Tuesday, February 28, 2012

http://gillianjoy-livingtowrite.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/we-got-tagged.html 

To participate:

THE RULES

  1. You must post the rules.
  2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
  3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
  4. Let them know you’ve tagged them! 

Here Are My Questions. (copy & paste)
  1. Are you a writer, reader or reviewer?
I am a reader and a reviewer, and I am trying my hand at writing.  Not very successfully I may add.
  1. How long have you been writing, reading or reviewing?
Reading, since I was 3,  Serious.  I learned to read at 3 by 5 I read books set at a grade 5 level and up.
  1. What book was your biggest inspiration, and why?
Wowie, this is hard.  The Stand by Stephen King.  Weird hey?  But really.  It was the first time a work of fiction gave me so much to ponder and I figured that maybe fiction has a value far greater than that of recreation only.
  1. What book is your favourite?
Oh wow, not enough time or space. 
  1. Do you prefere stand alone books or series?
Both, they have their merits and none can replace the other.
  1. Do you like and do you ever read fan fictions?
Truthfully not sure what Fan fiction is.
  1. Do you dream about the books your reading / writing?
All the time. 
  1. How many books are you reading right now?
12
  1. What are you reading right now?
Forever by Gillian Joy is one of those 12!
  1. Does your family feel you have an addiction to books?
My family loves to read themselves but they believe I am over doing everything I do including reading.

  1. Do you feel you have an addiction to books and can you justify your answer?
Yes I do, do I have to justify the fact that I can be instantly transported into another world by the flip of a page or the press of the button on my Kindle, doubt it.

So here is my Questions!
1.  What is the one thing you would never give up for the sake of a good book?
2.  What is the book that had the biggest impact on you during your life?
3.  If you are not an author, what would your preferred genre be if you should write, if you are an author what other genre would you date tackle?
4.  What is it about reading that you love the most?
5.  What is it about reading that you hate the most?
6.  Who is your favourite main stream author?
7.  Who is your favourite indie author?
8.  If you could design the ultimate bookcase, what would it look like?
9.  Should you ever be given a chance to write what ever you want and have it be a guaranteed international overnight success, what would the basice story include/
10. Should you ever be without a book, what would you read instead?

Tag your it





myeclecticbookshelf.blogspot.com

maritaahansen.blogspot.com


Ok, so if I did this right it should now be a case of Tag Your IT

 

Monday, February 27, 2012

  • Book Review of Demon's Night, A Jason Dark Supernatural Mystery by Guido Henkel

    Bizarre deaths in the fog-shrouded streets of Victorian London!

    A string of unnaturally desiccated and decaying bodies sets the ghost hunter, Jason Dark, on the trail in search of a demon hellbent on spreading chaos and catastrophe throughout the city!
    ...
    Can the ghost hunter stop the devilish fiend who is determined to wreak more death and destruction than his even more ominous Father?

    Filled with enough mystery, drama and suspenseful action to transport you to the sinister streets of gaslit Whitechapel, the digs of Jack the Ripper, your encounter with the extraordinary awaits.

    “Demon’s Night” is a 24,500 word dime novel, the equivalent of about 95 book pages.

    Review 5 out of 5

    Jason Dark is a ghost hunter in Victorian London, who becomes involved when a string of unnaturally desiccated and decaying bodies are found. He finds out that a Demon is hellbent on spreading chaos and destruction throughout the city. Can the ghost hunter stop the fiend in time?

    This is a short story, but boy it doesn't lack action, mystery and suspense! I absolutely loved it! I hadn't read any of Guido's books before, and I am truly sorry that I haven't! The pace is fast and furious and kept me wondering what would happen next. I am definitely going to read more of his Jason Dark stories! I think that this author is seriously underrated and I hope that everyone reading this review will take heed and have a look at his work. I highly recommend this book if you like mystery, action, adventure and the supernatural. - Lynn Worton
  • No Goodreads blurb available at time of publishing, jeez that sounds so cool.  The time of publishing part.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Want some wamblings, sorry Iwill have to dissapoint.  I am simply to tired to think coherently and nicely.  Ever noticed how brutal honesty follows sheer exhaustion? So I am off to - I am not sure what.  But Ill rather not bore you with wamblings today.

Review of the Coffee Shop by Lauren Hunter

Review of the Coffee Shop by Lauren Hunter.
Blurb via Goodreads
If Derrick thought experiencing alternate timelines and glimpses into the future was strange, then he had no idea it was about to get a whole lot more strange.

