Friday, November 16, 2012

Does Bling Bring the Swagger to Book Sales?

Guest blog post by Aneesa Price:

Does Bling Bring the Swagger to Book Sales?

Indie Thoughts by Aneesa Price

Facebook, Twitter and every social network is inundated with ‘ebook and swag giveaways’. They started off with more affordable prizes such as bookmarks and postcards then progressed to bling in the form of necklaces, jewelled bookmarks and bracelets. Now the recent trend seems to be the amazing prize of a Kindle or Nook giveaway – with the Kindle Fire being the biggest draw card.
I resisted going the swag route – not because I’m adverse to it but simply because as a new indie writer, just starting out with absolutely no budget, every ebook I gave away ate into my personal bank account. So, you can imagine that swag seemed like a dream.
To Swag or Not to Swag?
I first gave into the lure of getting my own swag when I observed the huge interest it drew and to be honest, my sales went from looking hugely promising to despondently dwindling. Another thing happened - I got a bit of disposable income, which meant that I could carve out some of that for swag. The thing with being an indie is that you cannot discount that indie writers mostly have day jobs, family responsibilities and thus also financial responsibilities with the majority of their income coming from outside of the sales of their books. But, because I was worried about my sales and I needed to create some form of hype around my work, I bit the bullet.
What Swag To Choose?
The first thing I do before embarking on any venture related to indie writing is Google. Google is the most informative and amazing resource any writer has access to and Google gave me information on swag. My search led me to a blog by Curiosity Quills. What resonated the most was that the swag being given away should be functional as well as decorative and promotional. And even better, Curiosity Quills provided the website address of an international printing company called Vistaprint (www.vistaprint.co.uk).
I then spent hours poring over the contents of a variety of websites and settled on Vistaprint, who was affordable even with taking shipping into consideration. Having said that – if any indie writers are reading this blog and mosey over to Vistaprint or any other site – note that affordable is a relative term because what I paid still made me grimace.
In the end I settled for calendars, notebooks, postcards, tote bags, etc. The great thing is that you can build an online portfolio and order as little or as much as you want whenever you want to. So, I may not have a stock room full of swag – I have a small box – but I do have access to an on-site, personal portfolio for future use.
The Price of Swag?
Buying swag is one thing, shipping the swag from the vendor to your home is another. But the hidden cost that is not always taken into consideration pertains to shipping. Do not discount this because the indie writing and social literary networks are internationally spread and when you do a giveaway, what you send will be weighed and measured by your postal service or couriers.  
Some authors are limiting giveaways to their home country. I can respect and understand why but what bothers me about this is that the literary community is an international one and by limiting a giveaway to a country, you exclude many from participating.
So now, I basically sit with a box of swag in the cupboard while I save money towards the shipping! (LOL – I’ve got to laugh at the irony of the situation.)
Has it Worked?
I’ve only recently started giving away the swag. Has it helped sales? Absolutely not (*grinning again*). But what it has done, which is why I’m a swag believer, is assist me in promoting me as a writer. The number of Author Page likes for Aneesa Price – Sugary, Spicy Reads has increased, so have the number of friend requests I receive and I’ve also been experiencing renewed interests from reviewers to host my work on their blogs and to provide me with honest reviews.
So, yes – it does work. I believe that Swag fits into the category of ‘short term (financial) pain for long term (sales and promotional) gain’.
The Future of Swag?
At the moment it seems to be flooding the literary social networks and to be honest, there’s a feeling of ‘you snooze, you lose’ if you don’t get onto the swag bandwagon. So my recommendation to other indie authors is to get out there and do the swag thing (but save up first – do not put yourself personally out of pocket).
What will swag look like in future and will I reap the benefits in the form of reader reach? Well I don’t know the answer right now but I’ll be watching.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Project Ele


Project ELE is a YA apocalyptic series with a paranormal twist.

It currently has an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 74 reviews!

