Monday, July 29, 2019

To Review or Not to Review - That Is The Question

business graphics

You're all excited. An author you've read before released another book. You plunk down your hard earned money and wait by your mailbos or open your Kindle.

The first half of the book pulls you in and you're on a wild ride. Oh, there are a few troublesome things, but you think to yourself the author didn't mean it THAT way.

And then, it gets weirder  and weirder.

The author crosses a line you've drawn in the sand - your, "I-can't-read-this-type-of-book" line. What do you do?

1.  Hope it will get better?
2.  Finish the book to see how the author justifies a foray into forbidden territory?
3.  Walk away and never look back?
4.  Write a scathing review?
5.  Try to find some redeeming lesson in the story?

This happened to me recently. I know how it feels to be so disappointed and upset after investing so much time reading a book.

I chose Option 3 - Walking away and never looking back. Options 1 and 2 didn't work for me since I'd already been trying to justify the storyline. Option 4 - I don't write this type of review - ever. Why?

1.  I don't want to bring attention to a book I feel might be detrimental to another person.
2.  Negative reviews sometimes have a positive effect on sales. Go figure.
3. As an author myself, I understand the hard work that goes into writing a book. This tale was outside my normal genre. It was better to pray for the author than tearing the story to shreds (a strong temptation - let me tell you).

The last option didn't work either. The story was on such a downward slide that I doubted it could be rescued.

And, no, I'm not naming names or titles!

Writers and Readers: What are your thoughts on this subject?

Photo Credit:  DaVinciS

Friday, July 26, 2019

Book Abandonment/Writing Could Kill You/Freedom Attack/Devo/Bruschetta Chicken

Brushed steel container

1.  All the marketing in the world won't help if readers abandon your story. H. R D'Costa posts at Jane Friedman's blog about, "5 Ways to  Ensure Readers Don't Abandon Your Book."

2.  Jenny Hansen writes a sobering article at Writers in the Storm. As writers, we often sit for hours on end. Blood clots are a real threat to our lives. I know. I lost a dear friend to a massive  blood clot in her lung. Find out about 5 Habits that Help Everybody (not just writers!).

3.  California lawmakers want to control what pastors preach about LGBT beliefs. Our freedoms are under severe attack. Check out this article at Christian Headlines.

4. Michael K. Reynolds tells us, "What You Have Is What The World Needs."

5.  I'm a huge fan of bruschetta. When I saw this Bruschetta Chicken recipe for the Instapot, I had to save it. I will be trying it this summer. Enjoy!

Writers: What tactics do you use to combat being too sedentary? Please share.

Readers: What causes you to abandon a book?

Photo Credit: Brandon Blinkenberg

Monday, July 22, 2019

On My Kindle - And You Came Along - Elaine Stock

And You Came Along by [Stock, Elaine]

After losing her job and being evicted, Jacey and her young son pack up and head for a friend's house. On the way, a blizzard and an accident delay their progress.

Zander is headed to see his family and relocate near them after a horrific on-the-job incident. When he's involved in the crash with Jacey, he worries that his painful injuries will worsen.

A Good Samaritan helps them and urges them to stay in the cabin on his property. As the storm rages outside, Jacey and Zander deal with their own internal storms. Each day, their attraction grows stronger.

They're about to make some big decisions, when a revelation threatens to turn this fairytale romance into a, "no deal."

Elaine Stock does a nice job with her characters and their story. The novella-length makes it a fast read, while the sweet romance is perfect for an afternoon at the beach.

4 Stars for this light romance.

Disclaimer: The author did not pay me for a favorable review. All opinions, as usual, are mine and mine alone.

Writers:  Have you tried writing a novella-length book? What challenges did you encounter?

Readers:  Do you prefer novellas or longer books? Why?

On My Nightstand - The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

The Medallion

After reading all of Cathy Gohlke's novels, I knew The Medallion would be a great story. I was totally unprepared for the effect it had on me.

Based on true events from WWII in Poland, it alternately horrified and inspired me. There's something about hearing of war in abstract terms and quite another thing when the lives of people are highlighted. It reminded me of 9/11 and the individual stories of death and survival.

Throughout the story, Cathy wove in how faith affected the characters' decisions. The escapes from desperate circumstances reflected the hand of God on their lives. In the midst of the worst situations, they made sacrifices to preserve the lives of their fellow man.

The underground went to great lengths to rescue children. Each person did what they could, and together they made an impact that will echo into eternity. Can we do any less than speak out for infants, who modern pharoahs look to exterminate? Can we do any less to protect the elderly, those with disabilities, and those battling serious illnesses?

Five stars.

Disclaimer:  Neither the author nor the publisher paid me for a favorable review. I pre-ordered this book on my own, and all opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

Writers:  Have you ever written something after being inspired by a true story? How did you discover the story?