When Derrick Sloane meets Annie Maddock and falls madly in love, he believes he's met the girl of his dreams. Only he then awakes to discover she is exactly that...nothing more than a dream. Disheartened, he goes to the first coffee shop he can find. There he meets Annie. She is at the same table, reading the same book, and he fast realizes his dream has shown him his own future. But when a misstep alters that perfect future he tries to fix it, every attempt only making it worse.

Dreaming the future can be a nightmare when you see what's coming...and can't do anything to change it
My review
Annie and Derrick Sloane meet at a coffee shop, they talk, they like each other but their meeting is destined, or is it?
I loved the dialogue in this book, at times it had me giggling and at others I was wondering if I should go and get the tissue box. 
The story is all but simple.  Derrick dreams, over and over again.  His dream starts out with how it came to be that he landed in a way of route coffee shop called The Coffee Shop and so came to meet the woman of his dreams, Annie.
First off the story is told from the perspective of Derrick, this took me some getting used to, and I am not used to reading of men, so completely love struck. 
Each time Derrick dreams he comes to realize that his actions change their possible future together.  The more he tries to change the more things changes, small things at times and at other times these changes are huge.  He tries to circumvent this in order to ensure the perfect future. 
I found the idea of the observer changing the fact of the situation purely by observing the situation portrayed time and time again in this book.  The small changes are all caused because Derrick has lived through that situation before and so he changes his actions minutely at first. 
The story line is expertly constructed and I am very glad that I had the chance to read the majority of the book in one sitting, this is not a book that you can interrupt frequently nor can you take up another book at some stage.  It is hard enough to keep track of events in one sitting and I have to say this is also expertly done; I admire the fact that the author could get the reader to feel some of Derricks own confusion at his situation and at its outcomes with such flair and apparent ease.
My one and only criticism is that the situations got to be a bit much for me.  For the same reason I loved the book it also makes me hesitant to unconditionally recommend it.  The pace of the book picks up and keeps escalating in the second half of the book.  This serves to add to the confusion and desperate actions of Derrick but it became a bit emotionally draining for me.  As I am sure it would on Derrick was this true.  I personally still would have preferred a bit less futures in the book.  Ironically, I am sure that makes two of us.  Me and Derrick both.  So my criticism might be no more than a declaration of genius.
This book is marketed as a supernatural romance but it is primarily a romance.
I give this book a four star rating and recommend it to anybody who loves romance and a challenging read.

More about the author copied verbatim from the copy of The Coffee Shop
Lauren Hunter is a writer of Regency and paranormal romance novels, with
plans to write in a variety of other genres, including time travel, angel, ghost,
and contemporary romance, as well as more Regency and paranormal.
Besides novels, she also writes poetry and short stories, with her poems
appearing in anthologies from England, Holland, and the US. Appearing
in a number of The International Library of Poetry’s anthologies, she has
received the Editor’s Choice Award and was published in The International
Who’s Who of Poetry 2004.
http://www.wix.com/lhunter1/romance
http://laurenhunter-1.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wanda's world wievs and wamblings on self esteem

Wamblings
I need to wamble, not because I have something heavy on my heart but because I checked on my Blog stats and apparently my wamblings in doing way better than my reviews.  Not sure how I feel about that. 
So I was sitting here thinking, jeez, I have no complaints I want to air publicly, then I thought, wait a minute, I have no complaints whatsoever.  Hmm.  Now that is good.  I love that.  Who knew?  So that got me thinking about something else. 
Why do I need to sit and think about what annoys me before I realize that I am happy?  Happy is such a fluid emotion. But, mostly I am happy.  So that leads to another thought.  The one other thing that is fluid and which is never - ever realized as such is self esteem.  Now, you guys know this, you only do not really realize you know this.  But it is true. 
I can wake up in the morning, get out of bed and before I even pass a mirror I will know I look like crap and that the left over dinner I had last night added at least 3Kg.  The fact that I had that exact same dinner two nights ago and it did nothing negative to my weight is not a point to ponder now.
So I'll do what needs to be done and then I will go to the closet to pick out an outfit for the day.  Whoop pee.  Guess what, the outfit I wore last week for THAT meeting, that fit perfectly, made me look and feel like a million bucks now makes me look rumpled and fat and generally undesirable.  Whoopee.  So now what? Aah well, I am late for work so no redo's and off I goes.  The rest of my day will follow the same route as the morning and by the time I take off this stunningly ugly outfit that evening I will be miserable and fat and ugly and nobody loves me so I will now go and eat some worms.
Low and behold, the very next morning I wake up, do what needs to be done, get an outfit that two weeks ago was a bit iffy, get dressed, look stunning, feel like a million bucks and leave home feeling as if I could run the world for a day as the best world runner ever!!!!! So what has changed?  My worm eating result in an instantaneous drop in dress size? My outfit maybe went through some miraculous change and all of a sudden the commercial on my softener came to bear fruit, my colors are brighter and my white's whiter.
So my point? Well its simple, are our language and our culture limited to such a degree that I need to explain this to all, especially teenagers all the time.  Why are we told - you have a good self image and not that mostly you have a good self image.  I am an introvert by nature.  I am not however shy which by the by is another discussion but my entire life everybody comments on me being outgoing and as having a very good self esteem.  So in my teens I started to figure this truth out for myself, but loads of people have not. 
Is our culture doing us harm or good with these absolute statements?  You tell me.