Here is the link to the book on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Project-ELE-ebook/dp/B008R523K0/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1352685069&sr=8-1&keywords=rebecca+gober

Also if you are interested in anymore information on this series check out:

http://www.eleseries.com
http://www.facebook.com/eleseries
View the trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpSSFWmJDNY

Why do I have it on here? Because, it is FREE!!!!! On Amazon.  Get your copy.  You know you want it....

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

When Howie met Sandy a spin off short of Dawn of the Hunter

When HOWIE met SANDY

When Howie Met Sandy

Bonnie Bernard

Late October, 2012. With a full harvest moon at her back, and the higher than usual tide goading her on, Sandy blasted through New Jersey, ransacking the shit out of seaside cities. Next, she put the clampdown on Wall Street. Just watch those stiff-suit jackasses try to get the final say in stock prices today. People ran scared and she was victorious. It felt good to have all that power. But as she voyaged inland, nearing Niagara Falls, the exuberance slowly wafted from Sandy’s sails. To stoke her squall some, she paused over the infamous Love Canal dumpsite - mostly because the name was hilarious, but also because she liked the idea of stirring up toxic waste before she fizzled into obscurity.
Blasting through the west end of that abysmal failure in suburban planning, Sandy chanced upon something more entertaining than chemical remains. And more attractive, too.
“What huge balls you must have,” she mused, pausing over the tall, dark, gritty man with eyes like an angry ocean who stood right there in the middle of a deserted old street, defying her influence.
“My balls aren’t the only huge part,” he replied, pulling in on his cigarette then exhaling like a dragon; in this neighborhood, a dragon that had already torched every significant building.
“You can hear me and understand every word,” Sandy said, surprised.
Ignoring the obvious observation, he made one of his own. “Your mayhem is messing with my bad habit.” He held out his cigarette so she could see it fighting to stay alive under the pressure of her rainfall.
“You and your smoke are luckier than you know,” she laughed. “The bulk of my wrath was released near Atlantic City.”
He grinned wickedly. “Am I to understand that you like sending stupid humans into tizzy fits?”
“My fury has sent every sane person scattering to safety. And yet here you are, standing right under my eye with no obvious intentions to seek shelter. Are you insane?”
“Your storms don’t affect me, little lady.”
Never before had any living creature been so bold in the path of her aggression. Sandy felt…stimulated. “What are you doing here?” she asked.
 “I like this place. It reminds me of home.”
“Superfund dumpsites remind you of home?”
He nodded and sucked the last of his cigarette before her pummeling rain took it out completely.
“Who, or what, in the hell are you?”
“The name is Evil.” His eyebrow cocked. “Howie Evil.”
She gasped deeper than she’d intended, uprooting an old pine tree and overturning an abandoned 1978 Cadillac. “The Howie Evil? The notorious dual-sided demon from hell?”
“The one and only.” He pulled out a fresh, dry smoke and held it up for her to see. “Do you mind?”
“Of course not.” Sandy quieted her storm long enough for him to light it and smoke it. “So, Howie Evil, from the entrails of hell. That explains your pigheaded persistence. If you’re anything like what the legends say, I’m in the company of a world-class hazard to humanity.”
“I’m twice what the legends say.”
“Hmmmm, dangerous. I like that in a man.”
“How convenient,” Howie replied. “I like my women fiesty.” His ice-cold gaze flared to life with a new thought. “Do you have plans for after your little brouhaha?”
“I have a couple more days at tropical storm status.” She rolled her eyes, sending a devastating wave across the Canadian border.  “I always hate the downgraded status part. Anyway, after that, it just gets boring, you know, so I’ll probably head back to the Caribbean and relax on a beach or two. Why do you ask?”
“Because I think we’d work well together. When you’re done wreaking havoc out there,” Howie pointed northwest, “blow your sweet cheeks over to my neck of the woods and we can have a little fun together.”
Sandy cocked her stormy head in intrigue, flipping another car on its lid. “What do you have in mind, Mr. Evil?”
“The election.”
She scrutinized him warily before breaking out in laughter. “Are you kidding? You want me to go vote with you?” When he exhaled smoke instead of answering, she prodded him more. “Who for? The Stupid Ass or the Fat Establishment?”
“This isn’t about my vote,” Howie crossed his arms and grinned. “The fact is, this year’s election has brought out the worst in Americans, and I’m sick of their bickering bullshit. I want to take a stand. I want to show them how stupid they are. Plus,” he shrugged, “I’m suffering a tad of ennui. So…I’m making you a proposition.”
“Go on,” she said breezily.
“You and I start a grassroots movement of our own - shake up the battleground states and make the race a little more fun. Sound good?” He cocked his eyebrow again, and that sealed the deal for Sandy. She agreed that it sounded just great.
Sandy went on her way, caused some more respectable chaos, then wound down a few days later, carrying herself out to the demon’s lair, where the pair exchanged greetings and made plans.
“Heads is Dems, tails is Republicans.” Howie called it then flipped a coin.

