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review 2018-12-10 02:20
The Epic Adventures of Huggie & Stick
The Epic Adventures of Huggie & Stick - Drew Daywalt,David Spencer
What a hilarious book! This is the best Drew Daywalt book I have read. I found myself laughing out loud as I read this book. The illustrations are just as entertaining as the text as this duo takes quite an adventure together.
 
I’m not sure who I like better in this book, Huggie or Stick. Huggie and Stick spend most of their day in the backpack of Reese, a little boy, as he goes about his day. One day, the pair find themselves falling out of Reese’s backpack and their story begins.
 
Just thinking about this book makes me laugh. Stick is having the time of his life as they try to find their way home. Stick is thrilled and amazed with their adventures. He’s delighted and excited about everything they encounter. He sees everything through rose-colored glasses. Huggie, on the other hand is just the opposite. Huggie’s sarcastic tones and his familiarity with these events, puts their travels into perspective. I found myself reading this book multiple times as it’s hilarious the way that each character describes the world they see. Ironically, they both are correct.
 
This is a large square book and the illustrations are wonderfully done. Using glossy paper, these bright illustrations pop-out and I could feel the energy of Stick as he enjoyed this journey and looking at Huggie, I knew exactly how he felt as he listened and watched Stick in each encounter.
 
What a gem! This book is worth more than 5 stars, I really love it! It comes with a glowing recommendation.
(I read some reviews after I wrote mine and see that some people didn't like some of the language in the book.  You need to know your audience and I wasn't offend by the language.  If you look at circumstances of that line, Stick "broke his fall" he was saving his friend, things happen.  Good parenting/teaching moment.)
 
“BEST trip ever!” “Today we were rescued by these nice guys in super awesome hats.” “Huggie kinda barfed on the one with the biggest hat and they had us try out their diving board.” (Stick) “WORST trip ever.” “Today we were captured by pirates.” “I got seasick on their captain, then they made us walk the plank.” (Huggie)

 

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text 2018-12-02 18:23
November Reading Round Up
Things Slip Through - Kevin Lucia
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
Hollow Shell: A Zombie Epic - Part One - Mark C. Scioneaux
Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues - Diana Rowland
V for Vendetta - David Lloyd,Alan Moore
The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Jason Isaacs
After: First Light - Scott Nicholson
The Wind in the Willows (Kindle in Motion) - Kenneth Grahame
The Rose Master - Valentina Cano

 

 

I've missed a lot of round ups this year so thought I should post at least a couple before the end of the year.

 

Just the 10 reads for me this month, but only 1 comic was included so that's a plus.

 

Yearly Reading Challenge update - 122/140

 

Read in November - 10

 

Audio - 0

Novels/novella/short stories - 9

Comics/Graphic novels - 1

 

5*

 

Things Slip Through - Kevin Lucia  A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Jason Isaacs  

 

4.5*

 

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues - Diana Rowland  The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman  

 

4*

 

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins  V for Vendetta - David Lloyd,Alan Moore  After: First Light - Scott Nicholson  

 

 

3.5*

 

The Wind in the Willows (Kindle in Motion) - Kenneth Grahame  

 

3*

 

Hollow Shell: A Zombie Epic - Part One - Mark C. Scioneaux  The Rose Master - Valentina Cano  

 

 

Just gearing up for the end of the year now, I'm pretty much done with my Christmas shopping and only have to post a couple of presents off to Oz for friends. 

 

I'm working this Christmas which is shit and I've noted in my recent pay that it has STILL not been sorted which now makes it 6 months of management pissing around. 

In all honesty I don't think I can stay there full time anymore, I've really hit my limit and the frustration of several elements is driving me insane. 

Next year will bring a few changes work wise but I'm not quite sure what that will be at the moment. 

 

I'm off on leave at the moment and tomorrow I'm taking Boo to the vet to have her neutered so I'm feeling a little anxious about her having an anaesthetic. I'm sure Suzy will love this as it will give her several hours of peace and quiet.

 

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text 2018-11-25 19:06
Ein Held und seine Geschichte - True Crime
The Black Hand: The Epic War Between a Brilliant Detective and the Deadliest Secret Society in American History - Stephan Talty

1903 versinkt die aufstrebende Metropole New York City im Chaos des Verbrechens. Entführungen, Bombenanschläge und Erpressungen in großem Stil sind alltäglich geworden. Verantwortlich dafür ist die Organisation »Black Hand«, die erste Mafia New Yorks. Doch dann sagt ein Mann der organisierten Kriminalität den Kampf an: Joseph Petrosino, der als Kind mit seiner Familie aus Süditalien nach Amerika auswanderte, ist der erste italienische Detective im Big Apple – und seine Methoden sind knallhart.
In seinem spannenden Sachbuch erzählt Stephan Talty von den Anfängen der amerikanischen Mafia und dem Helden, der sich der »Black Hand« entgegenstellt.