Here a YA paranormal romance for all ages

Milo Mitchell's life used to be charmed, but that was before her family dissolved, she went a little crazy, and her best friends started acting more like strangers. Spending Saturday morning in a treehouse with a stun gun for company and a herd of deer for friends is the only exciting thing in her life...until she shoots a fawn and finds her dart stuck in a guy.

Her gorgeous victim is dressed in a Brioni tux and armed with a hanky. He has no idea who or where he is. Afraid her dart caused his amnesia, Milo takes him in, names him Nick, and vows to help him solve his mystery. Soon the pair find Nick's face in a newspaper obituary, and Nick beings to have strange, ethereal memories of Milo--who is sure she's never met him. Suddenly Nick knows things he shouldn't know and is doing things he shouldn't do. When the Department of Defense shows up, Nick and Milo run--toward a shocking conclusion that could destroy both their worlds
Via Goodreads
Wow, I had so much fun reading this book.  It is fast paced, logical and the characters blazed on the page.  I have rarely found a book where both the main characters are brought to life in such a vivid way.  Milo's pain and loss is real and understandable.  Most readers would be able to relate to her.  Nick is . . . drool worthy, not a word? Who cares?  He is sweet, attentive, a looker and he is smart.  REAL smart which, for me made him even more attractive.
This is supposed to be a YA romance / paranormal romance but let me tell you.  At the age of 37 Lucy Jordan would sure have loved it.  I know I did, and I am a bit wee older.  I am sure that the YA paranormal readers will also fall in love with it. 
The adventures of Milo in the presence of Nick are action packed and fast.  It remains possible though.  Milo relies as much on luck to survive as skill and finds out quickly that she might not have the necessary skills.  She manages to make the most of her skills to try and save her and Nick.  She falls apart in adversity but only after she is confronted with the true debts of her problems.  She never remains beaten though.
Nick.  Wow, he sounds delectable, I am sure that a woman of my age should not be turned on by a high school guy but I tell myself it is because I see him through the eyes of a high school girl.  Yummy.  Well let me stop now.  This might start to sound a bit weird if I carry on much longer. 
I keep saying that I am going to be more critical in my reviews but my only critique in this book is that it ended and that I don’t have immediate access to the rest of the story.  This is the first book penned by this author that I have read but be sure it will not be the last.  I adored the story and have a very soft spot for Milo. 
I give this a 7 out of 5 star rating, I would recommend it, walk around with it, heck I drove with my Kindle in the car for incase I had a second to spare and I would definitely buy it for my nieces whom, I am sure, would love it even more than I did. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wanda's world wievs and wamblings, Starbucks do not deliver

So I asked and Melissa M Ringsted answered.  She is an editor and the page owner of http://www.facebook.com/thereforyou.editing.  She is troubled, so it would seem, about the lack of a delivery service from Starbucks.  We in South Africa only recently got a Starbucks, actually two, both in Johannesburg, one at the international airport and the other at a very high class 5Star hotel.  So needless to say, I have never tasted Starbucks.  I might never since, like in the US, these guys don’t deliver.  Or rather I assume they don’t, I meant to phone them but it slipped my mind - not, I am much too stingy to waist a phone call on such a useless exercise.  But it got me thinking about the lack of delivery pertaining to leading roles in books.