Heads.

They arrived at the city’s Democratic headquarters just in time for the group’s “Moving Forward” rally. A glorious and sunny day, the celebration was held in the park just behind the headquarter offices. Tables and tree trunks were festooned in crepe paper. Red, white and blue balloons swayed in the crisp autumn breeze, and cheerful YES WE CAN banners hung from nearby tree limbs. The park smelled like grilled burgers veggie patties. Democratic participants gathered in hopeful, happy clumps. Everything was perfect.
“Isn’t it a wonderful day?” A bleeding heart granola cruncher exclaimed joyfully, exiting his Prius and prancing around to the passenger side where he pulled out a gigantic American flag-shaped cake.
“Indeed!” chirped his pale, waif-like friend who trotted past him with her short skirt and a bowlful of fresh fruit wedges.
Howie, pretending to be interested in joining the festivities, approached. Though he was first to arrive, he let Sandy make the first move.
“Let me help you out with that,” Sandy said to Mr. Granola Cruncher.
“Why thank you,” Mr. Granola Cruncher replied, craning his neck to see which of his generous friends had made the offer. At the same moment, a quick, forceful wind gust raged directly at him from out of nowhere, toppling the cake in all its sugary, sticky, patriotic glory…right onto his beige dress shirt with the coordinating cappuccino-colored tie.
“Dang it!” he stomped his foot and reached in the car for a paper towel, spreading red, white, and blue frosting all over the back seat.
“Oh gosh, Sid,” the waif-girl whirled around, gasping. “That’s such a bummer. But,” she grinned from ear to ear, “This is healthier anyway.” She held out the fruit bowl.
He smiled through his annoyance. “I assume it’s organic?”
“Of course, silly! Here.” she pulled out a purse-sized pack of tissues, handing it to him. “I’ll see you in a few.”
“Thanks,” he grumbled between gritted teeth as she scampered off to join the group of twenty-five spotted owl saving, tree-hugging, pansy-assed, bleeding heart liberals. Howie followed her after pocketing his smokes, concealing his weapons, and piercing the Prius’s front tire with his switchblade. He slid next to a middle aged blonde woman with a pixie haircut and plump stomach. Dividing her attention between the rally speaker and the refreshment table, she didn’t even notice Howie until he leaned down and whispered in her ear.
“You don’t seriously think this hope and change bullshit you’re doing actually matters, do you?”
She jumped in surprise, coughing up a nibble of macaroni salad she’d just swallowed. Turning to face him, she said, “Pardon me sir, but yes I do.”
“Then pardon me ma’am, but you’re an idiot.”
“Excuse me?” she asked in astonishment.
Howie pulled out a cigarette and lit it, blowing the smoke in her face. She coughed and wafted it away with her pudgy hand.
“People don’t hire Presidents,” he scorned, “profits do. Ever hear of PACs? Political Action Committees?”
“Well, of course,” she replied, still sounding astonished.  
“Then you know the PAC that contributes the most has a huge advantage in picking your next president.” Howie gestured toward the picnic’s plastic white tablecloths and red and blue cups. “Just look at this cheap crap. Your side is pathetic and poor.”
