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Showing posts from June, 2015

Something Real | Heather Demetrios

Something Real is a novel about Bonnie (AKA Chloe) Baker, a star of the reality show “Baker’s Dozen”. Her family—including her 12 siblings—are all displayed for the entire world to see, and judge. Bonnie does not handle the situation well and struggles to create a normal life for herself. For a more complete summary, you can go here.
I picked up this book because I was in love with Demetrios’s latest book, I’ll Meet You There. One thing that I’ve noticed is that she is really great at dealing with difficult topics without making the whole book depressing. It seems like the last chunk of books that I’ve read have all been really dark and depressing. I was really looking for a novel that I could speed through and still feel warm at the end of it. This book definitely delivered! It deals with topics such as abuse, homosexuality, suicide, and divorce without feeling too…heavy. She also isn’t making light of the topics either. It really is a perfect balance. 
Something Real is a commentary o…

Self-Publishing in the Modern Day

This is a guest post by Karen A. Wyle.

I self-published my first novel in October 2011, less than four years ago. At that time, the publishing landscape was already well into a radical transformation -- and these last few years have seen that transformation accelerate. The biggest changes in publishing itself came in the first decade of this century. What's picked up since then is public and industry recognition of those changes.
Not long ago, self-publishing and "vanity publishing" were synonymous. Vanity presses would publish books for a hefty fee, providing hundreds of books that authors had no practical way to sell. The likely result: a garage or barn full of books that no one outside the author's immediate circle would ever see, let alone read.
The transformation began, actually, at the end of the 20th century, with the launch of Amazon as (initially) an online bookstore. Then, in 2000, a few authors started BookSurge as a way to publish their and other authors&#…

If You Wrong Us | Dawn Klehr

If You Wrong Us is a dark young adult novel about two teens that are brought together after Johnny loses his mother and Becca loses her twin sister in the same car crash. They plot revenge once they discover that the crash was no accident. For a more complete summary, you can go here.
This novel reminded me of Gone Girlcombined withLife By Committee. It has a manipulative female lead that will do anything to get what she wants. It has a very dark and twisted story line, just like Gone Girl, but I think it failed in comparison. It also has the online community element as in Life By Committee, where people are willing to confess their deepest secrets to their internet peers. 
This book had a very interesting concept, and I understand that it was supposed to be mysterious and shocking, but I ended up feeling confused by the book. The voices of the main characters sounded so similar that I had to keep going back to see which perspective I was reading—which is pretty unusual when it is male…

Sisters of Shiloh | Kathy & Becky Hepinstall

Sisters of Shiloh is the story of two sisters who join the Civil War disguised as men. Libby joins to avenge her husband’s death. Josephine joins to protect Libby. For a more complete summary, you can go here.
I’ll be honest, I usually try to avoid anything related to history. I’ve never been interested in it, and I’ve never been really good at understanding it either. I started reading this book because it was my book club’s selection. I don’t like to know anything about a book before I read it. I did see the cover, which looks very pretty and delicate. I was definitely not expecting it to be a war story. To be fair, it was a historical romance, but it was still pretty gory. With that said, I actually got really into this book. 
I felt really connected to the older sister, Josephine. I just felt like I was rooting for her the whole time. I wanted her to have love, independence, and happiness, which she always seemed to put aside to help her younger sister. There is a love story throw…

Q & A With Authors Kathy & Becky Hepinstall

I had the pleasure of interviewing the sister authors Kathy and Becky Hepinstall about their book Sisters of Shiloh. Becky was there in person and Kathy joined us via Skype. They are so hilarious and down-to-earth! I truly enjoyed getting to know them and I hope this interview conveys the dynamic they have as sisters and writing partners. Their love for each other is very apparent, but they also bicker like true sisters. Becky is funny and an amazing story teller. Kathy is sarcastic and brilliant. I hope you enjoy getting to know them a little bit more through this interview. 
Tell me about the process of getting Sisters of Shiloh published. 
Becky: It took twelve years after the book was written to get published. Kathy wrote several books on her own before this book, including The House of Gentle Men, written fifteen years ago. She is also a copy writer in the advertising industry and has done work for companies such as Coke, Nike, and the Olympics. After her third book, Kathy asked m…

The Shore | Sara Taylor

The Shore is a series of short stories about people living on an island off of Virginia. They are all loosely connected only because they share the same family tree and themes of abuse, alcohol, and sorrow. For a more complete summary, you can go here.
The first chapter was so amazing. It was so vivid and creepy that it actually gave me the chills—which has never happened to me before while reading a book. After that chapter, I had really high hopes for the rest of the book, which was unfortunately squandered. 
All of the stories are tied together by a family tree, which is provided for the reader in the front of the book. But there were way too many characters to keep track of. Sometimes the main character of the chapter wasn’t even part of the family tree. And other times you don’t even learn their name until near the end of the chapter. I wasted a lot of time looking at the family tree trying to make sense of it all. I would have rather had them be all unrelated, because trying to …

The Language of Flowers | Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers is a story about a girl, Victoria, who grew up in the foster care system. She has always pushed away any relationships before they can form and has a dark view on life. And yet, she has a beautiful gift for communicating via flowers that helps many others. For a more complete summary, you can go here.
This book is so raw and real. I had a hard time reading it because I could feel the pain in it. So many times I wanted to scream at Victoria, “No! Stop! You’ll ruin everything!” She constantly feels unworthy of love and takes it away from herself and others. When she starts to get a glimpse of happiness, she runs the other way. It is so heart breaking because she never got to feel love in her childhood, which has impacted her whole life. The words are so vivid that the story felt like a true diary of someone in so much emotional pain. This is not a happy summer read, but it opened my eyes up to a lot and provided me with many incredible emotions. I could feel my h…

Q & A With Author Lauren Oliver

What are your ambitions for your writing career? What would your career look like in an ideal world?
I would like to continue writing for multiple age groups in multiple genres. I'd also love a movie at some point! 
Which writers inspire you?
The list grows longer every day….
Give us an insight into how you create your main characters.
They just start talking to me in my head. It sounds a little crazy, I know! 
Which actors/actresses would you like to see playing the lead characters from “Panic"?
I'm TERRIBLE at fancasting. I literally don't know who anyone is. There's a great website though, called IfList, where fans can submit their dream casts.
How much research do you do before writing a book?
It really depends on the book. Before I Fall was based largely on my own experiences, so it didn't really need any research, but something historical like my new series Curiosity House took a significant amount!
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Yes, I&#…