I hate flat characters, it really is annoying, reading all about a two dimensional character.  Especially when the said tough character is supposed to be a tough broad within the story.  I have recently come to hate tough broads, why? Because so very few authors know what strength in a woman is, it is not her ability to swear or her ability to through a temper tantrum that is not strength.  Strength is making a decision when you do not know what the result of your decision will be.  That is strength, to live with the consequences of your decision - that is guts.  Having melt downs into the ever available arms of Mr. Perfect when your make up is not perfect, not strength.  Having being asked every three seconds if you're still alright, is not a token of strength.  But I digress we were talking about flat characters.  You know the types; sometimes the author does not even go to the trouble to give them last names!  Now these are necessary, yes, essential when writing a book but when it is your main character and he/is so shallow you can see tomorrow peeking through them.  Stop and rewrite. 
I have thus far come across only two authors who perfected the art of two dimensional character developments.  Guardian's author Gillian Joy and the author of The Spirit Box, JH Glaze. You can find them at http://www.facebook.com/Guardiannovel and at http://www.facebook.com/thespiritboxbook.
In Guardian you meet Gabriel, the boy next door with an irresistible something to him.  At the end of the book Gabriel is pretty much the same as he was on page one.  This baffled me for a few moments, why would Gillian write a character that has almost no growth and then a main character to boot.  Well when the boot, I mean shoe dropped I felt pretty daft.  The answer was right in front of me.  Gabriel started out as being perfectly, perfect.  No way even Gillian could improve on perfection.  I was stunned and in awe, very few authors can pull of such a stunt with so much flair and panache. 
The second really flat character I came across was Walt in The Spirit Box by JH Glaze.  Walt had obsessions and that was about it.  I liked Walt, which was weird because he was not really all that likeable.  But I nonetheless liked him.  But it bugged me that he was so flat.  Then almost near the end of the book a startling revelation is made and the puzzle pieces dropped into place.  I must agree, by now I am sure I am slow on the uptake.  What is worse is that if you do not pay attention to that dialogue in the book, you as reader might very well miss the evil genius that is Mr. Jeff Glaze.  Without giving anything away of the plot of the book, please, if you have not read the book but plan to, remember to pay special attention to the dialogue between Walt and the Box.  It is essential to optimize your reading experience.
So with the exception of these two examples I would ask all authors not to be Starbucks!  Don’t hold all the promise and still fail to deliver.
Thats what I think in any way.  Use it dont use it, but dont hurt animals

Birth of a Wizard

Review on Birth of a Wizard by MJ Schutte.
Birth of a Wizard is the sequel to Energy by MJ Schutte and thus the second book in the Energy trials.

I usually start the second book in a series with some trepidation.

It has happened before that the second book is not as good as the first or even worse that the author changes the plot series in the second book to accommodate the third book.

This is most definitely not the case with BoW! The story picks up where it left off. The characters get more and more developed and this time the evil is more experienced fighters.

Brighton is not the person who's inner self gets challenged in this book. Instead it is his wife that needs to fight the final battle against her own demons in order to attempt to save the day. But what exactly is Lilly's demons? And why is it a matter of life and death, love vs destruction should she fail? Well ill leave you to find that out for yourself.

The characters shows such growth in BoW that I can hardly wait to see where the third in this trilogy will lead them. But beware. Not all of the good guys make it to the end. Some die young, others tragically and some out of necessity. So I would advise getting a hanky at the ready. It is, however. Not all doom and gloom!

I often laughed out loud in the book and found a new soft spot for approximately 300 people whom joins the rank of mythological creatures in this book!

It is extremely hard to write a review on a book this fast paced and action packed without giving spoilers. So ill rather leave you with this. If you love a great, epic love story. Read this book. If you loved Energy. You Must read this book. If you like epic fantasy with battles and heroics and people pushed beyond their capabilities, well then. You must read this book!
So in short if you read, read this book.

I give this book a 7 out of five star review. I loved it even better than the first book which I absolutely adored. I would buy, lend, gift it to my best friend and I could not read it fast enough to see how the final battle will end. MJ Schutte has grown so much as an author that I can hardly wait to read the final book in his trilogy.
MJ one word of advice though. Start on a new series or free standing novel, not only I but scores of fans will drive you nuts begging and demanding more.