Pixie woman frowned, the wrinkles on her thin skin made more evident from the effort. “I don’t recall seeing you at any of our other local events,” she said in a suspicious tone. “What precinct do you live in, if I might ask?”
How the hell was he supposed to know a thing like that? Howie panned the group, zeroing in on an elderly gentleman wearing a crisp business suit and a satisfied smile as he listened intently to the rally speaker’s invigorating words - promises of success and change and a better future for our children, blah blah blah.
“I live in the same precinct as that old guy,” Howie pointed.
Pixie woman shook her head and clucked her tongue like a fat goose sitting on a rotten egg it considered golden. “I see,” she smiled stiffly and not without clear signs of derision. “You live in precinct 22. That explains everything. You’re part of that a pack of defeatists on the west side of town.”
“Defeatists,” Howie repeated the word while drawing in on his smoke. “Yeah, that sounds about right. You see, lady, all this pomp-and-plastic-circumstance rah-rah shit your people are promoting amounts to a steaming shit pile. It’s just stupid humanity, acting according to its own limitations.”
“Sir,” she said then gulped down a bite of hamburger roll, “with all due respect, I can give you a hundred reasons why it’s important to vote in this election. One, it’s your right. Two, it’s your responsibility. Three -”
“Don’t bother with the rest,” Howie snorted. “I’ll vote.”
She smiled smugly, confident her convincing argument had caused his decision.
“But it might be for the other guy.” Howie crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes, daring her to argue. She opened her mouth to do just that when he pushed open his jacket, exposing the .45 in his belt, and the other one stuffed in the waistband of his pants. She also got a good look at the knife he’d used to slash Granola Cruncher’s tires.  
“Well…then…” Pixie woman’s voice cracked as she clutched tightly to her paper plateful of food and slipped away, eyeing him fearfully.
Sandy, observing the rally festivities from just beyond the park’s boundaries, waited for the perfect moment. It happened just after Pixie woman shuffled away, as the local Democratic president and the treasurer unveiled their grand surprise; a thirty foot tall papier-mache likeness of Barack Obama in all his Presidential glory, right down to the over-achieving smile and the flag pin on his lapel.  That’s when Sandy whipped up a wind, spinning the colorful balloons into a wild frenzy, the YES WE CAN sign soaring wildly through the tree limbs, and the President’s head lolling perilously at the neck for a few seconds before snapping off and rolling, wind spurring it on, right into the middle of Main Street traffic. Cars screeched to a halt, bumpers crumpled against one another, and pedestrians stopped to gawk.
“Oh dear!” the pixie woman shrieked, dropping her plate on the grass and dashing off toward Main Street. “I hope nobody got hurt. And somebody catch those balloons! The strings could get tangled in the wings of an endangered bird.”
The invigorating rally speaker cleared his throat, righted his toupee, and shouted to the crowd. “Somebody call 911!”
But everybody had already gone on a mad dash after the President’s head.
And that’s when Sandy let loose with a thousand pounds of rain.


Tails.

