April 29, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions [#5] What do we owe authors?

Book Blogger Confessions returns... It's the second week running & if all goes smoothly on Bank Holiday Monday it'll be the third consecutively. How can this be? It's supposed to be the 1st and 3rd Monday's, right? Haven't you heard of bonuses in meme's? Well, we have an extra Monday this month and thought we’d address some hot topics in the book blogosphere.
Yeah, well book bloggers... Special Edition: Today is ventivicious (I don't even know how I got that new word) and there's no wait- get venting (offering solutions if you CAN, can I? Nope).
Pick one – or answer them all! It’s up to you. I'm counting on the vent 'n' share factor. You have that?

1) Amazon buys Goodreads   2) What do we owe authors?   3) The Death Of Google Reader

Hosted by For What It's Worth and Midnyte Reader
What are your thoughts on this? Do they have a point? Do they go too far in expecting readers to only buy their books at indie bookstores, avoid Amazon or expecting readers to go forth and publicize their book after a purchase?

Most authors aren't attacking us for following our instinct and reading books from the library, taking up offers on books & buying from Amazon. OK, I'm wearing slight rose-tinted glasses (I don't care what egotistical authors tweet so don't look) but I genuinely believe it's the publishing industry as a whole that are expecting readers to go to lengths to avoid what they may consider "stealing" from them. There is more danger for the publishing industry, especially in the indie bookstore corner. Believe me, when they've fallen you can't expect them to come back. That's indie stores, libraries, small publishers (and in time, maybe self-publishing will flourish, thanks Amazon- so are bigger publishers at risk?) & probably some other sectors. But it's not authors that will fall.
Some will not make it in the way they're hoping. There isn't room for as many J.K Rowling's or Suzanne Collin's as authors may hope. I think they should hope but not for fame or fortune. I understand they want to commit to their dream career & as I reader & book blogger I would love to support authors & hope in some way I'm helping them becoming a more successful author. But I'm not here to sell books, I'm here to recommend them. If selling is what helps the publishing industry and not libraries then that's life. It's not fair & I'm not sure if everyone can be a winner.
But here's the way for authors to be a winner (and some are- they really do believe this, they are inspirations):
Recognize readers aren't here to sell your books, not every reader anyway. They are here to spend their time on your books and enjoy them if they can. They care about reading and the community but aren't here to give you fame or fortune. You've only fallen if NOBODY has read your book. I bet friends/family have and I bet if it's up for grabs then they're shouting it from the rooftops (...or blogging, listening friends/family? Get writing!) But it's not such a fall, it's not a fail. Someone hasn't read it now? If you're waiting to let someone or nobody has got round to it yet, DON'T PANIC. Someone will. I haven't got round to books I'm dying to read. And? The author hasn't failed in my eyes. The fact I've looked at that books reviews, synopsis or sample tells you something!
The author needs to pick themselves up because I truly believe this is a world for confident authors who aren't JUST looking for fame & fortune. They are looking for readers. And that I can be. I cannot be a source for an author's wealth. If I could, I would- I'd have way more books than right now (and probably always). As I've said, we're following our instinct. We can't hate libraries or indie book stores but we can't support them as much as we'd like ALL the time. I frequent both (expensive) book stores, places with book offers (not just Amazon... but for ebooks, yes) & libraries. Not just one or the other. I've bought/borrowed books from a host of places & most of these places/sites are important to me.
Which are most important? The ones that aren't online definitely. They give us happiness & are of a huge sentimental value to many.
As Radiant Shadows said the services these places offer include...
Book clubs and author events, getting book recommendations from fellow book lovers who are as passionate about books as you are, the social aspect of getting to talk books with other book-lovers, being able to walk out the door with your new book the same day you pay for (or take out to borrow) it
I care about all of these and it's completely fair to say that both libraries and indie bookstores somehow manage to do these even in these harder times. They do inspire authors and I found out that one of my favourite authors did their first public author event in a library... Yay for... (find out)!
 I really hope they don't go away and I really hope I've addressed that the issue isn't just for authors (even if the question umm... yeah, I'm not going there). Authors can expect us to spread the word (but not extensively as 'The Care And Feeding of an author On Amazon', eh?). I mean how would their books be read otherwise? But they shouldn't want libraries/Amazon to die *cough* Deary style *cough*... That'll be a major step back for the bookish community. MAJOR. 
We need to support BOOKS in their whole existence by publicizing them- sometimes Amazon helps us to do this. If it's the easiest option, go for it. Y'know that you should check out Goodreads, Twitter & BOOK BLOGS too, don't you? Yes. Authors, just keep paddling (did I mention this post?) authors!
Don't feel the need to share books more or pick up a book that an author is asking you to read/buy if you have a massive TBR. I sure as hell don't (sorry!)
A reader picking up (and buying, sure- that's nicer) should be worth a thousand tweets. And if it's not, I'm scared I'm doing this wrong!

