Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Catching up on a bit of reading!

I’ve talked about networking. I’ve talked about writing. I’ve talked about my love of books, in general. Now it’s time to talk about what I’ve been reading this year.

I had every intention of writing a little something up, every time I read and reviewed a new book. Needless to say, I’m behind. Looking back on my reading challenge on Goodreads, I’ve read 30 some odd books so far this year, not too shabby! Though I’d like to have read more… But there was Dr. Who, Sherlock, and Supernatural. Damn you Netflix, for sucking me in! I’m kidding, of course. I have little regrets for watching good shows.

For the sake of this blog, I’m just going to include the indi & small press that I’ve read.

The first was a short story collection. Echoes of Winter, which featured short stories from 13 separate authors. All the stories featured Christmas and/or winter. Here’s a link to my four star review:
(I reviewed each story individually in the progress section :) ) This is currently free, on Kindle! (I purchased my copy)

“Niko” is by Kayti Nika Raet. This was a new author to me, and she’s absolutely amazing! Even if YA dystopian/horror is not your thing, you need to read this, the writing is brilliant!
This one is also now free. (I purchased my copy)

"Soaring" by K.K. Allen  was a re-read, as the story was one of those featured in “Echos of Winter”, after I won a print copy. 
(This one is a short story, and currently free on Kindle)

I kept seeing ads for for “Omega (War of the Alphas, #1)” on Facebook, and finally clicked the link, read a few reviews, and decided this one was for me.
($.99 on Kindle right now)

I found out about “Pale and Crimson” by Kayti Nika Raet at a book party. A short story about the character Ben from the Outlander Chronicles. (Also free)

I won “Resistant” by Jennifer Lynn Reynolds at an on-line book party (They’re so much fun!)
($2.99 on Kindle)

“Scarlett” is a short story in the Creepy Hollow world, by Rachel Morgan (I love her books, I’ve read everything she’s published!)
($2.99 on Kindle)

Insanity (Insanity #1) by Cameron Jace, is a book deeply revolving around Alice in Wonderland.
($2.99 on Kindle)

I’d seen Claudette Melanson at a few parties, and really enjoyed interacting with her, and was intrigued by her book descriptions, so I purchased a paperback copy of “Rising Tide: Dark Innocence (The Muara DeLuca Trilogy #1). This one really blew me away, and I’m currently listening to the audio version!
($2.99 on Kindle)

Rose Montague got the rights back to “Jade” and “Jane”. She redesigned the covers, and did more editing. These book covers are beautiful, and I love the stories. The “Three J’amigas” are a bunch of kick-ass chicks! (This is just a review of Jade, as it’s the one I reread)
($3.99 on Kindle)

I was super, super excited to receive and ARC of K.K. Allen’s new book, “Up in the Treehouse.” This is a NA romance, and it was amazing! I also bought a paperback copy, because I loved it, and the cover is even more gorgeous in physical form.
($3.99 on Kindle)

Right after reading “Rising Tide,” I hopped back on-line, and bought a print copy of the second book in the series: “Undertow: Death’s Twilight.” I can’t wait to get my hands on the third!
($3.25 on Kindle)

“A Faerie’s Curse” is the sixth book in the Creepy Hollow series by Rachel Morgan, and the third that features Calla.
($4.99 on Kindle)

I bought a paperback copy of “Harm” at the same time I bought “Undertow”. Harm is the second book of  The Outsider Chronicles, by Kayti Nika Raet.
($3.99 on Kindle)

And that catches you up, on the indi books I’ve read, so far, this year! I’m hoping to get a good chunk of reading done, between now, and the end of the year. Also, I’d like to post as I go, and perhaps do some author interviews!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

EBooks: The Ode of a Grateful Mother

When I first discovered ebooks, I hated the idea. Why would anyone want to trade beautiful paper and ink, for cold hard technology? I’ve always loved the weight of a book in my hand, the feel of the pages under my fingers, the smell of paper, old and new. There’s a certain romance in a hard cover, or paperback, that has nothing to do with any physical relationship. There’s a comfort in opening the worn cover of a book you’ve spent so many hours with before.

Just look at these beautiful paperbacks!

I hated the idea of the digitalization of words.

One day, four or five years ago, I got a Nook for Christmas. I used it a little. It did fit nicely in my purse, and I didn’t have to worry about wrecking the lack of pages. I decided it was all right, but it still wasn’t my favorite.

And then I gave birth to my first child. Yes indeed, children change your life. They certainly take a lot of time, and you’re always concerned for their safety. Physical books were now a danger. They are heavy, and easy to drop on the head of a nursing infant. In fact, my Nook was even too unwieldy for me, and I’d lacked the foreknowledge to invest in something back-lit for middle of the night feeding sessions.

A friend suggested getting the Kindle and Nook apps on my phone. My phone is much lighter. My phone could be read in the dark. Suddenly, not only did I accept the idea of digital books. I loved them. I devoured books by the dozens, discovering new authors, and the introducing myself to the wonderful world of independent publishing.

You can fit an entire library in you pocket! I almost always have my phone on me, so I can always read, when (and if) I have a spare moment. Waiting for an oil change. At the doctors. While cooking supper!
Now, my kids are toddlers, and don’t need to be held quite as much. I’m gravitating back to my tangible library. I still prefer “real” books, but I always have something to read in digital form as well.

Look at this picture again:

I likely never would have heard of Rose Montague, Claudette Melanson, or any other self-published & independently published authors, if it weren’t for the digitalization of the written word.

Now, audio books, those I just don’t get.😉

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Why I'm Networking, Before Publishing

There are many of us “aspiring writers.” Some dream of one day starting that dream project. Some don’t tell a soul what they’re up to. Some are convinced that they know what they’re doing.
I’m a ways away from publishing. Editing takes time and concentration. Those two things don’t always exist in the same space. I’m making an attempt to do it all, be a mother and a writer. Some days are better than others.

Currently, I’m piecing together chapter ten, out of twenty eight. When I’m not writing, or editing, or actively wrangling children, I read & review. A majority of what I’ve been reading has been independently published, or published through small press.

I’ve made some pretty awesome connections, over the last couple of years! I’m learning by watching what these more experienced writers do. I love that they take the time to interact with their readers. I hope to be as inspiring as they are, some day.

So why am I presenting myself to the world as a writer, before there’s any physical proof? Well for one, if I talk about it, it’s harder to not go through with it. If I surround myself with people who have already done it, if I read and review their work, than maybe, just maybe, they’ll do the same for me.
There is, I suppose, the possibility, that my work will never see the light of day. But if that happens, I’m not going to stop reading and reviewing independent writers.

If you don’t buy their books, it’s that much harder for them to publish. The more you read, the more they write. Reviews help draw in other readers, making those authors more money, which translates into even more books. If I use the network that I’m building now (admittedly, for my own gain), to spread the word about the crazy good books I’m reading, it means more books for everyone!