Book Review of Awaken (The Patronus: Book One) by Sarah M. Ross



Friday, February 17, 2012

Wanda's world wiews and wamblings

Wanda's world wiews and wamblings

Wanda's world wiews and wamblings.
So today it's all about us, the reviewers.  Hold on to your hats, this is going to put a few things out in the open that is a big no, no on Facebook.
We all work with these authors 24/7, sometimes 29/7 and then some.  We love them and they love us, we love reading and they love writing.  Good, right?  NO!!!!!
I know of this I am as guilty as sin, especially in the beginning, way back when, when I started this I felt so grateful towards the kindness of an author for giving me a book for free that I would give them a way higher rating that I in reality thought their book deserved.  I wanted to please them, but it only got worse. 
I got to know some of the authors and I found them to be great human beings and I could not give a low rating to such an awesome person!  I grew out of that to a degree.  Not completely but a bit. So the other day I was reading a review done on a book I reviewed way back when, and this reviewer very nicely stated what the shortcomings of the book were and what bothered her as a reviewer.  It got me thinking.  Are we creating a culture of coddling professional authors?
Because really, whether your indie published or mainstream published, this amount of talent is no longer on the level of creative writing 101.
The idea that we might be coddling people because they are nice and because we don’t want to hurt their feelings is getting to me.  I feel we are doing the authors and us as reviewers a great disservice.  These are professional people, grownups who, if and when they make it big will have to face the same amount of critique thrown the way of Stephen King, Karen Rose etc. 
Here we are handling them as if we know nothing about writing, well….. NO.  We might not know anything about writing, but let me tell you what I think we all know something about.  Reading.  We are their target audience.  We are the people they need to please; we are the people in whose imagination their creation is coming to life.
So am I preaching unfair, unjust, unfounded criticism for the sake of critiquing?  No most assuredly not.  But if you find a book published with a host of spelling and grammar mistakes, let the author know. 
If you come upon a book where the jumps in logic is so fantastic that you need to go back three chapters to make sure you did not miss some link to get you from A to G, let the author know.  If the book is in anyway not suitable for a crossover group of people.  Let the author know.  And when you are reviewing the first book in a series, and the strong heroin is flat and breaks down into uncontrollable sobs at the first hint of trouble, let the author know.  They might not appreciate it, but if they learn from it, hone their craft - it is worth it. 
I seriously expect authors might be losing a bus load full of reviews because readers see all the five star reviews on a certain book and feel as if their own review might be perceived too harsh!  So authors stop chasing stars and listen.  Reviewers, our work is not only in pleasing the author, it is in informing the readers.  How do you get a balance?  I am still working on that. What I do know is this.  I would hate people reading my reviews and thinking - aah she is only saying that because…. I love reading, books and all things that go with it way too much to cheat us all by encouraging this culture of coddling grownups from the truth.  So will all my reviews be only a 3 star review in future?  Not at all, but it will contain some valid, constructive suggestions.
Well thats what I think in anyway.....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wanda's world wiews and wamblings


Wanda's world wiews and wamblings
So today we are onto another topic.  Well maybe not.  Maybe it’s the same as yesterday but more targets specific.  Today let's talk about authors. Let's talk about cavemen. 
I can tell you now, I can tell all of you, should you be in a bad mood, feel underappreciated do not read further.  You will take what I am writing in general as a personal affront while this is not what this is about.  So if this is you.  Shut down and come back later or ignore this in totality.  If not, maybe you will take something useful from this wambling. 
Yesterday I focused on the 50 review minimum on Amazon I also talked about the 20 word minimum which, according to me is easily done. So on FB we are all promoting authors and pages from dawn till dusk, sometimes into the wee hours of the night.  I am one of those page spammers extraordinaire.
What does this have to do with authors?  Everything!  Indie authors especially, support one another. They help promote others pages etc but……  Come on you knew that one was coming.  But….
When I go post a review on Goodreads, Amazon etc, do I see a few sentences by other authors? NO. 
Simple hey, no.  I do not see it and I wonder about it because I know x, y and z author read the book.  Confessed to love it or confessed to like it at the very minimum.  But not a word from these authors on the places it can actually make a difference. 
The second thing about authors I want to touch on is this; I get a lot of compliments for my reviews, although I am convinced that most of these compliments are for the fact that I did a review and not the quality of the review.  I really appreciate the fact that the authors do get back to me and thank me for a review and here I have to give every single author I have ever dealt with credit.  Not a one of you remised on this.  But…. Seriously? You did not see that one coming…. but…..
When I go on Goodreads, I am rated as a reviewer as on Amazon.  Very little authors will mark my reviews as good and at this stage; seriously I would be happy with a "noticed" button.  It is a costly story.  The authors that send out printed copies would attest to this.  They pay to have their work send out into a mailing system that fails as often as it succeeds, they need to pay postage and sometimes they even pay the import tax on our behalf. 
Authors, this does not go unnoticed.  But remember, I pay for my internet service, so the same amount of time and money that goes from my account when I switch from my FB account to my blog, to Goodreads to Amazon will be going off from your accounts when you do the same.  My question is, why when you get notified about a review do you not press the button, whether it is the like, helpful or any button?  We get rated on the most obscure of all systems, so obscure that its validity is not questionable it is laughable, but we DO get rated and I have received request for reviews based solely on my review rating.  So please, in future, take that one second longer and click on that button.  It means the world to us. 
My third gripe with authors, I keep hearing you say you have another 5 star review.  Whoopee, I know this sounds harsh but really here I have to say that you guys are chasing stars so much more than reviews, starts will not help without a review, what would you prefer a few five star reviews or 50 reviews written by real people with real opinions and real preferences?  I want to quote a few lines from my current read "The Coffee Shop" by Author Lauren Hunter here that I found perfect for this wambling,
" “Oh, that. I was just wondering how you are with your friends. You don’t mind them being honest with you. You seem to appreciate it. I can think of lots of people that don’t, appreciate it that is.”
“Oh, I don’t always appreciate it, believe me, and if I don’t I’ll let them know. Maybe it’s a guy thing.”
“A guy thing?” “Brutal honesty. Probably goes back to the cave men.” 