Von meiner Seite gibt es eine Leseempfehlung für alle True-Crime Fans und Liebhaber von Krimis mit etwas geschichtlichem Hintergrund. Es ist definitiv einmal ein etwas anderer Krimi und daher eine schöne Abwechslung. Als Minuspunkt muss ich anmerken, dass das Buch teilweise in meinen Augen etwas unrealistisch oder unglaublich ist - aber wer weiß, vielleicht ist es ja tatsächlich so ... bei einigen Situationen kamen mir persönlich eben einige Zweifel.

 

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review 2018-11-25 01:13
A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5)
A Dance with Dragons - George R.R. Martin

Look, Martin, we need to talk. This book came out in 2011. I bought the 5-book bundle in 2013 (on a super sweet Black Friday deal too) and then I waited over two years to start reading this monster of a series. I started A Game of Thrones in Jan 2016 and now here I am finishing A Dance With Dragons in Nov 2018 - AND YOU STILL HAVEN'T FINISHED WINDS OF WINTER! WHAT THE HELL, MAN?

 

Because let me tell you something about my boy Jon Snow. He is

Azor Ahai reborn, dammit, and so there is no way he can possibly be dead. If he does die, Melisandre's just going to have to resurrect him so he can behead all those assbutts who betrayed him in full-on Stark mode, and that's all there is to it. I will not accept any other outcome.

(spoiler show)

So there! Also, it'll really piss off Catelyn, so bonus points.

 

Also, what is your obsession with cannibalism? Please stop. Thanks!

Unless it's more Frey pies. Then I'm okay with it. ;) Because screw the Freys.

 

(spoiler show)

 

Okay, all that aside, here's a list of people you are allowed to kill off in the next book:

 

Ramsay Bolton

Victarion Greyjoy

Roose Bolton

Euron Greyjoy

Ser Robert Strong, aka FrankenGregor

Cersei Lannister

Qyburn

I know there are plenty of other candidates for this list, but these are my top choices.

(spoiler show)

 

Seriously, y'all. This book and A Feast For Crows were both a dragging headache and the most brutal thing I've read. Martin has this way of taking characters I despise and making me feel unending empathy for them to the point I'm actually rooting for them (Jaime and Theon) or at least feeling kinda sorry for them while still hoping that they die soon because they are the WORST EVER (Cersei). And while I want Dany to get the hell out of Meereen already, I'm still endlessly fascinated by the chapters set there and seeing how she navigates (sometimes well, but mostly unsuccessfully) leadership and politics. She and Jon have similar journeys here, and while they both have no idea what they're doing, they're both doing the best they can.

 

And the dragons! OMG, I was starting to worry that title was one big troll, but the dragons are amazing. Moqorro's the troll, if you ask me. At least I hope he is, because if anyone here needs to die worse than the rancid slime turd that is Ramsay, it's that decaying dick worm Victarion (and his brother but Euron wasn't in this book).

 

Arya's still kicking names and taking ass, Tyrion got a little dark here but it was interesting to see him trying to navigate the world without relying on his name, and Bran just broke my heart. Rickon, the forgotten Stark, is still MIA. Davos, my Onion Knight, 

is not dead. I KNEW IT!

(spoiler show)

and even though I despise nearly all the Ironborn, I do enjoy Asha's POV. She's most the decent of the bunch, after the Reader. Melisandre's still shady as hell. All these prophecies and conspiracies and subterfuges and whatnot - Martin's walls must be covered in post-it notes to keep this all straight. I don't know how the man does it.

 

I still think A Storm of Swords is the best of the bunch so far, but I'm going to try reading these last two books in chronological order when I do a reread and see if that helps with some of the pacing issues or makes them worse, lol.

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text 2018-10-09 05:17
The case for not having your manuscript professionally edited
East Van Saturday Night - Rod Raglin

I want to thank Artsy Ally for pointing out a typo on page 15 in my new release East Van Saturday Night - Four Short Stories and a Novella (EVSN). It has since been corrected on all digital platforms and in paperback. Unfortunately, if you purchased the book in either form before September 28, 2018, you’ve got one with the error in it and maybe a few others that have yet to be discovered.

