Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe 5/5 Stars

Indie Author's Guide to the Universe by Jeff Bennington is an excellent read for anyone that is an author. While it was written, I believe, for those authors that intend to self-publish, the information is excellent for any author. As both an indie Author and a small-press author, I found the information in this book very, very useful. But even for those mid-list authors--this book is simply a must-read. Face facts--most authors don't get a lot of press from their publisher. Unless you're a James Patterson or Amanda Hocking, you're simply going to get a contract and a book out in a year or two. Sales very often don't cover the advance. It's reality. This book gives a concise guide to all steps in the publishing process. But more importantly, or just as important, it gives you absolutely necessary tips on promoting your book once it's out in the world. Using just a few of the tips I've read about, my own book,[...] hit the Amazon Top 100 Seller's List in its genre. In just two or three days. Today, for example, it's at #50 as of this writing. It had a ranking in the hundreds of thousands before I took the steps Jeff laid out in the book. The tips and suggestions are current. He gives you not only steps to take--but even suggests sites to go to for your necessary steps from editing to making your covers. I've read several books on writing over the years--but this is the first on the steps to publication. If you read no other book on publishing your book--read this one. The layout makes it very easy to find just the information you want--but I certainly recommend reading it from cover to cover. Download the sample--look it through--and you'll see why The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe is a must-have book for any author. Get it today. Read it, and use the steps suggested. I predict that authors that have a good book and use the tips in this book will see their numbers rise on Amazon. Many non-fiction how-to books are very dry to read. Not the case with this book. It's easy to read, with just enough personality to make you want to not only take the steps--but see what else Jeff Bennington has to say. He's also gives you information from other authors that have made the Top 100 Lists. The main thing I took from this book is to assure you're putting out a quality product and promoting it. If you're a writer, you're in business


Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Review- The Day of First Sun

Sheryl Steines has created a book that will be reminiscent of books you've loved over the years. To sum it up quickly--think Harry Potter all grown up!

No, this isn't Harry Potter all over again--but it has the magic, the kinship and the story of good overcoming evil that we've come to expect from JK Rowling and other fine fantasy authors--whether they be YA or Adult novels.

This is definitely an adult book, though older teens would enjoy it as well, I believe. Imagine a world where magic beings exist. Witches and Wizards that live among society in secret. In the world Steine created, the characters live in Modern Chicago. The Guard are there to keep the peace in the world and act as liaisons almost with the FBI.

The prologue gives the reader the setting in general or the story. We know it's going to have magical characters. I love magical beings. Witches, wizards, sprites and more. Oh, did I mention vampires? Only these vampires aren't ones you'll fall in love with.

Anne Pearce is partnered with Cham Chamsky, and they work for the Wizard Guard--the law enforcement agency that deals with all things magical.

When a human princess is murdered with absolutely no forensic evidence, Annie and Cham are called in to search for clues.

What cold have been a routine murder mystery with a tad bit of magic and romance tossed in was so much more.

The world is believable, The characters are three-dimensional and the writing is superb. This is a debut author, but you'd never know it. The story is fast paced and the action never stops.

It's a delightful blend of fantasy, urban fantasy, mystery and thriller all in one well-crafted book.

This is the first book in the series. I can't wait or book two!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Half-Breed Vampire by Theresa Meyers

The Half-Breed Vampire by Theresa Meyers is the third installment in her Harlequin Nocturne Sons of Midnight series. In this world, humans know about vampires.

My main issue with the story is that I was a bit confused, as I didn't know the mythology in the story--but it was easy to catch up. I would recommend, though, that you read the other two before the third if this kind of thing annoys you.

Slade Donovan only knows that he's a vampire. He knows he's having some kind of moon-sickness, but doesn't know the cause.  When he runs into a game officer, Raina Ravenwing, he's forced to save her to keep the human population from finding out about Were shifters. He uses his abilities to make sure she forgets the encounter and is sure he won't have to worry about seeing her again.

 No one is more surprised than he is when he's summoned to the commander's office and told he has to help Raina track a pack of wolves. Of course, Slade knows it's because the vampires don't want her hurt--she just assumes it's because he's their best tracker.

Slade's past is very mysterious.  He doesn't know how he came to be alone in an alley at age eight--but his full alliegiance is with the vampires that took him in and raised him. There is much he doesn't know that puts him--and Raina--in danger.

I enjoyed the story very much. Ms. Meyers has created a wonderful mythology and has added Native American lore that make the story intriguing. This reviewer will be reading the rest of the series.
The writing is tight and the pace is just fast enough to keep you turning pages to see what happens next. Her characters are believable and the story flows well. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more at the end--I felt there were questions left unanswered, but I have a feeling they will be answered in the next book--and please, don't take this to mean it was a cliffhanger. It wasn't.

I enjoyed learning more about Slade Donovan and Raina Ravenwing. If I care about the characters and what happens to them, then the author has created a very good book.

I will admit I'm biased toward Vampire and Shifter stories--I love them.  That bias, though, also allows me to know when one is done well--this one was. I loved it.

This copy of  THE HALF-BREED VAMPIRE was provided by the Publisher via Netgalley.
I'm a first-time reader of Ms. Myer's work, but certainly will look for more of her excellent series.