On the opposite side of town, another party was happening - a Republican fundraiser. Howie and Sandy approached the city’s civic center, where the shindig was going down. A gigantic sign advertised the theme of the day: KEEP AMERICA AMERICAN.
“The old KKK’s slogan,” Howie growled in disgust. Sure, he was an evil bastard, but he was no racist. He stormed up the well-manicured civic center’s walkway to the fancy, bevel-edged front doors and pulled one, holding it open for Sandy like a gentleman should.
She shook her head. “Go on in,” she said. “I’ll hang around out here and rip up that despicable sign.”
“As you wish.” Howie nodded and made his way in.
The hideous sound hit him first, followed by the pungent, sulfur smell of freshly displayed fireworks. On stage, a blend of big name buffoons; former rock-and-roll legends, now old, washed up, fat, has-beens. The geriatric former-giants stood on stage like slow-witted behemoths, jamming away, singing off-key, making a mockery of themselves, and their throng of adoring fans loved them for it. Ready to PARTAY for their party, the fans didn’t give a damn about talent. All they cared about was their guy winning the election. Howie scanned the stage, and then he scanned the audience. This, he decided, could not get any easier. Throwing down his latest smoke and storming in, Howie whipping out six guns with his two hands, cocking them all at once.
“Second Amendment right this, bitches!” he bellowed, and then he fired. And fired. And fired.
Audience members screamed, covered their heads dropped to the floor. A few even pissed themselves. About thirty well-prepared fellow gun enthusiasts pulled their weapons and fired back, but Howie deflected every one, and even shot every gun out of their hands.
“Holy fuck, man!” One shouted, wide-eyed, before turning tail and making a mad dash for the fancy-assed swinging doors with his fellow Republicans. Howie blasted away until the place emptied out; hundreds of dedicated supporters Republicans, running away from the Evil demon and his guns.
A few minutes later, as approaching police sirens sounded in the distance, Howie pushed open the fancy glass civic center doors and strolled out. Sandy was outside, calm as a summer breeze kissing the pink cheeks of an innocent toddler.
“What the hell, girl?” Howie shouted at her. “I sent the idiots out here so you could blow them away with your charm, not cuddle them in your warm embrace.”
Sandy shrugged. “To be honest, there wasn’t much I could do here, demon. Their side blew before I got here.”

On the Money.

“That was fun,” Sandy tickled in Howie’s ear, making his hard smile soften. “But the season is over and I’ve got to go.”
“See you again for mid-term elections?”
She winked seductively. “If not sooner. I may be seasonal, but I’m also unpredictable.” Then like a zephyr, she was gone, leaving behind her the sweet, decaying scent of fall. Howie lit a smoke, checked his guns, and moseyed back to his 1970 Bronco, Matilda Jane. He’d heard talk about a third party bus tour coming through town…

The End

Copyright Kymberly J Lewis 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Helloween by Sanamantha By Combs

Samantha Combs, Author
Check out all SEVEN of my books!

CONNECT WITH ME!
WRITE, PUBLISH, AND BE INFORMED!
The review
Eat at Joe's
Rey's dream was about to be closed down, his restaurant lost its allure or was it Rey that lost his passion? But a stop at a knives shop changes all of that, it changes Rey and it will change the way you look at Pasta sauce forever. 
A great little horror and one I loved partly due for the shock value and partly because I love to prepare food, not the way Rey does...
Demon in the GPS
Well now, it is in black and white a GPS is an evil thing! I knew it and am now vindicated. Oh wait, it helped…
No it is evil.  I tell you I get lost a lot, and never more so than with a GPS.  It is evil…
Skin Deep
Eek, ok, this is a twist and turny little snapper, Dolly is vain, so is most women, but when vanity becomes an obsession, it turns to death.  How far would you go to appear forever young?
Imaginary friend
No matter how much people try to convince me of the innocence of imaginary friends I never belief them, I remember my own far too well, If you don’t believe me, read this story, then smile next time your daughter says she did not break that window, it was Dora…
New Neighbors
Ok, now I am really glad we don’t have white picket fences in South Africa, or at least not many of them.  My neighbors can stay where they are and I will keep to myself thank you very much. But if I should need them, then maybe, no, I won't. I don’t need this type of HELP. 
The Serial Killers Wife
The title says it all, this and the Demon in the GPS is by and large my favorite stories in this Anthology. 
The entire Anthology is approximately 86 pages of terror, horror and fun, I would recommend this as Halloween read to all horror lovers, and should you not have the time to read it with Halloween around the corner, fear not the stories are truly timeless.
A 5 * read for sure. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


