance and they think The Royal Series. If they see colourful, bright and playful, they think The Trade. Broody and dark with a specific model is The One That Got Away; art deco is The Cellist; and Forged in Fire is all about personal, intimate portraits of life. You can see all of that here. And, in reality, that is what their brands have always been; I've just found a better way of showing them off to their full potential.

In reality, I have scrapped over 100 posters for multiple books in the last two years, as I swapped from my old iffy branding to what I have now. I don't regret it for a second, because it works. But it took trial and error, seeing what my readers thought of the posters and how they reacted, e.g. comments and sales. I had to learn that if sales weren't happening or if I felt I needed to change my brand, I shouldn't be afraid to do it. As long as I'm not changing it every other week, but sticking to something that will last for years, then I'm still growing, still changing and adapting to my 'author' life. Look at JK Rowling, George R.R. Martin etc; they changed the branding and book covers of their books until they found the ones that fit. And, even after that, they still know that offering their readers alternatives and variety is key to good branding.

So, here's a look at my evolution. From the first poster ever made for a book to the eventual 2017 edition:

(Top Row: R-L: New, Old

Bottom Rows: R-L Top: Old, Bottom: New)

(Left: Old. Right: New)

~

And it's not just posters. I've reinvented the way I make mock-covers, too. I use these for myself or Wattpad only, not for the final product, so it allows me to re-make them as often as I want, to really play around with effects and looks until I find whatever works best. For me, I use the covers to inspire me to write the story and keep writing until it's done. I even attach it to the finished story, convert it into a mobi file using Calibre and put it onto my Kindle to read, as a reader, so that I can edit it. It's also a great way for me to 'test' a potential image for publication. If I hate it after only seeing it a few times, it's not going to be the published book cover, so I know to look for something else and test that until I find one I'm happy with.

       

.

     

(From Top to Bottom: New to Old)

~

And just for kicks, here are a few mock-covers (the first) of novels that were later published. Obviously, there is NO comparison. :P

~

Not only are the new versions more visually appealing, but the text, font use and image choice is clearer, to the point and epitomises the story so much better. And I'm sure that, after seeing the mess of my old work, you can see the benefit of my growth, right? Without it, I'd still be just slapping stuff together and hoping that it worked, instead of properly checking, rechecking, considering image, colour, composition and so much more.

I've learned a lot since I was first thrust into this author world and I hope I never stop learning.

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review 2018-07-18 10:37
Llewellyn's Little Book of Life Between Lives
Llewellyn's Little Book of Life Between Lives - The Newton Institute

The Newton Institute

 

I have to admit that the first few chapters of this put far too much emphasis on belief. Maybe it's because I've read other books on this subject matter but I feel that someone who takes the trouble to read about it has already become at least open to belief and the 'exercises' in the first few chapters seem redundant and amount to quiet contemplation of the sort of things that will have already led the reader to pick up the book, like being attracted to certain places or eras.

 

As the chapters went on I had hoped for something more, but the 'exercises' continued to be more suggestions for things to think about rather than guidance for self-hypnosis as I've seen in other books. There were references for going between lives but no real instruction about how to accomplish that.

 

All of the 'evidence' presented was completely subjective accounts. No examples of evidence that got confirmed by historical records or surviving relatives of the previous person as I've seen elsewhere.

 

When it began talking about a council of elders, the book pretty much lost me and it went further into new age territory after that. To be quite honest, if this were the only book I had ever read on reincarnation, I would be writing the topic off as total fantasy. The writing itself is good, but there is nothing to convince the questioning reader that any of it is any more than imagination.

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