Tag Archives: writing

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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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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Editing Rant

Now, before anyone gets bent out of shape, it is not the Indies that I am speaking of. Very surprisingly, I have seen more HUGE editing mistakes in the BIG publishing companies–Random House, especially–than I have in all the Indie books I have read or have been reading.

Now, let’s think about this for a moment. Did they fire all of their editors? They claim they are so much better than the indie authors’ self-edited works. Well here’s a bee for your bonnet. They’re not.

Lately I have read a mixture of books, some Indie and some big companies. Ready for this. The Indies’ books are better edited than the big companies. I am not quite sure what is happening. It honestly used to be the other way around. Could it be that Indies take more pride in their work? Could it be that the big companies just don’t care anymore? Could the tides be changing?

I am thinking, yes, to all the above. The big companies need to watch it. Put out poor works and you get poor profits. Put out works that someone has taken pride in and you get the best of the best. Rant over.

THANK YOU INDIE AUTHORS!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!

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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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.

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

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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The Least Envied by Sean DeLauder–Review by Bethanie

The Least Envied Kindle                                The Least Envied Paperback

 

 

The Least Envied by Sean DeLauder

Genre: Mixed

 

Sooo many words. Words have power, they can cause one to fail, they can cause one to succeed, they can even make one become a hero. Without words we would know nothing. There would be no history–American history or world history, no amazing Greek legends–The Illiad, The Odyssey, The Legend of Hercules, mythology in and of itself. We would know nothing of Plato or Socrates. What fun would a campfire be without scary ghost stories and urban legends to tell? What fun would a campfire be without the campfire songs sung around it or the music played around them? This is this book–all of the above.

When I receive a request for a review of a book, I interview the author by email with a few questions about what I am about to pick up and read. When I emailed Mr. DeLauder and asked him what his book was like, he told me there was nothing like it. I have a tendency not to believe those that say that. In general, most authors have been inspired to write from some movie, other book, or a song. We don’t want our books to sound like anything else, yet most of the time they do. Well, in Mr. DeLauder’s case, it was both like and unlike any other thing I have read.

It was the best and worst book I have ever read. It was a frustration and a joy to read. It made me insane at points, but then I was able to regain my sanity. If there was a way to prepare other readers for the reading of this book I would. However, there is not. There were times I wanted to stop reading it altogether because it drove me up the wall, but I couldn’t because I wanted to see what it turned out to be. You would just have to read it for yourself.

Writing and Storyline

The writing I really didn’t pick up anything wrong with it, but perhaps the reason could be having to work to keep up with all of the parts of the book. The storyline is not really just one. There are many within this book. The author is writing about the author writing this story. It is almost unique in that area, with the exception of one other book I have read by Yannis Karatsioris. It was similar in nature to this one.

Mr. DeLauder, bravo! Thank you for sharing your book with me and I wish you the best!

~Bethanie

 

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

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Gene. Sys. by Aaron Denius Garcia–Review by Bethanie

Genesys Aaron Denius Garcia

Gene. Sys. by Aaron Denius Garcia

YA– Sci-Fi, Action

Never in my wildest imagination did I think a Sci-fi action book would get to me like it did. Another of Bethanie’s Faves has been found, and unbelievably it is another Sci-fi book. I may have to look into this genre a little more.

My heart is broken, though. With tears I closed this book. With hope I look forward to the next. There was never a dull moment. The action started pretty much from the get-go. I fell in love with the characters, but was disappointed by some. I will leave it at that. You will have to read it to see where my disappointment lay, but once I got over that, which made no sense as to why it was added to begin with. The rest of the book kept me on the edge of my seat.

I couldn’t put this book down. I read it in one afternoon. That is how much I liked this book. Most books take me a few days to read because everything starts off so slow, NOT in this one, though. It is a fast-paced, unbelievable-amount-of-action, packed-into-a-book, book. Feast on that for a little while. When you read it you will understand.

Writing and Storyline

I understand that this was an advanced review copy so the writing was probably brushed up before it was released to the public. There were some places I had to read twice to understand because words were missing, and there were some punctuation and capitalization errors. That however did not take away from the storyline of the book.

OH MY GOSH! The story was outstanding. Mr. Garcia’s play on words and acronyms for certain things were extremely creative. His creation of this almost impossible compound where everything took place was absolutely amazing. I could see everything and follow right along with the characters wherever they were. The “bad-guys” really weren’t “bad-guys”. I could understand the emotional stress these characters were under because of what was about to happen. The descriptions were amazing and all-senses encompassing. Mr. Garcia created this world and this story with an incredible amount of imagination and forethought. I am curious as to know how long it took him to write it. The way it ended there would have to be another book. I have to know what happens!

Disclaimer

Now some readers want to know and some readers don’t. There was some profanity used and one instance that I believe could have been left completely out of the story and it would have been just fine. However it was only about a six-word instance and I honestly don’t know what it had to do with the story.

Beyond that it was a great book. There was so much happening. It never stopped, until the flames. I’ll let that soak in too. I am hoping and cheering for the characters that brought me to tears. I will read the next book whenever it comes out, whether by review or purchase. Happy reading!! 🙂

~Bethanie

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

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