Monthly Archives: February 2015

I Am Starting a Project

So, I have a rant today.

I originally posted this reply on WP site Publishing Insights to the article– Self-Publishing: Blessings and Woes:

After reading all of the posts on this, I agree with everything except the statement that “anyone can write a book”. That is one thing I will completely disagree with. Can anyone put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and come up with a book? Yes, anyone can.
However, writing is not just putting thoughts down on paper. Writing is an art. As authors, you have to become your character. You have to react the way they would react and say what they would say, create the world they are going to live in and make it believable. You have to live the experience in the book, whether through your imagination or through real life.
You pour your heart and soul into your character or characters and make them a real and believable person even though they are fictitious. You have to make your reader hear their voice and see through their eyes, as if they were living it with the character in your book.
You do not publish a book on your second draft. Give me your seventh, tenth, or fifteenth draft. I want the one that is so very polished that nothing makes me stumble through it.
I LOVE Indie authors. I have found so many that write better than the highest paid, traditionally published, agented authors. Yet if they tried to find an agent, they couldn’t because most agents don’t care enough to read what they have written.
Take J. K. Rowling, famous author of Harry Potter. She sent her manuscripts to so many agents and it was rejected so many times. Why? I wonder how many agents are kicking themselves now.
The negative aspect, though, is that everyone does write a book and publishes their second draft and that is where we have those that think they can make a million dollars with their first published book. When they see it doesn’t work that way, it is tossed in the waves of the sea of self-published books and their rolling waves cover those that are AMAZING authors.
My purpose, as a reader, is to find those shimmering jewels that the sun catches just right. My purpose as a reviewer is to tell others about the jewels I have discovered. I must try and calm the endless waves of water and sand as it sifts through my fingers where lo and behold I find the jewel.
Self-publishing is a hard route to take. Those that do and create a work of art in written words, I applaud them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So here is my idea. Ever wonder what happened to those agented and traditionally published authors that didn’t make the NYT Best-Sellers’ list or any of the best sellers lists? I often have, so I am going to find out.

Everyone is so preoccupied with the idea that you have to have an agent to make it. I cannot say whether that is true or not. I have seen many authors who were agented and picked up by one of the “Big Five” or ten or twelve, I’ve lost count. I am speaking of those authors that are part of the big publishing houses, that didn’t make it. I have also seen some that did make it to NYTBS list that should never have been on it in the first place. Those are the ones I wonder about.

Just because you are picked up by a big publishing house does not guarantee that you will make it in the big time. Just because their book is on NYTBS list does not mean it should be there.

I walk into my local bookstore and look at the shelves that I frequent and there are some authors on those shelves that I have never even heard of before. One in particular was Erin Bowman. She wrote Taken. Guess where I found her book–on the major discount shelf. It was a hard back book and it only cost me $5. I figured, why not. It was published in 2013. I bought the book in 2013 and am just now picking it up to read.

Just recently I found out that the next two books are being released in March and April of this year. I only saw this info on Amazon. I get e-mails all the time from HARPER TEEN a month before telling me about new books that are being released. Never once did I see Ms. Bowman’s books on those newsletters.   She was picked up by HARPER TEEN on the first book and I think the next two are with them too, but am not sure. So here is my question–Why haven’t I heard about these new books?

As a top publishing house wouldn’t you want to make ALL your new books known, instead of the choice few, big-time money making authors? So the conclusion I have come to is that the big publishing houses have a tendency to hold back their NON-NYTBS list authors. This gives me another reason to dislike them and not trust them. This makes me cheer and pull for the underdog–the self-published and unpublicized. Have I seen a poster at the front of my local bookstore about Erin Bowman’s books? No.

Is her publishing company helping advance her career? No, not in my opinion, yet another reason to dislike them. So, my friends in the INDIE group, don’t give up, but make sure what you put out there is the best of the best. I believe in you!

~Bethanie

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Dealing with Devils by Pembroke Sinclair–Review by Bethanie

Dealing with Devils

Dealing with Devils

by: Pembroke Sinclair

Genre–YA Paranormal

Okay so now we have gone from a tennis match to a volleyball match where things have definitely become a little more involved. Many more people have become involved. I was kinda of hoping for a little more than what I got. I do however like volleyball better than tennis. It is much more exciting and better competition. Dealing with Devils is the sequel to The Appeal of Evil.