So, you gathered I picked the second (and then adapted it to address a much wider topic)- I think a high number have discussed the third hot topic, you've probably seen lots more of it over this month... Many may be discussing the google reader DEATH so here goes my last thoughts:
I am not using bloglovin’. I’m Feedly & it bugs me how people don’t want to try Feedly just because they are happy with bloglovin’ but don’t see that it’s the same with me- I found Feedly & do I like it? Yes. I could yabber on about why it’s just as good (at least for me) but some have done it & they tend not to get far. Well, blogs, you can follow me via GFC (and therefore Feedly) or Feedburner. Please don’t ask about bloglovin’ or shove it down my throat in every new post that I can follow you via Bloglovin’. Only certain blogs (my blogger bud’s blogs) can get away with that this late after the news had been broken. I will unfollow; I have done so for this reason.
Yes, I’m a big cow but seriously... There's a choice for a reason! XD

April 27, 2013

Reviewing... [22] The Lost Girl

The Lost Girl is calling for lost readers... Even if you don't think you're lost perhaps you can be found (that's not a quote from the book but it does sound poetic like the book).
This is a quote though, as now you want one:
'You've always been our monster,' says Adrian. 'Don't ever forget that.'

Will she forget that?

Reviewing... [22]
(late review, FYI... Thought I'd post due to the post a week ago mentioning this).

Author: Sangu Mandanna (I haven't talked to her; she's lovely! This hasn't effected my review thought)

Source: Bought from Waterstones (it wasn't free or cheaper so when I say ‘worth the retail price’ it’s not a half-formed opinion). Recommended for: People who enjoy ethical issues being explored, those who liked Delirium (but not for the detail as I wouldn't say this goes in such the same way into the manufacture of the world) The Lost Girl is based on Frankenstein (which I haven't read). But we're going to read it in English (which I only half-hate -.-) We are reading it after this creative writing piece which if it had been reflective of Frankenstein would’ve most likely ended up Fan Fic...

The Lost Girl is Sangu’s debut dystopian and for her first book it slots really well into the genre, but equally it has its own ‘vibe’. The parts when dystopian was woven (pun excused please) most thickly was when the characters would perceive themselves to be a piece of somebody’s chess game... “I won’t be played with.”
*Bells ringing*
Should they be ringing?
It slots in well but,
that's because a new cliche was used...
That’s clearly Eva not wanting to be a part of anybody’s game... I wonder what that resonates with... But this time it is even more true. Not only is Eva’s identity a chess piece, but so is the facade that her life has become. Causing us to question identity, family & also helping us to see this world from different perspectives. At first Eva seemed ashamed about the uneasy relationship she had with her original. She wanted to be different and that was an OK thought- but soon that idea had to be squashed. I thought that Eva was a beautiful character who refused to be ironed out- and it’s very true that beauty is in the inside. I was upset for her and Amarra too- as I’ve said there were different perspectives to balance & this is what separates it from fictitious stories of this kind. It's definitely set roughly in this time. It doesn’t sound very different to how it is, or will be (for a while). As it isn’t as different one doesn’t experience the emotions of entering a new world which leave the reader speechless. However aspects of the Loom have tugged my heart strings. It's not meant to be a Sci-Fi it's meant to be a thought-provoking novel vivid in colour... There are twists, and as I don’t consider this is a twist I’ll mention it. She seemed to be in a sort of clich├ęd (yes, more of them!) relationship. Personally I don’t take in a plot where romance and action stop/start as well. It seemed to take some of the beauty away from the normal whereas such a relationship, between friendship & love, could’ve worked to the novel’s credit. However I just didn’t get into that aspect.
Your life is dangling by a thread.
In conclusion it’s a fascinating book that's neither black or white. Will you agree?...

April 25, 2013

Reviewing... [21] Girl, Aloud

Cass & Kass... Get it?
Sorry, on with the review (also talking about teen voices in my review wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Roberta at Offbeat YA who just has such in depth but non-spoilery reviews).

Reviewing... [21]

Emily Gale published by Chicken House
Source: Library (cracking on with those borrowed books, aren't I?)
Recommended for: Those who like books that surprise them (did you read What's Up With Jody Barton yet? No...? Well I linked it here as one of my favourite book reviews so you have to read it really).

So, I mentioned above I was going to talk about someone called Kass. She's rather special. Yeah, she's the main character and (talking about teen voices, ALERT!) her voice is absolutely realistic. I could ring her up right now & talk to her... I mean, she seemed that real. All the character voices were realistic in this book (teen perspective, here) even her Mum & Dad had realistic voices. In YA novels quite often we hear little about the parents as it's easy to get them off the scene. They might be workaholics or just too relaxed. There's lots of excuses authors use to avoid the parent/child dynamic. It causes me pain to see the death (literal or not) of so many fictional Mum's & Dad's. In this case it was far from "Mother& Father had baby. This baby is now an independent protagonist of this novel".
So, I was decently surprised to see that I had a teen protagonist on my hands, she had parents & it wasn’t all lovey-dovey. I didn’t expect that from this book... Especially as it wasn't Kass that was like:

I mean... It wasn't just Kass. It was like... everybody. Me, you, all characters...
P.S. If you've read this, don't you think Josh Radnor should play Paul Kennedy (if it was a movie)?
In fact, I didn’t expect a lot from this novel, I was mainly just interested in the twist on being a “TV star”, basically this isn’t what Kass wanted. I liked this book's inspiration. I mean it's not too bad to base a book on X Factor muse! The Voice would be better though (am biased as I watch it after Doctor Who).
The Voice didn’t exist then so there is no Will (yeah, I’m Team Will; I could easily write about both Doctor Who & The Voice just I’d probably include spoilers... Most people wouldn’t like The Voice spoilers). However, there is Simon Cowell. I'm gonna be transparent... I didn’t understand how the Simon Cowell/Kass conversations fitted in. I understand that it added character depth in some way (I mean we do sometimes have internal dialogues, ie. not with ourselves) but they popped up like every chapter. It met my expectations there, at least there was the focus of the X Factor (which turned out to be more of a sub-plot if you hadn’t guessed) that was hinted at on the cover & blurb.
The sneaky book deceived me in more than one way. I didn’t really expect a teen Bridget Jones’ humour extraordinaire to pop up. That's what makes Girl, Aloud so funny- Kass aspires to write a magazine column where she can lather on her sarcasm (and bitchiness, language in this book :L) on thick & tasty.
Is that how you like your Nutella (or your Kass)? If not, as I've said, there's another Cass. Despite the blurb, is he the love interest? No, Simon Cowell is.


Maybe. Or is that too shocking? A lot is; it's all realistic & just... beautiful. Such emotion, such realism, such dynamics in the book, such twists, such seriousness, such... actually, I'm bored of that word now XD So that's all from me!

Amy Bookworm (@Amy_Bookworm) rated Girl, Aloud:

Enjoy it if you read it, OK? :D

April 22, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions [#4] Blogging Longevity

Book Blogger Confessions returns... A week late Amy? Today isn't the 3rd Monday of the month. *shakes head* It's the... 4th! Gutted that I'm posting late, ain't ya?
Yeah... Who am I kidding? You book bloggers don't need my "confessions" about any topic really ;) But you're getting it! This week I wasn't opting out it because for me it’s been answered before and is sort of easy for me to say, honest! It’s just a week late because of other blogging events. Forgive me, blogging is a busy and not always organized thing. You know this... right?
Perhaps you'll join in one week then, or in the comments! Feel free to share, vent and offer solutions (politely) wherever, whenever. Monday's are best though ;)

Hosted by For What It's Worth and Midnyte Reader
How long do you see yourself blogging for? Do you think it's ok for a blog to evolve over time? For example: You may have started out as a book review blog but now your interest is in cooking as well. Do you incorporate that or start over?

You think I'd leave my blog EVER? Haha, no. I already said blogging is not always organized. How can I cope? Aargh! Especially with my blogger friends telling me about their Bookish OCD habits (3 blogs I follow posted this in the Rewind Top Ten Tuesday- yes, I do watch you meme :D) They don't help me in the slightest XD
Wait... off topic. Is Blogging FOREVER? No. That's why (organization). We’re not really scared about the internet disappearing... It can’t. It won’t abandon me. Like I won’t abandon you (even if you beg for me to, ha!)
I see myself blogging for... not really ‘about’ 253 days more. Not every day... I’ll give it up real soon if you even try & make me post that often. I will burn out. If I had to burn out from something I’d prefer it to be Twitter or Art or reading. Not blogging.
It’s not my fourth priority but it’s just not a long-term commitment. Believe me, just over 12 months isn’t a long time (it’s going to be longer). My blog won’t evolve as it’s spreading UKYA in 2013. Pretty specific, right? I am reviewing elsewhere- the blog shall be revealed officially in May (as in not on Twitter). I will read and review even it’s not here in 2014... Hopefully not just in 2014 but I can't really say. I aim to review others places & never leave my Goodreads/Twitter accounts to die. Dying accounts is NOT cool. Neither is blogs.
So... am I going to delete it? Nope.
It’ll be like an archive site probably ;) Or I’ll rename it. Who can tell? You can? The future is at your disposal? You're either the Doctor or Clara. Clara Who? The question.
By that I mean back to the confession. I'm really not doing well :/ I have little clue exactly but I am to NOT change my blog name or my blog specifications this year. If I leave you it won’t be long and it won’t be forever. So yes... I suppose one day I will start over. It’s not thanks to other interests (I am not good enough at Art to post it & you need a blog about Twitter? Uhh... no!)
So... books. I love ‘em. I need ‘em. I review ‘em.

Dear bookshelf AND kindle (now obviously- you know since Friday),
Til’ death do us part.
From Amy Bookworm

I'm done! Bye guys... For now *goes off to stalk blogs which I will do until 2113... just not 24/7*
How do you feel about a ghost haunting your blog? *wiggles eyebrows*

LINK UP if you haven't?:

April 19, 2013

Special: Feed My Reader Friday & Page 99 Test (of Lost Girl)

Ideally, today's...
(I say today's but I mean my first) and Page 99 Test (first here, more about that later)
would be somehow related... But they aren't. This isn't the 99th page of an ebook I fed my reader or an ebook at all... I'm not entirely sure if it'd work on all ebooks. Any I fed my reader? I don't know! If you're interested in seeing me try that someone let me know... But until then, here's the 99 page test first!
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about the 99 page test earlier... Especially as it was in February I discovered the 99 page test (created by Ford Madox Ford). The test makes complete sense- as you can see by the screenshot below 99 pages is often about a quarter of the way through (give or take a little percentage of the novel).