Now I love this piece of dialogue because I believe in my heart of hearts none of us like honesty directed at us, I also believe that growth is not possible without it. What is the relevance of this? Guys, you need to wake up and smell the coffee, this is real, critique can at times be unfair and useless, sometimes, though, and it is not.  You and only you know which category critique will fall into pertaining to you personally.  But stop chasing cars in your heads.  Remember that stars will not get you recommended on Amazon etc.  Reviews will. 

Well thats what i think 

Book Review of The Universal Mirror by Gwen Perkins


 
Book Review of The Universal Mirror by Gwen Perkins

On the island of Cercia, the gods are dead, killed by their followers and replaced with the study of magic. Magicians are forbidden to leave their homeland. Laws bind these men that prevent them from casting spells on the living—whether to harm or to heal.

Quentin, a young nobleman, challenges these laws out of love for his wife. His best frien...d, Asahel, defies authority at his side, unaware that the search for this lost magic will bring them both to the edge of reason, threatening their very souls. The Universal Mirror shows how far two men are willing to go for the sake of knowledge and what they will destroy to obtain it.

Review 5 out of 5

On the island of Cercia, after a war where all the gods were killed, magicians were forbidden to leave their homeland and laws were created to prevent them from casting their spells on the living - whether to harm or heal.
When the island is affected by a plague, Quentin, a young nobleman defies authority out of love for his wife. His best friend Asahel helps him with his experiments. Knowing that the punishment for heresy is severe if found out, Quentin is determined to heal the damage caused by the plague on his wife.

When I began to read this book, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. I was a bit confused at first. It felt like I was coming in half way through a conversation. However, my confusion soon evaporated as I got further into the story. It soon turned into a page turner that I couldn't put down! The beginning felt a little bit like a story from Burke and Hare! I began to empathise with Quentin's character. He's in love with his wife who, due to a plague, had been badly disfigured. Unfortunately, as the law strictly forbids the use of magic on living beings to heal, Quentin is at a loss as to how to help her.
By the end of the book, I was cheering Quentin and his friend on! Gwen Perkins has written a fast paced adventure that kept me on the edge of my seat! I would have liked a little more interaction between Quentin and his wife, especially nearer the end. But, all in all it was a very pleasant read. - Lynn Worton

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wanda's world wievs......

Authors, readers, reviewers and pirates.
So loads of people love blogging.  Right.  Right!  I am not one of them.  Or rather, I never was.  Now that I am starting to get a following I am starting to re-evaluate my views on Blogging. 
Is it the creative outlet I need to balance my life?  Do I have anything to say?  I wonder, and with wondering I decided that I would not know until I try.  So here is my first try.  I guess much of the continuation of this will depend on if I received any comments.
So today's blog is about books.  BIG SURPRISE! But seriously.  It is about the people I now call my friends.  The people that write, edit, create their own covers, promote and beg others to read and review their books.
I only recently found out that authors need 50 yes fifty reviews on Amazon before Amazon would through it out as a recommended book.  I also know some sort of tag is very important on Amazon although I do not know what that is or why it is so very important. 
I love reading.  I really love reading, but when I read I do it because I love it.  Not because I want to rush through the book so that I can get onto the next one.  So authors pm'ing me, sending me mails, asking me how far along I am - that kind of started to bug me.  What really got my goat were the authors that would try to play on my emotions.  Then I found out about the 50 review rule and I started to get it.  I really get it now. 
I also have another pet peeve, people stalking authors in an attempt to poach as many free books as they possibly can with no intent on even reading the book. 
So, on the one side we have people that need validation for their work.
People like me that love reading and in the process try to do right by the person whom is seeking validation.
And on the third we have people who I think of as pirates, people taking looty with no idea what they will do with it so they bury it in the sand. 
So the point of my monologue - where is the golden midway?  Why are more authors not actively involved in reading and reading follow authors work, cause, guess what - as long as your review is more than 20 words long Amazon accepts it is a review.
Why, among the millions of passionate readers on Facebook is their so very few who actually do reviews? Again, 20 + words counts as a review!
And to the pirates out there, we all love you in anyway, but please; do not take a book if you know you are never going to read it.  Pay it forward and make sure somebody gets the book who would love to read it. 
But that is what I think, what do you have to say about it.

