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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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So it has come to my attention . . .

It has come to my attention that there are some authors–Indie authors–that could be a little upset with me. However, I will not change my requirements for this blog. I have, however, made a decision. I will create a new blog for books that a more mature audience might read. This blog will stay middle-school and Children’s books. My new blog will make its appearance soon. Until then I will keep a list of the authors I have had to turn down for reviews. My new blog will be for readers ages 16 and up. The two main requirements on the new blog will remain:  no sexually explicit books or books that use explicit language. So, coming soon, look for Everley Dawn’s Novel Reviews. I have several I am going to move from my YA blog to my new blog. Thank you for your patience!

~Bethanie

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Earth 5 by Hustin Lindenhall–Review by Bethanie

Earth 5

Earth 5

By: Hustin Lindenhall

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Parallel worlds and I go way back. I love amazing stories that go with them and this was definitely one of them! He made the unbelievable, believable.

This was not your run-of-the-mill parallel world story. It was thought-provoking in an eerie way. The one song that kept running through my mind as I was reading this book was Imagine–by John Lennon. As a matter of fact, Imagine could be the theme song for this book. It is a make-you-think book, just like John Lennon’s song is a make-you-think song. Would there be any need for competition if there was nothing to compete for? Of course not. If we all had one goal we would all work together to reach it.

I think Mr. Lindenhall is our start, at sixteen he has created an amazing story. Maybe there is still hope for our Earth after all.

I wish to thank Mr. Lindenhall for sharing his novel with me.

WRITING AND STORYLINE

The writing was kind of jumpy to begin with, but as soon as the story started getting into the main part it quit being jumpy. The storyline is rather unique. It was almost as if this really happened. He had me believing it. Colorado does have a tendency to be magical and who wouldn’t want to take in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. I have been there and would love to go back.

Warning–This book does have some expletives in it. I believe the story could have been just fine without them. Some feel the need to use those in their stories. I think they can be taken out. Some may agree and some may not. It is their choice.

If asked, I would recommend this book. It had more deep thoughts in it than the most engrossing conversation with the most intelligent human on Earth. There are so many talented young people and I believe I have found one in Hustin Lindenhall. Never stop writing. I look forward to reading the next book! Happy reading!

~Bethanie

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

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The Fifth House by Andy Goldman–Review by Bethanie

Fifth House Andy Goldman

The Fifth House

by: Andy Goldman

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

 

Well, I will have to admit that I liked this book better than the first–much more action in it.

In The Fifth House, the way the story was laid out was excellent. Mr. Goldman wrote it from the two main characters’ perspectives. Each chapter built upon the other. Although frustrating at times, where he would end the chapter, I couldn’t put it down. I had to know what happened next. It kept me reading until sometimes the wee hours of the morning. The action never stopped, even through the ending sentence of the book. However, cliffhanger, once again.

I really don’t like cliffhangers. Nonetheless, it is each author’s choice to how they end their books.

CHARACTERS

I was pleased to see much more depth to the background stories of the characters. It gave me a much bigger interest in some and hate others even more.

WRITING AND STORYLINE

The writing and storyline this time were fantastic, however there was more profanity used in this book and a few scenes that were questionable but turned out okay. It kept you guessing with a few major surprises. It also made me want to scream at times too. The jumping between character perspectives was good but happened at some of the most inopportune times. You had to keep reading.

Good authors do that. They make the reader unable to put the book down. There were times, though, that it frustrated me enough to where I had to take a break from reading it. I was right back at it sometime later. It called to me, there was no way to stop reading it altogether. Happy Reading!

 

~Bethanie

 

 

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How can one of the best series I have ever read leave me heartbroken and happy at the same time?

From the beginning of this blog, I promised I wouldn’t leave a review on here that was one of the authors of the “BIG FIVE”. I will still keep that promise. However, I never said I wouldn’t share my thoughts. So here it goes. I just finished a series where the main character–the heroine–doesn’t make it. I am not going to tell you what series it is.

I am not one that likes surprises, usually, but I really wasn’t surprised at the way this series ended. The end left me heartbroken because she was the backbone of the whole series. At the same time, it left me happy because one of the main people that could never leave her mind, she was reunited with, in the afterlife. I read a ton of symbolism into this book, but that may not be what the author was going for, so I will keep that to myself.

I loved this author’s novels because they always lead back to the same thing. You cannot achieve peace until people stop thinking one is better than the other. Killing never made the world a better place.  The end of killing is what made the world a better place, but that will never stop.