I was reading The Lost Girl and discovered the test on my 99th page. Isn’t that special? The test did work for this book! Woo! On this page it’s Mina Ma’s last conversation with Eva I believe- she says words which Eva will remember. She refuses to forget Sean, and that’s important for the book and its premise- what will Eva do? Will she betray a maker who didn’t have the right to give her life- and even less right to take it away? Or perhaps she’ll forget Sean. Or try to.
Anyway, Page 99 Tests can normally be found on Char's blog (@ From The Shadows I Review). I feel bad because I haven't linked to her for 3 weeks but that's the truth- she learnt about the test and doesn't use it as a reflection to see if it works (like I am here- believe me, it's not the only time I've used it since which is why I thought it might be more interesting to post about how much it can decide on the quality for me before). Hers is also often on a Friday & doesn't include any more spoilers than I am here! :D Check hers out...


And also check out my Feed My Reader books!

My kindle is the second one- Kindle Fire FTW (no offence obviously,
 it's about the books not the e-reader!)

Anyone can feed their reader (including yourselves as readers, ooo- pun!) if it's portable or you reading PDF's on a computer screen! So... I've mentioned my Kindle and it's applicable to me (this Friday meme that runs weekly) even if I'm not a Galleyer (yet) and try to cut down on Amazon freebies. Of course, sometimes I get giveaway copies & reviews ebooks too! There's lots of ways one acquires ebooks. It's too easy to get them really...
And the host of Feed my reader Friday, I Am A Reader, Not a Writer understands this!
So thank you meme creator! This is a blog hop, so feel free to visit the other blogs on the linky list at that blog (edit: I know... it's silly for me to join in a week there's no linky up, there may not be for a few weeks but leave a link below if you do one & I'll check it out- UNOFFICIAL LINKIES FTW!).

Even though I haven't done this meme before I'm not going to show you over 50 ebooks... You probably have seen many on the blog before.
I've decided to just mention the ones bought this month! I would mention the ones most anticipated but... well, I've probably read them or are. You can hear more about them later (:

TRUE by Rae Alvarez (B00C3U1PJ0) 
The School Gates by Nicola May (B009583W2G)
First Kiss by J. Tomas (B0096QBQNE)
Dare to Love by Rosemarie Naramore (B008GO53O0
Glamour (Rae Wilder #1) by Penelope Fletcher (B00480OPOK)
The Amulet (Custodian Novel #1) by Alison Pensy (B002P67HYO)

The Whispers of the Sprite (The Whispers series #1)  by
Joanna Mazurkiewicz (B009MBUW8I)
FRY by Lorna Dounaeva (B00BSGIDRM)
Fly Birdie by Jo Robinson (B009GDHVUE)


The Visitation by Jo Robinson (B009DX4JDY)

April 16, 2013

Book Promo [#6] Not Of Our Sky

A book by one of my best Twitter friends... She's not just friendly but a great author too!
and also look at the beautiful cover for this book by her. It's being revealed today. Make it a reveal in style?



RELEASED MAY 2013!
Series: ☑
THE LAST BOOK AS YOU CAN SEE IN THE SERIES LINK HERE:
   


JACOB fights for his life and Ellen faces her toughest decision yet: whether to finally reveal his true identity to his parents. For Jacob is one of the Watchers of Astrae, a race of beings with extraordinary powers, and sworn to protect the natural order of the universe. But Jacob has broken one of Astrae’s oldest laws and chaos threatens to cover the Earth.

Alex faces the fall into darkness that has long been prophesised. Her only ally is Makash, their bitter and twisted uncle, and Jacob has already succumbed to the shadows. Who will be there to catch her?

With the first part of the ancient prophecy already coming to pass, it seems their only hope lies in the second part – the riddle of the star that will bring them back to the light. But what does it mean? And why do Jacob, Alex and Ellen all dream of the same lighthouse, night after night?

~Not Of Our Sky 


P.S: Don't worry- the cover is going up tomorrow by request of Sharon. You'll see the review of more books by Sharon soon. Until then, read them yourself.
Get them here (kindle).

Have you heard...?
Say It With Books Indie-Self Published Author Event June 2013

April 13, 2013

Reviewing... [20] Sky Song

...This is the book you want to win. This is the book I wanted to read. I read it.

Reviewing [20]