A Lynn Worton review of Virtual Evil by Jana Oliver


Book Review of Virtual Evil by Jana Oliver

Jacynda Lassiter's latest assignment is a double-edged sword: find the greatest of all Time Rovers and send him to 2057 without his consent. If she returns Harter Defoe to the future, she'll be branded a traitor to her kind. If she fails, the punishment is a decade in prison.

As Jacynda searches her conscience and the back alleys of Whitechapel, Sgt. J...onathon Keats presses his hunt for an Irish anarchist and the missing explosives. Unable to use his shape-shifting abilities, Keats troubles are just beginning. Unless his good friend Alastair Montrose can uncover who framed him for murder, Keats might be next for the hangman's rope.

Review 6 out of 5

Jacynda Lassiter is continuing her time travelling adventure in 1888, but she has orders to locate the greatest of all Time Rovers and send him back to 2057 without his consent. It's a catch-22 situation. If she does as she is ordered, she will be labelled a traitor by her contemporaries; if she doesn't, she'll be sent to prison for a decade.
Meanwhile, Jonathon Keats is still looking for an Irish anarchist and the missing explosives. With his inability to use his shape-shifting, Keats's troubles have just begun. Can his friend Alistair Montrose uncover who has framed him for murder? If not, Jonathon might be next for the hangman's rope.

This is the second book of the Time Rovers series. Jana did it again: I LOVED IT! It continues the story from Sojourn and keeps up a relentless pace throughout. Jacynda has been given the task of locating the greatest of all Time Rovers. It's not an easy task, but failure is not an option either. I love Jacynda's character. She is feisty and sharp as a tack! And I absolutely love her personal hallucination! I love both Jon and Alistair's characters too. They are both good looking, but they have the most amazing personalities. I wish I could actually meet them in the flesh! This book is an emotional roller-coaster. It takes you on a ride, and when it is over, you want to go on it again! I'm glad the story continues in Madman's Dance, which I will be reviewing soon! - Lynn Worton

Monday, February 13, 2012

Saving Bobby!



Via Goodreads

When Bobby's world came crashing down on his thirteenth birthday he knew his life would never be the same again. After losing most of his family before ever becoming a teenager. Bobby was determined not to lose the only person who had truly loved him and was always there for him; his mom. Struggling with the fear of losing his mother to cancer Bobby takes it upon himself running away in search for a way to save her. Along Bobby's journey, he meets Annie, a 'runaway.' Together, they embark on a road where they both find a friendship that will last forever and the true meaning of God. Will Bobby save his mother in time and will Annie go back to the life she had? Experience this journey with Bobby and Annie and feel the power of true determination, and what God can do if you just let him into your heart....

My Review

Saving Bobby was from start to finish a delightful read!
I love Christian literature as long as I don't get the idea that the author is preaching! 
Never once did I get that impression with this book. as a matter of fact this book has two of the most fundamental values I hold dear in Christian literature and life. First of all I do not believe that saying you are a Christian makes you a Christian, I believe that living a good Christian life is what makes one a true Christian. Saving Bobby was a story of finding and living a Christian life. I loved Bobby for portraying that so beautifully.  The second value I hold dear is that I personally do not believe Christians should remove themselves from the so called secular life.
In this respect Saving Bobby did not disappoint either.

I found the writing beautiful and simple, but never patronising. I don't believe that this book can nor should have, a target age audience. I honestly feel that any person will, regardless of age, love this story. I cried through large chunks of this book and believe you me, that takes some doing!  I loved the story!  The book is set against lessons that Bobby learns at school regarding JFK and his life. Bobby is a typical boy who loves academia as well as sports, reads and enjoys movies etc. Bobby, I believe could be any readers son, brother, nephew,or neighbour. I love how respectfully though forthright he communicates with his elders in this book.
I love Saving Bobby and if you find my use of the present tense strange, don't, I will read Saving Bobby again and again. It is an enriching story that I would advise all to experience with me.

I give this book a seven out of five star review. I loved it, could not put it down, recommended it to friends and I am planning on buying it for family members. I loved it that much!

Crystal Cattabriga currently has a competition running where people need to send in the very last sentence in the book Saving Bobby, perhaps this is why I remember the sentence so well, but I doubt it.  My first thought as I read it was that this is such a beautiful way of saying we are saved through Grace.  My second thought is that this reminds me somewhat of the second call to prayer the Iqamah used in the Muslim faith, especially after the first call to prayer is whispered by an Iman into an infants right ear known as the Adhan.  The Iqamah is then whispered into the left ear, promising that if you keep the faith, salvation will be yours. 