Readers:  Has a novel ever moved you to become more involved in a cause? Please share.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Synopsis/Indie Publishing/Challenge/Devo/Lists

Old books

1. The Synopsis. These two seemingly innocent words send most writers running for cover. Bill Ferris, at Writer Unboxed, gives tips on how to produce this document required by publishers. Take a deep breath. You can do this.

2.  Many writers are choosing to Indie Publish their books. Tari Lynn Jewett, at Writers in the Storm, shares 10 Lessons she's learned about Indie Publishing.

3. Evangelist Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., challenges the reproductive rights argument as a civil wrong. (Breaking Christian News)

4.  Michael K. Reynolds recounts the story of how he almost died on Mount Whitney. We can learn many lessons through our life experience.

5. I'm a "List Person." It eases the stress of trying to remember all the stuff that has to be done from daily chores to major projects. Unexpectedly Domestic shares on the subject of making lists.

Writers:  What is the worst writing task you face? Why?

Readers:  Which link was your favorite and why?

Photo Credit: Zsuzza N.K.

Monday, July 15, 2019

On My Kindle - With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander

With this Pledge (The Carnton Series Book 1) by [Alexander, Tamera]

Lizzie Clouston works as a governess on a Franklin, Tennessee plantation when the Civil War arrives at their doorstep. Her employers open their home as a hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers, and she's pressed into assisting one of the surgeons.

Captain Roland Jones' wounds make survival doubtful, but he pleads with Lizzie to help him keep his leg. A friendship is forged under the most trying circumstances.

The attraction between them grows, but she's pledged to another soldier and thinks he's married. Slavery, a secret, and the uncertainties of war threaten to snuff out any possibility of a lasting relationship.

Tamera Alexander ranks as one of my favorite authors. Her historical romances are full of twists and turns. She captures the realities of war that can sometimes come off as gory. Yet there are many times of introspection, joy, and humor.

This book is part of a new series. I'll be reading the others as they become available. 5 Stars!

Disclaimer:  Neither the author nor the publisher paid me for a favorable review. All opinions expressed, as always are mine and mine alone.

Writers:  Are you interested in writing historical novels? How do you go about researching the time period?

Readers:  Does it bother you when authors write about the truly ugly side of war? Please share.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Beta Readers/De-stress/Opposing Views/Devo/Banana Bread

conference details

1.  Do you have someone read your manuscripts/articles before sending it to an agent or publisher? Check out this article on Beta Readers at Write Well, Sell Well.

2.  We're in the midst of conference season. Cindy Sproles posts at The Write Conversation about de-stressing your conference experience. This is a must-read if you're attending a conference this year.

3.  WND recently reported on a story about a student being arrested for stealing a pro-life sign. The exchange with the police officer gives a shocking view of efforts to silence opposing values.

Hmm, the police around here should be more vigilant around election time. Someone stole a political sign from my property. Yes, this is stealing.

4.  I was searching for a devotional and came across this older one by Lynn J. Simpson. She talks about how taking a different path led her to a better place.

5.  Do you have a multi-cooker like Instapot? I found this recipe for Banana Bread that I MUST try. Check it out on this blog. One of the great things about cooking in the multi-cooker: you can bake without turning the oven on.

Writers:  How do you minimize the stress of going to a writers conference?

Readers:  Have you or someone you know experienced a theft or vandalism of your property due to a political/morality issue? Please share.

Photo Credit:  Ronald Schuster

Monday, July 8, 2019

On My Kindle - Remembering Dresden by Dan Walsh

Remembering Dresden (Jack Turner Suspense Series Book 2) by [Walsh, Dan]

Jack Turner rents a cabin to work on his thesis. He's ready to settle down to a normal life after his hair-raising adventures. His research and a haunting discovery make his time at the cabin anything but restful. Fortunately, Jack is more prepared to handle the mystery sitting in front of him.

Rachel, his girlfriend, isn't crazy about the idea of another mystery. The last one almost got them killed. However, she agrees to help him translate a journal. What they find links the past and present in the most horrifying ways.

Dan Walsh's first book in this series, "When Night Comes," should be read to get the full effect of this one. Although many references are made to the previous story, I'm glad I read the series in order.

Once again, the book grabbed my attention and didn't let go until the end. The author knows how to write a compelling tale of tragedy, revenge, and political intrigue.  I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

5 Stars! I can't wait to attend the author's Learning Lab at the Greater Philadelphia Writers Conference.

Disclaimer: Neither the author nor the publisher paid me anything to give a favorable review. As always, all opinions are mine and mine alone.

Writers:  Have you ever attended a workshop given by one of your favorite authors? Did it meet your expectations? What did you learn?

Readers:  Do you enjoy mystery/suspense novels or do you find them too scary/exhausting? Please share.