Author: Sharon Sant
Recommended for: slightly pre-YA/YA (about 12-22).
Source: Kindle (free promotion on Amazon).
Prophecies have happened before?...
OK, well... we have guides for the person that's probably
had songs written about them 1000 years ago!
I was considering giving this 4.5 books as it was as short as a real novel can be. It just passed that short story line... But hey, Sharon doesn't like to waste her words. Perhaps she has a similar premise to One Thousand Words for the Trilogy XD
It worked. No section bores me and none of it seemed false or badly executed.
Another thing that seemed genuine was Sant's own race of Alien-type humans (they aren't time lords). She managed to create these and keep them as part of the novel, but not always, in perfect measure.
With astral-travel you manage to discover two worlds entwined with prophecy. Normally I'd say that's a boring idea, especially if one was Earth... But maybe the prophecy in Sky Song wasn't just are a way of upping the MC! Honestly, Jacob doesn't have to spend 100 pages denying it or searching for more information. Instead he realizes that although he, and everyone, thought he was a genius but he might have to take the 'Ioh For Dummies' pamphlet and read it at his wonderful school. (I like that school. The fact that guys like Luca are popular is actually interesting) He doesn't find that songs have been written about him (see above). If he did, who would let that go to his head? Not me.
As for Ellen... Coooor.
I don't really know if Ellen was popular or not but I might as well mention that's she the Crackle to the Snap & Pop. SNAP, CRACKLE... Uhh, Hermione. No, Ellen's not. You might be interested to know that Jacob is that intellectual one crossed with Harry from what I can imagine... She's certainly not Ron but perhaps she's a Ginny. In fact that might be Ellen's middle name.
Anyway, it's the dynamic that matters and this dynamic is effective, believable & you may see why... It's just easy to imagine the relationships and I love how they all remain level-headed most of the time (even when it seems like some heads don't contain only one mind). If they didn't I'd probably be very sad.
I don't know what I expected the trio to be like but they weren't what I imagined. They were a lot more easy-going and didn't deceive each other as if their life depended on it. I'm going to leave you guessing what it's like- I guarantee you'll love it! The relationship may not feel completely wrapped up (in fact it's probably more open that the plot) but it's in a series. On further thought, that's not just it. It means it's more realistic. Relationships don't "wrap up"- they're far more complex than destinies! Gosh.
What I am going to do is read the next one & I don't care that Sky Song didn't end with a killer cliffhanger. I'm left feeling that more would benefit me not just for the sake of it as such.
Are you fed up for trying to find a remedy for cliffhangers? Is it the next book?
Perhaps you should just pick up Sky Song by...
The Lovely Hybrid Book Queen.

Amy Bookworm rated this book:

April 10, 2013

Book Promo [#5]: WITH GIVEAWAY & INTERVIEW- Sky Song Trilogy

WELCOMING...

one of my best Twitter friends (and her books!).
You can follow her as part of the Rafflecopter (much more also) and win her books* too! Both Sky Song and Young Moon...

1  or  2
 
Sky Song covers. We're wondering... Which cover do you prefer?

They have already been released & Sharon Sant is looking to giveaway copies of both ebooks* to one lucky winner. So, you want two books*? That's right! You could win them (it's international)!

Anyway... I'm interviewing Sharon on the above book (yes, with two covers) and herself (you like that too... right?). If you'd like to find out more about her & these books go to Sharon's site.

True Or False?:

Luca was based on a childhood friend.
True! Luca was based on an Italian boy that was at my infant school. He was only there for a few months but I adored him. I never found out where he went when he left.

Jacob was originally a girl.
True! When I first had the idea for Sky Song, it was a story for much younger readers and the main character was a little girl. Lucky for Jacob that I shelved that idea…

Ellen is your extrovert character who is a vital ingredient in the potion that is the... SKY SONG TRILOGY**!
True and False. Ellen is definitely a vital ingredient. By the time you get to book 3, you’ll realise just how vital she is. I’m not sure she’s really an extrovert, though, that’s definitely Luca’s territory. But she is a very tough character with the strongest sense of morals of the three. She keeps the other two in check.

You dislike the process of creating minor characters who aren’t supposed to shout ‘IMPORTANT SOON!’**
True! I do quite dislike inventing minor characters. I always want to give them personalities and stuff to do when all they really need to do is walk past my MC on the street!

Questions:

Is there anything you'd like to say to your teenage self- would you mention being a published author? What would your past self think of that?
My teenage self would be running around the room screaming like a crazy person if I could tell her that people would be reading her books. I’ve always wanted to write or sing for a living. I was always too nervous doing public performances, so writing won. My teenage self was a little convinced she could be an actress too. She did auditions for a place on a performing arts course at Manchester University. The only problem was, she couldn’t act! Needless to say, she didn’t get the place. So I’d tell my teenage self to stick to the writing and not give up, because one day it will all work out.

Can you rate self-publishing and trad-publishing out of 10 as you’ve done both please?

Out of 10 is tough. I love self-publishing because you get to set your own deadlines and decide what you write and how you write it. If I wanted to write a time-travelling romance about howler monkeys on a boat in the Atlantic, I could, and nobody could stop me (it’s likely that nobody would buy it, but I could). I love the creative process, and the control you have over each project from start to end. The power to make it as perfect as I can lies with me and I get out what I put in, which makes me work that much harder. At the same time, traditional publishing is nice for that very reason – I don’t have to worry about formatting my book or designing a cover or laying it out for publication or even editing and proofing it (although I do). I can hand it over to the publisher and let them get on with it while I get on with writing another book. There’s a validation that comes with being published by someone else too, and that’s very good for the ego! If someone out there is prepared to risk money on putting my book out, I must be doing something right. So there are pros and cons for both.

What is the hardest part of {a book} to write?
The first draft takes the most concentration. They always get off to a flying start but if I don’t keep up the momentum they get abandoned. Making the plot fit together can be hard. For example, in the book I’m writing now, I know that the protagonist has to get down a certain dark alley to be attacked. You might think that’s a simple thing, but there has to be a convincing reason why she’d be in that dark alley, knowing what she knows about the man who may be lurking down there. So I need to come up with that reason and get her there. I still haven’t found it!