Interview with author
My Question:
I loved the grounding effect of the bits of history pertaining to JFK. Why him?
Crystals answer:
I've always had a passion and love for JFK. Actually to tell the truth, I love anything to do with the Kennedy family. As a little girl I would spend most of my free time at my local library reading for hours, and when I left, I would always check out a Kennedy book. Then I would quickly run 3 blocks home just to lay at the end of my bed reading until either my eyes closed or I finished the book.
 My Question:
Bobby is from the get go a very real and balanced little boy. Is he fashioned upon a boy you know?
Crystals answer:
The character Bobby was inspired by my own son Blayke. Without giving anything away, let's just say that some of Bobby's traits and my son's are meshed together in this book which made Bobby that much more real and truthful.
 My Question:
What specifically motivated you to write Saving Bobby?
Crystals answer:
Saving Bobby was born one night while standing in my bedroom talking to my husband. When ever I have an idea for a book, character or plot I bounce my ideas off my husband. That night I decided that I wanted to write books that would inspire and leave a sense of hope in someone's heart. So, it was at that moment Bobby was created and the rest fell into place that night.
 My Question:
Tell us something about you we might not know?
Crystals answer:
Well, what you might not know about me is this, I was born on April Fool's Day, I have three middle names (Vera, Rose, Louise) I'm a lefty, and when I was two years old a team of doctor's saved my life after having Open Heart Surgery. And there isn't a day in my life that I'm not grateful so, I always try to pay if forward to others and empower people with my writing.
 My Question:
I love the fact that Bobby's uncle is a decorated serving army officer. Is the plight of American soldiers something close to your heart?
Crystals answer:
Now for Bobby's Uncle Johnny, that's simple, he's one of my husband's childhood friend's who lived across the street from my husband while growing up.And other years has been part of our lives.His name is Johnny Maynard and has served our country for over 20 years with Honor, serving in both Iraq, and Afganistan. He had received over 14 metals. His picture can be seen on my webpage.
 Crystal shares -
The words I leave to my readers is this, I'm a true believer in my faith and I'm trying to make everyday count for something great in the world.

Thank you, Wanda for the opportunity and sharing my story with others....
http://www.facebook.com/ccattabriga  find her here on Facebook and drop us a line stating what you thought of the review and the author interview and especially about Saving Bobby the book!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Blog spot interview Samantha Combs


Hey all!  I’m happy to be guest-posting on Wanda’s little corner of the world today.  She has asked me to talk a little bit about the new genre I am embracing.  Up to now, I have been firmly planted in the supernatural/fantasy/paranormal section.  I have three of those published in the YA area.  But lately, a new love has crept into my heart……horror. 

This Friday, Musa Publishing is releasing my first foray into the Middle Grade genre, and with a horror story, nonetheless.  The Detention Demon is a contemporary horror story set in a Junior High School where a detention teacher is scrutinized for being perhaps something less than human.  Look for it on www.musapublishing.com and all the regular ebook haunts.

But I am here to talk about another exciting trip to the terror-filled I have recently taken.  I self-published a collection of my short horror stories, along with a horror novella, called Teeth and Talons, A Horror Anthology.  Interestingly enough, each of the stories has had an auspicious beginning.

The first in the collection is The Ink Man.  About a tattoo artist who finds his creepy creations coming to life, it is a horror story, but it is also so much more a commentary on the horror that lies just under the surface of what you believe is normal.  It’s the ability to make the distinction that becomes important.  I got the inspiration for this one from our landlord, who told us about dating a girl with a lot of tattoos and on the same night, accidentally found myself watching L.A. Ink.  It was a short step from there.

The Robbery Countdown is a concept story.  I wanted to do something that would take the reader some time to figure out.  And I have always been fascinated by Asian monster lore.  Enough said.

The inspiration for Rock and Roll All Night is all my brother.  An accomplished musician, we were talking on the phone super late one night and he said there are only a few types of people that stay up as late as we do.  I asked who and he answered writers and rock stars.  After I finished convulsing with laughter, I added in, “Don’t forget vampires!”  I couldn’t get off the phone fast enough to start writing.

The last story is a nod to my mum, but for everything she isn’t.  The opposite of the over-bearing matriarch introduced in The Chair, her being the antithesis was my catalyst.  She was visiting from San Diego for the weekend and the muse grabbed me by the throat one Saturday morning. Our normal “Ross Dress-For-Less” run had to wait while I slammed out the story.

I hope this gives you a little taste of where my horror will take you.  And right now, Teeth and Talons will be FREE *echoes, free, free, free* for five days starting on Friday, Feb 10th through Valentine’s Day.  This is my present to you and a great way to introduce you to my writing and style.  If you like it, please check out my other books:  Spellbound, Everspell, Ghostly and the upcoming The Detention Demon.  Happy reading!

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