Am I angry? Yes, more than I could have imagined I would be. However when Dealing with Devils one will become angry. They are the bad guys, but Ms. Sinclair has once again made me walk the fine line between love and hate. I want to hope that Katie will not disappoint me and continue on with her original plan. I believe if anyone can do it, she can. Anyone can change, right? I have to believe that will happen. That goes for both sides. Humanity falls between the realms of good and evil. You choose what you want to be. My only hope is that their choices make me love them instead of hate them.

Is there a middle ground between love and hate? I hope within the next book Ms. Sinclair shows me there is. I do not like to be left hanging yet again.

Wow, talk about a triangle. Of course, I believe now it has become a pentagon. Oh how fitting. I just realized that.

Writing and Storyline

Once again Ms. Sinclair had written a superb story. At first it was irritating so it took me a few chapters to get into it, but once I did, I finished it within a day. It is one of those books that you can fool yourself into thinking just one more chapter and then I’ll go to bed. NOPE. I thought that at least ten times, until I found myself finishing the story. If you like angels and demons, you are definitely going to like this book.

I will say this, HOORAY!! for the last paragraph. I hope he can help her see what is actually happening. I kind of thought something as I have been reading these books. What if Katie’s boyfriend is both? How wild of an ending would that be? Maybe that is why Ms. Sinclair makes us love both the good guy and the bad guy. Just a thought. Happy Reading!

~Bethanie

I was given an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No monetary exchange was made.

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Filed under Author Favorites, Paranormal, YA

Two More Books Ready to be Released

So, normally, I don’t write about my own books, but I am excited about the release of these next two books, because that now finishes the series The Saga of Lost Souls. As authors, we all know the blood, sweat, and tears that go into writing a book and the huge satisfaction of finally finishing it. My two new books will be out within the next week. I do not put reviews out on my own books. I think that is bad work ethic. So don’t worry, you won’t see anything like that on my site. Well, thank you for listening.

I am getting ready to read Dealing with Devils by Pembroke Sinclair. That will be my next review up. It is the sequel to The Appeal of Evil.  Have a great week and Happy Reading!!

~Bethanie 

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Monster Squad: The Iron Golem by Christian Page–Review by Bethanie

Monster Squad Iron Golemn

Monster Squad: The Iron Golem

by: Christian Page

Genre–Middle-Grade Sci-Fi

I must say that this was a very unusual book. It took every part of science fiction and wove it into something fun, comical, dramatic, and unlike anything I have read before. Mr. Page took something resembling an Avengers comic book and turned it into a novel, I was waiting on Captain America to be the narrator.

It was really strange to read this novel. Although no pictures, it turned into comic book form in my mind as I read it. It was also a very well-crafted, middle-grade novel, something I think middle-graders would enjoy reading. It was never void of action.

Superpowers, time-travel, well-known monster-related names. This novel has it all. I loved Mr. Page’s references to the older, well-known names such as Stoker, Frankenstein, and I promise I have heard the name Daschle Gaunt before, I just cannot place it in the realm of monster lore. Forgive me for those of you that might know exactly who it is. If you do, then you know what part of this novel contains, and forgive me for the possible spoiler. However, the only familiarity is the names, not for what they are known.

When reading this novel it was hard to put it down, but unfortunately my eyelids closing won out on that one, and I found myself with my iPad in my lap the next morning. The book was well-written for the middle-grade ages. It made me wonder if Mr. Page had a group of middle-graders cheering him on as he wrote it.

I am not one to give the story away by telling you what happened at every turn. I prefer the reader to find out for themselves what the story is about. So read it, parents or children. You will like it!

Storyline and Writing

I loved the way he wrote characters of different countries. Mr. Page made sure the reader knew these characters held the dialect of their country. They were very convincing. The storyline of the book was choppy. I believe I would call that the only drawback., but it helped explain other parts of the book. It jumped around to different times, then would go back to the main story. That was aggravating, but understood as I read further. So don’t stop reading. I promise it all turns out in the end. The writing only had a few errors in it, but nothing that took away from the story.

As far as my reading of it, I am new into the sci-fi genre, but with each new book I read in that genre it is definitely growing on me. Monster Squad: The Iron Golem was no exception. Although it didn’t quite end like I would have liked it too, it was still a very good story. At least there is another book after this one. Maybe it will end like I hope.  My favorite character was Dash. 🙂  Happy Reading!

~Bethanie

I was given a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No monetary exchange was made.

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Filed under Middle Grade Readers, Reading, Sci-fi--Up and Coming