The Hunger games book 1 by Suzanne Collins
This is not a review, this is a blog post.
Why?
Cause.  Think on it, we had a very famous and popular reality TV show called Survivor.  People are pitted against circumstances, elements and each other to try and secure money.  Sound familiar? It should The Amazing race etc has the exact same recipe. 
So I watched more than one series in the beginning, I simply could not get pass the parts where some or other idiot would toss away the only fresh water they had, spoil food on principle etc.  I kept talking to the TV as if it would respond, saying WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?
Then SA got their own Survivor… fun, NO.  Almost all could start a fire, catch and clean fish, hunt, set traps, build etc…  So WHY do I say it was not fun? Because if you take away the elements, the need to survive you have a Hitlertarian theme of elimination not by the fittest but by the most sly and the most manipulative.  That is when I got my glimpse into how utterly deprived Survivor etc really are.
Now this is relevant, so stay with me.  In Africa the Chinese is obtaining mass amounts of forested land.  Legally and illegally.  The then deforested areas, use the wood (only some parts of of it) to make sticks, put it into airtight containers and leave it on massive crates on ships at sea within Int waters.
A 2nd grader should be able to tell you, deforestation causes shortage.  So why deforest and store due to a projected loss of items and cause such projection to manifest?
The Hunger games, people pitted against the elements, circumstances and each other, not for money, but for their lives.  See where I am going…
So The Hunger games is a good book, expertly written, the movie was smashing, why am I rambling.  Think on it. 
We live in a society where the good of the one always comes before the good of the many. 
We live in a society where we would rather vote for America's next idol than the next president. 
We live in a society where, on social media sites people will make daily if not hourly postings of how fed up they are with posts about political causes on their wall's apparently never realizing that those posts gets annoying as well.
In short we live in a society where it is socially acceptable to fight for numero uno no matter the cost.
We live in a society where the powers that be, much like in The Hunger Games play on fear and ignorance.
We live in a society where questioning the status qou is repressed to such a degree, that we no longer wonder what deforestation in Africa will mean to the world.  Where children killing each other are only a small step removed from popular TV programs and where nobody asks WHY?  I am sure I will not survive The Hunger Games.  I am however convinced that if you do not think you are being manipulated or even worse, that you can't beat the system, then I need to ask you respectfully not to enter the reaping. 
Why? Because I think an unfair fight is that, unfair.  And I think you have bought the party line, live your life to the fullest, nothing else matters.

Friday, October 05, 2012

October In Pretoria, needs to be a feast!

It is Oct in Pretoria, turning my entire town purple, since this is my favourite month, we are celebrating it with a giveaway.  A October Fest giveaway.  Now who has a beer?

What can you win?
Well author Gillian Joy is donating :

Two ecopy sets of

Now this is cool hey, want to know more, go follow these Amazon links:



Author Paulette Mahurin is gifting two ecopies of;











Wanting to know more? Follow this link to Amazon


Author Bonnie Bernard is offering two sets of;

and













Follow these links to Amazon




Author Mike Faricy is donating two ecopies of his newest release;

Follow this link to Amazon for more detail



Author De Ann Townes Jr is donating 10 ecopies of;



Author Aneesa Price is offering 1 X Print copy, signed.  Ecopy of Coffing Girls with swag as a second prize and a ecopy of Finding Promise as prize 3.







Follow these links to Amazon to learn more;


Angie Edwards is donating a Kindle book of her choice to the value of $5 or less, here is her page link
Author Duncan McGonall is donating two copies of
For more information, follow this link. 

Author Stacey Rourke is gifting four ecopies of;

Follow this link to Amazon
Author Nicola Palmer is donating
6 ecopies of



Follow these links to learn more of these books on Amazon;



Author Janeira Eldridge is donating
Two ecopies...