Describe your book in 10 words or less.
Love, loyalty, mortal danger, shocks, parallel dimensions** and time-travel.

Do you have a fictional crush and if so, who?**
Seriously, how can you even ask me that? I have hundreds! In fact, my crush list is legendary amongst my friends. It does include The Doctor, obviously, but only the last 4 regenerations. At a push, I might do the fifth Doctor too.

Which character (if any) is most like you?
It has to be Luca. He’s always joking, but he hides his insecurities behind his humour. He’s pretty easy going, though, and will help anyone if he can. He loves his family and he loves food. He’s a total flirt, but not in a sleazy way, he just can’t help
it. That’s all me!

If you don’t already know, what star sign do you think your main character is?**
This is quite hard. I have a vague idea that Jacob is one of the youngest of his year, so I’m thinking a July birthday. He’s not a Gemini; I know that for certain from the way he acts, so I’m going for Cancer. He has a strong love and loyalty for his family and friends and has a kind heart, and they are all traits of that star sign.

Thanks Sharon... I know my questions were weird & there were points I was really excited (marked as **) so I'm really glad I got a chance to throw my questions at you- even if the last one might've been nicked of you... And you called it hard ;) Who doesn't believe in Karma?

I just realized, talking about boyfriends of the fictional (I should've said bookish for a shorter list that wouldn't include Colin/Merlin, eh?) variety that I may end up having two called Luca... Yes, that's right folks! You can see my rather ancient list here. By ancient I don't mean that it includes a guy who is over a thousand years old... But I do love The Doctor! Who doesn't?


SKY SONG + YOUNG MOON
Series: ☑
BOOK 3 IS TO BE RELEASED SOON***
You can only not enter (or win) if:
- You're under 18 without parents permission (there is still only one entry per household).
- The email address we'll send these ebooks* supplied by Sharon doesn't belong to an individual over 13. Please use parent's with permission, again.
- If your entries are verified (not cheats). Winner will be checked.
- You contact us back with email address (we'll tweet you if necessary & get it DM'd) within 36 hours.

*Ebooks are provided in PDF. You are free to convert, but not redistribute, this PDF. If you have Sky Song already we may be able to reach an agreement of sorts! I say this because many will have it... It's touring in August & you get a free copy... if you get there NOW. Link on image.


There must be a reason it's booking up fast... What could it be?
What the man told him was too incredible to believe, yet Jacob did believe it. On some deep unconscious level he had always known it to be true. He was an invention, a fictional character. Jacob Lightfoot didn’t exist.
*** The giveaway will have ended by then so if you would like Book 3 early all you have to do is review these books before it comes out the next month. I promise, it's that easy! If you don't win you can always read the sample of Sky Song & see what you think (the whole novel is less than 200 pages so why just have a sample?)
I'd love to see some more reviews pop up & who knows what you'd get after just reviewing Sky Song?

If you have time after all that you can comment here too (if you don't have a Twitter you'll know it's helpful if you do!)  You don't have to, it's not like there's a choice between books or anything...
Think that's it! Be honest, support indie & good luck!

April 08, 2013

3 Things [6]: Books. Their Promos [#4]

Today I have 3 Things. Books.
I rated 1 + 2 4* & not just cos they are raising money for charity! I did get both for free and they were different reasons. Here are the mini-reviews:

#1: Promo + mini review [19]:
This is a short story. Please purchase it to show your support for the UK-based charity- Winston's Wish (which interestingly was mentioned in Black Heart Blue's afterword).

              What I Thought Of It:



In Tony Gilbert's The Cloud Diary we come to hear a six-year old boy's stream of consciousness regarding a cloud entering his life- this is discerned as becoming friends with the cloud through the means that imaginary friends are always made. The cloud isn't just here to listen but to be tangible and steadfast. It's a direct, stunningly sweet story of a boy gaining knowledge on a confusing world through quite a period of time and it captures you from the words 'I saw a cloud'. I think that even though its a lengthy amount of time it doesn't seem like it but still is quite moving. The lasting impression I gained was that rain isn't bad... It shows us that a soul understands. I think children will understand the morals and do recommend it.

Tony's Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

#2: Promo + mini review [19.5]

Both are lyrical so even if you don't like books show your support for this sort of a collection (but two) of short poetry that will help a different charity but one also worth the donation. I believe you can get a paperback but not via Amazon.



What I Thought Of It:
These really are quite well defined as hitting and tragic. I liked the first the most even though the last caused that beautiful cover. I wouldn't have picked it up for the first one but I appreciated the tangible creepiness of 'The Clock Girl'. Neither were light but both had a feeling of a good ending.
The Clock Girl has amazing imagery and repetition which added such splendour. In contrast you felt that 'Life is all but a vast array of Colours' was fresh and more emotive. It was reflective of life and felt sort of fragile but strong at the same time. Maybe what certain people feel like? It's fantastic!
Not many authors can write poetry and other novels, Dan obviously can as he used to work as a freelance writer.




Dan's Twitter Amazon Goodreads | Website |

#3:


As well as writing for magazines (there are several he has), Dan actually writes other collections- this time of short stories. It's a proper collection called 'The Caseworker’s Memoirs'. I have not read this title so my pitch isn't unique.