 

 Artsy Ally, a.k.a. Ally Robertson, is content producer and social media director of Access Television, a non-profit organization that airs “community stories from Vancouver, BC, with a focus on marginalized voices. Produced by volunteers and neighbours.”

 

 I reached out to her to see if she’d be interested in reviewing the above mentioned new release.

 

 The response was interesting.

 

 Robertson asked for a digital copy and said she would “hand it off to someone who may read and review it. If they decide to do a review, we will have you come into the studio for a short interview.”

 

That sounded encouraging, and I sent an e-pub version immediately. The following day I received her response.

 

She began by saying “Your stories have merit and I enjoyed the memories they stirred in me. I really enjoyed the chapters with Chris’s attempt at crossing Canada. ... I found East Van Saturday Night to be more like a one story novella with chapters, as the stories are of the same character.”

 

Robertson then proceeded to tell me she too was a self-published author “at the moment,” and she would “highly recommend you have people proofread your work before you publish. I am trying not to be highly critical, but as a former book publisher who published over 60 authors, I have some experienced suggestions for you. I found there were some issues with the book I just couldn’t overlook.”

 

Robertson said the book contained “plenty of grammatical errors” as well as “simple spelling mistakes.” Other issues she “just couldn’t overlook” included “un-announced dialogue switching” and “proper scene changes” which the book “desperately needs.”

Her suggestion was to have “a good proofreader go over it and you re-edit.”

 

I have an incredibly thick skin. I look at constructive criticism as a way to improve my writing. Accordingly, I sent the following response to Artsy.

 

Dear Ally,

 

No offence taken, in fact, thank you for your suggestions.

 

Scene changes can also be indicated by adding an additional blank line space, which I prefer over asterisks. However, I realize this style works better in print than in digital as the formatting may diminish it or eliminate the space altogether. I plan to take your suggestion and revise the manuscript inserting asterisks to indicate scene changes.

 

When errors are pointed out, I fix them and upload the corrected manuscript to all my digital and print publishing platforms. New readers will find one less mistake, though unfortunately, that doesn’t help those who have purchased my book with the typo.

 

When I write, I have two computer programs (Grammarly and ProWritingAid) filter the work. After a minimum of three revisions, I send the manuscript to three beta readers. Despite this rather thorough process errors are still overlooked.

 

Excuses and expenses aside, I will endeavour to do better.

 

Rod

 

Robertson replied saying I might be able to “find a student willing to do it (proofread) for $1.00 per page.” She was lucky enough to have her novel, Epic Crazy Love “go through 3 editors and a proofreader long before I re-published it myself.”

 

So now that you’ve got context let’s draw some conclusions.

 

Apparently, Robertson doesn’t think three beta readers, two computer editing/grammar programs and the author have the editing prowess of a student paid a dollar a page. Maybe she’s right.

 

More importantly, though, I’m interested in how well her novel is doing considering it went “through 3 editors and a proofreader” before it was self-published.

 

Epic Crazy Love was published in April 2017. Here’s the blurb accompanying the book.

 

Can two reunited soul mates conquer deceit, begrudged malice, extortion, multiple mental and physical traumas and maintain an intense, lasting, abiding love?

 

To date, Epic Crazy Love has one, five-star review. Here are its rankings on Amazon.

  • #18011 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Westerns
  • #27965 in Books > Romance > Western
  • #159502 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Contemporary
  • #3,393,001 overall on Amazon’s Paid in Kindle Store

“I did love the story (East Van Saturday Night) itself,” Robertson writes, “but reading it, it was difficult to overlook all of the little things that threw me off as a reader. Paying someone to proofread will really kick it up a notch and make your work great.”

 

Or maybe not.

 

But here’s the kicker, Artsy Ally, didn’t pass along my book to the reviewer saying, “Due to the adult content I don’t think it’s a good match for us to review for you, I don’t think it would be something Susan would enjoy reading so I won’t pass it along.”

 

Add censor to Robertson’s list of accomplishments.

 

Some days...

 

Stay calm. Be brave. Watch for the signs.

 

 

Access Television https://www.facebook.com/ACCESSCOMMUNITYTV/

Ally Robertson

 

http://ArtzyAlly.com

 

Epic Crazy Love

https://www.amazon.com/Epic-Crazy-Love-Ally-Robertson/dp/1770650717/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1538433910&sr=1-2&keywords=crazy+epic+love

 

Author Amazon Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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