Follow the link above to learn more
And finally author Charmaine Pauls is donating
and



To learn more follow this link on Amazon 


Now enter here



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Fighter by Nathan Squiers

The Fighter (Scarlet Night Series) by Nathan Squiers

"THE DEVIL YOU KNOW":
Born in Massachusetts in 1986, Nathan grew up in Andover where his affinity for story-telling flourished due to a love of books and movies as well as an overactive imagination

Above excerpt "borrowed" from the Dark Prince himself on his blog aptly named : The literary Dark Prince's blog

http://www.google.co.za/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=nathan%20squiers&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nathansquiers.com%2F&ei=va5ZUISJOsOg0QWywIHQAQ&usg=AFQjCNEmpELMOjzrS43WZPJ10uzi93CHSg

My review analytically based:
Character.
The character of Zane is drawn from the woe-me stereotypical the-world-owes me lampoon.  It is apparent that the author likes Zane, and to some degree this could prove to a bit scary seeing as he is NOT a likeable character.  In his conventionality Zane's character is one dimensional.  The short story per se, does not lend itself to any real character development and when at last Zane decides to act rather than wallow, his internal dialogue shows that he has not grown by the culmination of the story but has rather resigned himself to the lesser of evils.  Zane's character's demarcation is truly linear due to the formulaic principle used to make him fit the stereotype. 
Theme.
The theme of the story is not one of redemption or worth; it is one of self pity and of choosing to be a victim. The theme is developed and built upon trite inner dialogue which eventually spills over towards a clich├ęd verbal and physical attack.  The stereotyping is both traditional and familiar. The intent of such blatant stereotyping is clear! It is used too off play the element of shock.  This play off, serves the plot in that the cast typing is so overwhelming that it over shadows the shock value, making the entire story more accessible toward the general reading public. The introduction of the plot is full on, no holds barred in nature and follows a predictable path towards an anti-climatic conclusion.  The resolving of the story is simplified and predictable so as to ensure the next story in the series have a strong, open ended plot to carry on upon. The one thing that was truly intriguing is the fact that Zane refers to himself as plural and this is a mystery I am convinced, which will have readers looking forward to some form of explanation.  The setting of the story is done expertly playing against Zane's have-not attitude against the do-have's.
 Style.
The writing style is neither complicated, nor unclear.  It is written to be offensive and thus build on Zane's.  No harmony or rhythm is employed by the author in his writing, clearly displaying the lack of said components in the world he created for Zane. Nathan uses some caricature of Edward in The Twilight Sage in a parody which adds towards the fact that Zane is a very unlikeable character at this stage of the series.  The style of the author alone is worth reading this book.  You will need to read far and wide to find another character as unlikeable as Zane. 
Best quote.
It's just 'wah wah wah! My bottle's empty and my life sucks for it!' and I, for one, am tired of watching you masturbate your misery.
My opinion.
The author Nathan Squiers is a singularly talented author.  His stories are never in between.  A reader will not sort of like it or sort of dislike it, they will love or hate it and it this is a talent that is rare.  Personally, I did not like this story.  It had none of the authors by now famous shock value, or gruesome details.  But I admire the fact that he in a few pages only created a character so vivid and so identifiable, that I disliked him immediately and that he managed to make my dislike grow page by page.
My star rating. 
The authors ability to write a story 5 *! 
My personal like / dislike of the story 4 * based on his ability to evoke such a strong feeling against Zane and thus engaging me with the plot.
My recommendation based upon a star rating a 3 *, I can hardly recommend all read a story I disliked.
My opinion regarding the authors' ability to write a story? A 5 *. 
My overall star rating is thus a 4 *.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A graphic novel review!