"Phobias can ruin lives, whilst some dictate and others poke fun, but the seven cases that keep Malcolm up at night range from the bizarre to the psychotic. This is Malcolm’s attempt to rid himself of his pent-up guilt, his emotional involvement with his former occupation, but perhaps most of all, his attempt to have a purpose in life."
See more here (including book trailer).

April 05, 2013

Reviewing... [18] Black Heart Blue

I read just her name and our birthday and then the day she'd died.**
There were no special words.

Reviewing [18]

Author: Louisa Reid*
Source: Library borrow.

Recommended for: **for those who've read the synopsis you know that well... it's not exactly a book aimed at kids... Teens, maybe. It's a crossover novel & I do recommend it to anyone who can handle it! Watch the trailer & see what you think.


*As always I link to GR with the hope you'll find them in other ways from there. With the Amazon & GR integration I may start linking to Twitter- not yet though even though it's been awesome to tweet Louisa Reid.

This book may just be ever so haunting after those horrifingly engaging 274 pages (that's the whole novel). I quite liked the depth and sombreness- it just was portrayed so well in contrast to the up points of the novel. There were some of those and I felt more for Rebecca as she seemed to be taking the blows. Rebecca may have Treacher Collins but she much less strange compared to Hephzi. It was perfectly normal that she was calling them 'The Parents'. That's what they were, at least. We don't just hear Rebecca's point of view on their life and family (if it can be called that... Dystopian families exist! It might not be a genre but hell on wheels- this is the family you won't forget).
Reid does write the novel with such vibrance. I choose that word as it's subtle and powerful at the same time. There's little clues and hints and moments when your breath is stolen.
I don't want to lighten the review too much with this GIF so...
"I keep my hurt hidden, remember?" [Quote]

Lots seem to think that The Father was worse than The Mother. I think the worse part is Louisa hasn't used a career or assumptions to The Mother. She just is plain pathetic. Like Hephzi finds, they are the people that annoy the hell out of me the most. Yes, Roderick is seen as a pillar of the community and I feel for the daughters discovery that people can be blinded- not just by love, but by expectations... and? I still feel like the Mother is the one that I couldn't even look in the eyes.
You may understand by the end... I wouldn't have believed even 75% through that I'd have hated The Mother more... I don't think Rebecca kept her hate in the end though. I think she just knew there was a reason she'd be born into a Dystopian family. That was the perfect wrap-up.
It's a novel... There are reasons. Big reasons why there is good and bad in this novel. I, as the reader, filled in those reasons aided by every paragraph of every page. The split narrative opened my mind as I found out more and I'm not exaggerating when I say I could probably compare the narrative's and keep on gushing but I already have to Louisa. It's perfectly written, the mix of characters in the Village (including Archie + family) is astounding & I highly recommend you at least watch the trailer as I've mentioned it before...
I honestly can't fault Black Heart Blue; it deserves every fragment of the stars given...



Amy Bookworm (@Amy_Bookworm) rated this book:

April 03, 2013

Reviewing... [17] Endless (Cresent #1)

...I will not finish Endless. Wait, sorry. This is the review. Which means it wasn’t Endless, despite the title... and my thoughts.
...See the review.

Reviewing [17]


Author: Matt Bone
Source: From Astro Impossible books as a runner-up prize (discovered through goodreads- firstreads giveaway)
Recommended for: people who like the following books- GenesisThe Name of the WindEvery Other Day and also Jack Croxall (because we discussed it!)


It’s a bit of a shocker that although I did start understanding a ton of what was happening in Part 2 it would take half the book until I could have correct conviction that something was going to happen (and I didn't know this, but here's a BONUS: this book doesn't end on a cliffhanger!). I was asked why this book seemed to be taking me a while (a question I cannot blame anyone for asking) and my answer was not that this was a bad book. It’s not.
So y'know... It IS good but the chapters are pretty darn long (it seems on the kindle at least where I can't flick to see the next chapter start otherwise it'll mess up).

Part of the reason Endless took me quite so long was that Matt kept breaking this *points at heart*
Sort of... I was a bit like this:

 photo pout.gif
Why do you have to use the relentless tragedy technique? ARE YOU SHAKESPEARE Matt?
Yes... Clarification is needed, I did compare Endless to Shakespeare just because it does have drama and lots of stuff (aka. paragraphs full of words) that didn't make sense to me... Shakespeare made up words and phrases... Matt just uses ones I don't know... In other words... thank goodness I was reading it on a kindle (a built in dictionary is a fab resource)!
So, we've discussed Endlessnessy* and the massive chapters plus the tragedy/drama/dystopia/romance/fantasy/sci-fi crossover fiction element... Now I need to recommend that the subtitle to 'Endless' is...
Clever Characters.
I'm not kidding. Things kept happening which had quite a lot of potential- but perhaps I was expecting a predictable story with characters who do the stupid thing... It should be a good thing that traps are lain & not stepped into... But you have to ask... Why did the author leave that trap we thought they'd go into? Maybe I was just imagining these traps and shouldn't have been confused by their actions (you'll get what I mean very near the end)... Remember, these are just my thoughts.
If you think there are absolutely no comparisons between Matt & Shakespeare's writing that's fine. If you do, I'm glad you're not just focusing on the differences (there are many too- I don't literally mean he is Shakespeare).