You know, at one time, the dystopian genre was never where I would step foot. Even just the hearing of the word dystopian made me want to run the other way. Dystopian and dysfunctional in my opinion mean the same thing. Don’t we all live in dysfunction? Don’t we all live in a dystopia? Is your life the perfection that you always dreamed of? We cannot achieve peace for ourselves until we accept that life–if you will pardon the cliche–“life is not always perfect”.

Are there perfect times? It depends on how you take a situation and how you can use it to strengthen yourself or weaken yourself. It is always your choice. God granted us that–human choice.

Life throws curveballs that we sometimes never see coming, or maybe we do see them coming and refuse to catch them. Since it is baseball season here in the United States, I will leave you with this. When a pitcher throws a curveball, the batter is going to do his best to hit that ball. Sometimes he doesn’t and misses an opportunity. Sometimes he hits a home run. Sometimes he hits it and only makes one base. However, I think I would swing pretty much at anything because at least I have tried, and trying is better than not trying.

Thank you for allowing me to clear my head.

Who knows? Maybe, one day, the words that God has given me the talent to create, the brain to use to the best of my ability, the fingers to be able to write down, will hit a home run. I will never quit trying. I can never quit trying!

Happy writing,

Bethanie

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Taken by Erin Bowman–Thoughts by Bethanie

Taken by Erin Bowman

Taken

By: Erin Bowman

Genre:  YA Dystopian–Action

Remember that project that I had eluded to a few posts ago? Well, this begins the first in that project. Erin Bowman picked up by Harper Teen, I found this book on the VERY DISCOUNTED shelf at my local bookstore. I bought it for $3.99 discounted from $17.99. She didn’t hit the NYTBS list so evidently Harper Teen didn’t think she was worth giving a lot of press to. It really made me angry.

This author is an excellent writer. The storyline was incredible. I found out THROUGH AMAZON that there are four other books in this series. You better believe I will be buying them. Ms. Bowman did not get the amount of press she deserved. Again, a case of not NYTBS material, her “BIG Publishing Company” left her to fend for herself. Completely unfair! She has now become a jewel in the sea of the books I have found that have excellent writing and storyline behind them. Pick it up. If you enjoy high action and strange happenings, you’ll enjoy this.

The other books that are in this series:

Frozen (taken 2)       Book 2 of Taken series            Forged (taken 3)        Book 3 of Taken series       Stolen (taken novella)     Taken Novella

So, have you ever heard of her? If you have and I am amiss in saying they don’t give her enough press, please tell me. However, I have never seen this book or anything about the author that wrote it until I saw it in my local bookstore. I get new release notices all the time from Harper Teen and have never once seen these. The Third book–Forged–is scheduled for release in April or May of this year. Happy reading!

~Bethanie

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Spirit Within Club by Sahar Sabati–Review by Bethanie

Spirit within club--book cover

Spirit Within Club

Genre: Middle School age

By: Sahar Sabati

 

I am not sure how to take this book. It has a great message to share, but it also goes against the message it is trying to share.

Its main theme is to be accepting of everyone, yet the Spirit Within Club didn’t. The author seemed to pick on three groups, but I will not reveal them here. I will let the reader read the book and choose for themselves. There always has to be a bad guy or a group that is bad, yet no one tried to find out why the others were the way the were. If the book’s main idea is unity, then how can we have unity if we choose to leave some out?

I admire the author’s trying to make everyone love the book by buying into what everyone seems to believe–one group causing the problems, but it is not just one group. It is all groups fighting against the others because they believe what they do. She also brought out the fact that it is engrained by the parents of these children, and I will not say it isn’t. Who are our first teachers? OUR PARENTS.

WRITING AND STORYLINE

I believe the author meant this book to be rather religious, and I have no problem with that. I wish more would follow and stand by the morals of a decent society. The students in this book did. The way the students rally around Zeke both warmed my heart but made me cry at the same time. So I cannot and will not say this book is a bad book, because it isn’t. The main theme of accepting everyone as they are is a wonderful one, but maybe revisit what acceptance of all, the way they are and make the difference where you can in others lives. Age doesn’t matter.

For a seasoned writer, the writing could have been better, but if this is the first book the author has written, then they can always improve.

I will close with this. The writer was spot on with only taking one to make a difference and we all must take that first step. Well, seven friends have taken that first step. Who and how many can we add to it?

 

~Bethanie

 

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

 

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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.

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

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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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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