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review 2016-01-05 23:40
More sugary sweet goodness
A Christmas Memory 2 (Memories) - Max Vos,All Indie Publishing,K. C. Wells,A. J. Corza

I can't believe how sweet this series by Max Vos is. After reading his dirty, raunchy anthology, this is a very different kind of crack. But he did it well. I might have liked this a little better than the first one, simply because it was more than an "insta-love at Christmas" story. In addition to homophobic coworkers and ex-girlfriends, there is Thad, the homeless young man from JJ's school, Adam's mum and her future, AND a new member of the family.


It had a little more depth, of course with a lot of sugar on top, but it really made me smile. Because mostly, it told a story about how family should always stick together and have each others back, especially when push comes to shove.

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review 2015-08-18 21:09
For Love or Money By Susan Kaye Quinn
For Love or Money - Susan Kaye Quinn

“Writing challenges me to discover who I am. Publishing challenges me to remember it.”


“You have to work like crazy, be smart, somehow invest every particle of emotion into the book itself, but then fling it out in the world and be ruthlessly pragmatic about how to sell it.”


Those two quotes (of many that I jotted down) from For Love or Money (Crafting An Indie Author Career) by Susan Kaye Quinn nails how indie authors should go about developing a writing career.


Quinn writes from a philosophical perspective on how indie (I don’t use the term self-published) authors can make a living from their books and how writing for love or money can be beneficial no matter which path a writer takes.


I heard Susan Kaye Quinn on The Creative Penn and Author Strong podcasts recently talking about her career (she is best known for her YA Science Fiction: The Mindjack and Singularity Series) and how she has learned to balance writing for love and money.  Also, she has published romance novels under a penname that gets quite a bit of attention in For Love or Money.


I read this book in one setting and there are plenty of nuggets to digest like Why Do Want To Write, Creating A Mission Statement, Leave Your Biases At The Door If You Are Writing For Money, Being Patient, & Writing Like You Are On Fire.  These are excellent motivational tips that will make a reader dig deeper on how they should craft their career as an indie author.


There are quite a few how-to indie author books on the scene.  However, I believe that For Love or Money stands out from the pack because of its philosophical as well as a practical approach to the ever changing world of Indie Publishing.  I highly recommend For Love or Money as a permanent resource for Indie Authors to keep on their bookshelf or eReader.

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review 2015-05-25 23:07
Review: Binary Star

"Binary stars are gravitationally bound. Gravity is the way we fall together." Sarah Gerard's novel is full of beautiful and painful analogies involving the life cycle of a star, a codependent relationship, and anorexia. When I pick up a novel and see the word "anorexia" printed in the plot description I immediately become concerned. Not because I am bored by the subject but because with out a careful hand the story can quickly turn into a lifetime original movie.


Sarah Gerard has more than just a careful hand. She has an powerful and intense sense of timing and prose. She writes with a sense of urgency that gives you a sense that the characters, much like dying stars, are screaming towards oblivion. 


The young woman in the story is on a road trip with her alcoholic boyfriend. Neither one of them able to cope with their own inner demons, let alone each others. Sarah Gerard paints a clear and unapologetic picture of what anorexia looks like in todays society and the isolation that comes with it. Its a powerful commentary on todays culture that is hyper-focused on perfection. Two Dollar Radio continues to find unique and gifted authors worthy of publishing. Binary Star is great addition to their family. One that I will likely come back to again and again in the future.

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review 2015-03-16 22:47
Pure Comfort
A Christmas Memory 2 (Memories) - Max Vos,All Indie Publishing,K. C. Wells,A. J. Corza

Reading these Memories books by Max Vos are a bit like wrapping yourself up in a cozy blanket, in front of an open fire with a huge mug of hot chocolate (with or without a shot of rum according to your preference) within easy reach – pure comfort.


There’s nothing not to love about JJ and Adam nor the rest of the Sutton family. In fact, when all the Sutton’s get together they remind me a lot of my in-laws. Of course they run into issues and prejudice but problems are dealt with and solved, the broken are healed and love does indeed conquer all. And absolutely nothing happens without a huge helping of wonderful food.

Feel free to say this book glosses over issues, offers solutions which are too easy and an overly idyllic family picture; I’m not even going to argue with you. All I’ll say is that this book made me smile and laugh; I felt wonderful and uplifted when I finished the story and I am already looking forward to reading A Valentine’s Memory in the not too distant future. Sometimes all I demand from my reading is that it entertains me and leaves me feeling better. These books do exactly that.

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review 2014-11-24 00:11
Discoverability by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Discoverability (WMG Writer's Guide) (Volume 7) - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The Indie Publishing movement of the past half-dozen years has changed the course of the publishing industry. Publishing books have become a lot easier thanks to eBooks, Amazon, and other Print-on-Demand (POD) publishers.  Would-be-novelists (like myself) that have tried to break into Traditional publishing have finally found an avenue to get their works out to readers that had not existed before.


As a result, there are quite a few guides on how to become a successful Indie Published Author. Of course, most writers are looking for the book or books that has the magic formula on how we can get lots of readers each time we publish a book and become rich as well.


Discoverability: Help Readers Find You In Today’s World Of Publishing by Kristine Kathryn Rusch will not give you the magic formula that writers want for a broad readership and enormous wealth.  However, Rusch’s four decades of a being writer (Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, and Romance), editor, and publisher dispenses sage advice on how an author can actually make a living in the Indie Publishing Industry.


This book began as a series of blog posts from the Business Rusch column on her website. Rusch decided to expand these blog posts into book format and updated some material that reflects the constant changes in the ever-evolving Indie Publishing movement.  She covered a wide range of topics that ranged from how things were done (and are still done) in traditional publishing, how to gain trust with readers, and how to have a business mindset as an author.  Rusch included her own experiences over the years that gave Discoverability a much-needed perspective amongst all the other how-to guides out there.


The biggest takeways I got from Discoverability were the importance of the good story/good cover/good blurb trifecta as fundamentals in trying to establish a career as an indie writer. Also, that most of Rusch’s advice is not for writers who have published only one or two books.  However, for those writers (like myself) who are at this stage of their writing career will want to re-read Discoverability as you put more product into the marketplace. Lastly, this nugget of wisdom summed it up:


“Readers and writers have the exact the same goal. We want to lose ourselves in a story that allowed them to leave their life for a while. Writers do too.”


Rusch reminded me in that quote why I became an avid-reader and now a published writer.  That quote was worth the price of the book.


Discoverability gets my highest recommendation and a must read for writers who want to develop a career and make a living in the Indie Publishing industry.

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