I think the characters are timeless and in depth, not rotten at the core but they don't have a heart of gold either. Some of them just haven't been woken up from their mindset (or part of it, the flawed part). obviously, flaws are human & characters just aren't realistic without them... It was impressive!

*yes, this is a made-up word. Endlessnessy sounds right though... Doesn't it?

Amy Bookworm (@Amy_Bookworm) rated this book:

April 01, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions (#3) - Blogging and real life...

Perhaps this isn't just a Book Blogger Confession post (as seen the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month)... It's also a 3 things: Feature post.

Hosted by For What It's Worth and Midnyte Reader
Feel free to share, vent and offer solutions (politely).

How does blogging effect your *real* life? Are friends and family supportive? Do you find that blogging cuts into family time? How do you strike a balance between the two?

Probably a lot of time is spent blogging and doing things for my blog but that doesn't matter too much to my family (I believe) as when it's a big family thing I put the book and computer away & support my family like they support me with my blogging. Mum sometimes reads my posts and discusses it, she's a Bookworm too! Ashleigh has also seen my blog and read some of my reviews... The guys of the family are less bookish and that means they can't understand as well... Striking a balance between family and blogging isn't so hard- schoolwork and blogging as a balance is harder... Y'know all about that though too! Work & blogging... Do you find that harder as obviously they are closer priorities? Family is the biggest one and it isn't close. If my family need me then I'm not blogging. Blogging may cut into time when I could be having family time but it's great as I'd get fed up of quality time and it wouldn't be quality anymore.
Even if I thought that my family weren't having enough hobby time or enjoying themselves with time for other things due to my actions I would cut down and act... differently. However I don't believe I'm doing much more than other teens. Book blogging might be different (depends how different, eh?) but I don't keep it within my family. I don't want EVERYONE to know but Mum encourages (or rather, does it herself) sharing and even if people don't know they are aware I love reading. Some just think I review, or tweet. Most people know some of it.
I'm at an age where I really am trying to find my... not really 'self' but elements- like hobbies! I'm sort of an ambivert and I can honestly spend whole days offline or whole days online. There's plenty of days that are in the middle but not so much in the holidays! I obviously have, as you'd have guessed by above, school-related things that keep me busy! What are holidays and weekends for then? Pajama days? Yes. Blogging? Yes. Tweeting? Yes. Reading? Yes. Homework? hmm... yes!
If it's a hobby I'm wasting my time with I don't mind. I've done that with people, clubs, other sites and the list goes on. One thing I like about blogging is you don't have to please anyone with 'fakeness'. Many authors and fellow bloggers love honesty & as I'm so good with that I'm using this as a stepping stone.
I hope to have other stepping stones which are things I love as much as this- I know family is one of the things on my path & they needn't be an obstacle. Hopefully I'll take them with me on my various journeys but I can't take them everywhere and all the time! I don't need to find them and turns out...
I didn't need to find you! You found me and my honesty (with added cheese for this confession). Wait, confessions? *cough* The 3 things? *cough*
That was an April Fools- I had two things for you... And this is the next one:



MY QUARTERLY UPDATE! :D (NO-CHEESE STYLE!)

Firstly... I've been having some freebie books and swag arrive recently- not a lot, mind. This means that I'd like to thank those bloggers, authors & publishers who have made it possible. You win some, you lose some! I'm just counting my blessings...
S = Squishy (tweet!)
And I must have some because...
I've got lots of twitter followers & love discussing everything from A-Z (quite literally if you know about April's tradition!)



I've done...
2 x Levels of The Woman Challenge (that's more than half- see SUPER GIRL post + tag, short stories not included)
3 x Book Blogger Confessions posts (including this one! There were 3- don't you forgive me!)
x 3 Thing posts.
and quite a lot of reviews too! I'm ahead of schedule and have read more I expected, here are the reviews - some count towards women author challenge too, doesn't include short stories even if tagged.

I've added...
Feedly to my blog!
Reasons to follow me via feedly (there are 3... can you think of any more? Click to follow!)

I've watched...
Doctor Who
Voice UK

I've read...
16 British books up to last Malorie Blackman month (that basically means I've reviewed all of those- you can expect a review on Wednesday! In the mean time this is my goodreads challenge, also short stories not included!)
12 books I own (does include Challenging Zed & all of these are British, of course!)...

So what next you may ask...?
Reading: Bridget Jones: Edge Of Reason, Black Heart Blue*, Sky Song, Girl, Aloud, Zelah Green (books 1+2), Young Moon, Afterlife Academy and more Avaliable-to-review (because I'm reviewing some of these books somewhere special... this is roughly the right order!)
...Now you're thinking what is also to come is a reveal of where I shall be co-blogging... When I set up a blogger archive you'll find out.

So, how are you?
Leave me your comments to let me know what you've been up to! Non-bookish things are allowed but remember in whatever you want to discuss: NO SPOILERS ALLOWED.
Bookish love ~ox

*that author does love my honesty. I twitter on like I've nothing better to do. I'm not linking another tweet though so you'll have to go & find it if you want it (hint: Louisa).

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My favourite hashtag.