Tag Archives: Indie authors

The Dead Club by Manuel Ruiz–Review by Bethanie

The Dead Club Manuel Ruiz

 

The Dead Club

by: Manuel Ruiz

Genre: Middle School Sci-Fi

 

First of all, don’t let the title sway you away from reading this great book. When I was first asked to review this book, the title caused me to question it. However, I am so glad I read it!

It is not very often I run across a book that has so many different elements mixed in it and yet made an easily flowing story out of it. Mr. Ruiz did it! I was very pleased!

There were parts that made me laugh and parts that made me a little teary and still others that kept me riveted to my seat. I loved this book! Another Bethanie’s Fave has been found. Thank you Mr. Ruiz for sharing your book with me!

The thought of eternity scares many people. In this book it was turned into a continuing adventure. I loved going with the young characters in this book as they fall into a Ghost Town, meet a character named Elvissarian whom was a Memphus and be able to ride in a Cadillac Convertible with the Grim Reaper at the wheel. Grim was my favorite character! Some of the things he did in this book were nothing like what one might associate with him. I loved the spin on the underworld. Reality and Mythology mix and make it one of the best stories I have read in a long time!

I would recommend this book to anyone. Even told my son he would probably enjoy it too.

Thank you Mr. Ruiz for sharing your fantastic book with me!

 

~Bethanie

 

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Filed under Adventure, Authors, Bethanie's Fave, Bethanie's Fave Authors, Middle Grade Readers, Sci-fi, Writers

Welcome to the new Bethanie’s Books

This site is dedicated to those indie authors who love to write books for middle-schoolers. The contact form is on the ABOUT page. Have a book you think would be great for this age group? Let me know by filling out the contact form. I currently have reviews all the way out through March, but if you don’t mind the wait, let me know about your book so I may review it. I look forward to hearing from you!

~Bethanie

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Filed under Middle Grade Readers, Reading, Reviews Advice, Uncategorized

One Hit Wonders (One Series Wonders)

There have always been those bands that have that amazing one hit that sends them to the top of the charts and then they’re never heard from again, or they try and they don’t succeed, nor try again. It’s the same with some authors. The authors of Harry Potter and Twilight are prime examples. Did they write other books? Well, yes, of course, but do you remember those other books? Some may and some may not.

In my opinion, Harry Potter and Twilight will be forever. I am a huge fan of both, however I noticed they seemed to have no desire or lost part of it when they became “famous”. It makes me wonder if being a NYTBS author is so stressful that they lose their want to write again. What happens to those that have hit it big?

I have noticed that Indie authors never lose their want to write. It seems to be a part of them. It becomes almost like breathing. If we happen to hit it big, then great, but we keep writing because ideas keep coming into our minds. I hope Indies never lose their desire.

Would I love to become an NYTBS author, of course, but so would many others. I read Indies because, to me, there is always something to learn from them. There are so many ways to tell a story. Pick yours and run with it. And as always, keep reading, keep learning from others. Keep striving for your goal, never stop writing, never stop improving! Happy reading and writing!

~Bethanie

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Please, Please, Please Read the Requirements for Reviews

When a book reviewer takes the time to give requirments for a book to be reviewed, then courtesy would be to read what he or she takes the time to write.

I LOVE Indie authors and I don’t like to turn them down, but I have had to turn down several lately. They either didn’t see the requirements, which are ON THE ABOUT PAGE, or just skimmed through them. I would hope that they just didn’t blow them off. I am a teacher. I like to find books that students might enjoy but would never see if I didn’t review them, because they are not on the shelves of the “big name bookstores”. There is more to life than Shakespeare, although I love Shakespeare, and will include his works in literature studies.

There are authors like Ivan Amberlake, Rebecca Graf, L. Benedict Dunn IV, Aaron Denius Garcia, Pembroke Sinclair, C.P. Bialois, James Calbraith, Haley Fisher, and SO MANY MORE. I have so many that I love.

I look forward to getting book review requests, but am highly disappointed when an author sends me a book that does not meet the requirements. I am an author myself, and I know how important it is to get others to read your book, but as long as you go about it the right way it all works out. I wish you all the best! Happy Reading!

~Bethanie

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Busy as a Bee

Wow, I thought summer would be a time to relax. Not so.

I promise I haven’t forgotten any of you. I am working on several books and will have the reviews up soon. Celia and Cedric’s Adventures will be next.

Hang in there with me. Thank you so much!

 

~Bethanie

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The Gift of the Quoxxel by Richard Titus–Review by Bethanie

The Gift of the Quoxxel Richard Titus

 

The Gift of the Quoxxel by Richard Titus

Genre: Fantasy

Age Group: Middle Grades

 

What an imaginatively whimsical book. It was one of those that made no sense but still drew me into the story. It is unlike anything I have ever read.

Most books make sense and have some kind of storyline. This one really didn’t. Now, that is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. Surprisingly, I did, with every strange and wonderful moment. Most read to get away from the real world. This book will definitely have you doing that. One, because you will be trying to figure out what is going on, and the other because it just transports you to this beautiful and colorful little island of Nibb.

There was nothing bad in it at all, except for  the character named Yill. He got on my nerves. He reminded me of a swarm of gnats buzzing around my head and face. I kept wanting to swat Yill away.

I was slightly broadsided by this book. There was a story, but there wasn’t a story. Yet, I still loved it. The power of words is amazing.

It is kind of hard to review a book that you cannot find a story in. At the same time, I didn’t want to put it down either. Any minute it would all come together. In a way it did. ❤

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Pick it up and read it. Tell me what you think about it. Thank you, Mr. Titus! Happy reading!

 

~Bethanie

 

 

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Filed under Author Favorites, Children's Books, Fantasy, Middle Grade Readers, Reading

An Author’s Heart

I have been many things in my life. I started off as a teacher and taught for fifteen years. Then I became a wife. Then I became a mother. Then I became a writer, an author, an editor, and now a book reviewer. I have read some of the most amazing books.
The amazing books that I am speaking of, most have come from independent authors. I would love to see them succeed and show how talented they are.
The others are the millionaire authors. Some are really good authors. However, some of those have decided that their name alone sells books. That is not true. The content and the heart of any author is what makes their books, not their name.
I believe Indie authors have an incredible chance to become known names. The fact remains, though, that once they become known, what happens then? Do they turn into those that believe their name is their “power” and forget what made them start writing in the first place? I have seen some that haven’t, but I have seen even more that have.
Never forget where you began, because the minute you do, you are on your way to the end.
Just some thoughts for the day. Happy writing!!
~Bethanie

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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.

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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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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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Hello Book Fans

Review requests are stacking up. My review basket is getting full. I am excited though. So many good books that I have discovered from many different genres. If you are looking for a review for your book please contact me. If it meets my criteria then I will be more than glad to review it. I am working on Genesys by Aaron Denius Garcia right now. So far, so good. Will have his review up soon. Thank you for reading my reviews, and as always I wish all of you the best.

~Bethanie

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