http://www.facebook.com/Bookmewsandtattletailsforall

Well, I like challenges, I read a poetry book, which is not a genre I understand to say nothing about being able to review.  Then I received this book for review and went oh-ooh.  Now what.  I know nothing about GN and even less of what a review of one should look like.  But, I promised so I started on it.  In the beginning I was trying to decide what the graphics looked like, having nothing to compare it with etc.  Later on I started liking the strong moral theme of the story and somewhere beyond 50 pages in, I forgot I was reading this for review, I forgot it was a graphic novel and yes, at the end I cried like a little baby.  The story is what got me hooked, got me paging, kept me glued and made me cry.  This is a story of four boys, very unlikely friends that came together because of their love of music.  It is about boys whose parents need and is trying to accept that they are growing up and tries to encourage them once they understand.  It is a story about friendships formed, love found and profound loss.  Oh and it happens to have pictures in it.  I have no idea who would not like this book, so I am recommending it as a must read to all the people who read this review.  I can't do anything but give this a five star review. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bridge of Deaths tour, more info -


Bridge of Deaths by MCV Egan : Peace Blitz! 73rd anniversary of the crash of the G-AESY


The Bridge of Deaths
Living in South Africa, I've seen the last part of the Apartheid regime and the fight for freedom, as a woman, a sister, a daughter and a human I have seen enough to know that I am going to have days that I am blue and days of walking on sunshine.
So I needed to come up with a topic with peace in it for this blog. I had multiple choices, but not the unique voice I wanted.  So a few days after agreeing to the blog hop, I walked into a mall.  In the atrium of the mall a few tables have been set out, around these, children. The task at hand; to build a scale model bridge.  I looked at the schematic and the photo of the bridge they were building and was immediately reminded of the blog hop.  Amused, I stood and watched them. 
The exercise was to get children involved and interested in engineering.  They were provided with preset pieces that had to be assembled into a bridge according to the schematic provided.  It was obvious that they spent some time engrossed in this task at that stage.  Some groups was much further along with their bridge than others.  Watching them, it became clear that this is a group activity, and where members in the group were slacking or over achieving, it turned out that the bridges were not being built.  I also noticed that the bridge pieces were perfect puzzle pieces.  I, with no interest or knowledge of engineering would be able to assemble this impressive bridge in what I guessed would be 20 minutes.  It is simply building a puzzle and gluing the parts together. 
Strangely enough, none of the children saw this, they were approaching their task from an engineering point of view and thus they managed to over complicate things.  I walked away and a few hours later, I passed them again.  Same children, now very frustrated, building what they figured to be a very complicated bridge.
I walked away giggling and slowly the voice of this blog came to me.  In life, war is a complicated way of solving mostly simple problems.  If you refuse to look at a task, problem, relationship from several perspectives, you probably never will see that a very simple solution is at hand.  Going into a situation with preset ideas and information, limits this ability to look beyond the obvious to alternate points of views. 
On a smaller scale, within relationships etc. it might be prudent to simply try and take a step back, to see if it is possible to address whatever issue is at hand from a perspective not your own, especially if what you are doing is obviously not working. 
On a smaller level still, building a bridge from an engineering perspective while you could approach it as a puzzle piece is daft.  But these children were made to believe that the bridge they were building needed to be an engineering feat, that this scale model needed to adhere to rules and physical laws.  So they were totally blinded to the fact that if they simply construct it, their task would have been at an end and they would have been able to win a nice prize.  But they never saw it!
So in life, this is my advice; do not complicate things, not even complicated things.  Simplify and relax.  Build a bridge with others, it is much simpler to glue something together with 3 sets of hands than with only one. Also, it will be done much better and much more professionally. 
Do not burn the bridges you have built.
Do not step on it without remembering how much effort it took.
Do not forget who helped you built it and most of all;
Never forget that those who did not help or could not help, need a bridge as well. 
So grant them access but do not let them desecrate what you have built.   
In this way, I really do believe, we all will manage to live in harmony.


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Want to know more about MCV Egan, follow her on FB at this link ; http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bridge-of-Deaths/130675087014521?ref=stream

And on Amazon at : http://www.amazon.com/The-Bridge-Deaths-M-Egan/dp/1463410417/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344949683&sr=8-1&keywords=the+bridge+of+deaths

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