Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rise of the Deva'shi by Jennifer Provost Release

Just released today!  This is the third book in the Chronicles of Parthalan.  It's available for only 99 cents on Kindle!


Description:
A stolen girl.  A legendary champion.  A plan that might destroy Parthalan once and for all...

Aeolmar, First Hunter of parthalan, leads a solitary life.  Having long since abandoned his quest to kill Mersgoth-the demon that murdered his family-Aeolmar moves through his days with cold efficiency.  Everything changes when he leads a training mission in Brennus, where he's attacked by Mersgoth himself, and saved by an unlikely heroine.

Latera, first born and heir to Gannera's throne, is kidnapped and left for dead in parthalan's vast forests.  A lone human amongst Parthalan's fae, she makes a home in Brennus, and lives a quiet life-until she finds herself defending a wounded First Hunter from a clutch of demons.

Back in Parthalan, Harek warns Asherah of something called the deva'shi-a warrior loyal only to the demon lord, Asgeloth.  Both Aeolmar and Latera suspect that there is more to this deva'shi than what Harek has told them, but before they can learn the truth, Parthalan's borders are attacked.  Will Aeolmar and Latera be able to stop the deva'shi in time, or is it a distraction to hide Harek's true plans?


Interested in starting the series at the beginning?












Saturday, February 25, 2017

Weekly Update

What a busy week!  I keep getting messages from all of my wonderful supporters asking me to let them know when the new site is fully functional.  It's really exciting, but as it stands, we're still only partially functional!

I was hoping to work on resources more this week, but I didn't find a lot of time for it.  This week was mostly spent beta reading, managing authors, picking up new contacts, taking care of some marketing issues, and reading Freeman Wills Crofts.  If anybody can find me a contemporary mystery writer that's as amazing, I'll be forever indebted!  I get migraines after fifteen minutes of reading, but I just don't care!  He's worth the headaches!

We've also been working on some really exciting new contests and giveaways!  I hadn't really planned to do them, but I just can't help it.  There's so much great stuff out there and it needs to be shared!  Not only that, thanks to a special writer friend, I've been able to start working on a contest idea that's been floating around in my brain.  I can't wait until we get it all ironed out and I can share it with you all!  It's going to be fabulous!!

I promise that I'll get more of those resources posted this week!  In the meantime, make sure you're getting our feed.  We've had some great writing opportunities posted this week.  We've been posting everything from educational opportunities and reviewing jobs to giveaways and new releases.  I'll continue to keep things as updated as I can while adding new resources.


Now everyone take a moment of silence to thank the great Chef Boyardee for feeding me this week!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Attention Book Collectors!

Mighter Than the Sword by K.J. Parker has just been listed for pre-order



An Imperial legate is called in to see his aunt, who just happens to be the empress running the civilized world while her husband's in his sick bed.  After some chastisement, she dispatches her nephew to take care of the dreaded Land and Sea Raiders, pirates who've been attacking the realm's monasteries.

So begins a possibly doomed tour of banished relatives and uppity royals put in charge of monasteries like Cort Doce and Cort Maleston, to name a few.  While attempting to discover the truth of what the pirates might be after, the legate visits great libraries and halls in each varied locale and conducts a romance of which he knows-but doesn't care-his aunt will not approve.  With enough wit and derring-do (and luck), the narrator might just make it through his mission alive...or will he?

There are 1000 signed hardcover copies to be published in June.  The awesome dust jacket artwork belongs to Victor Chong.  Priced at $40, this is an affordable addition to your library!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Returning to the Psi Academy with Vincent Scarsella




It’s not magic, it’s real... The war between good and evil psi warriors gets into high gear in this second installment of the Psi Wars! series with our teen heroes, Henry Greenberg and Sebastian Drake, involved in more thrilling psychic hijinks. Having escaped The Psi Academy, Sebastian and Captain Fabian come looking for Henry to help them rescue Sebastian’s father, Colonel Peter Drake, and the others being held captive by the evil Kinsman z-Prime on Level 13 of the Psi Cave. But after teleporting inside, Henry and Sebastian are met by the unexpected and find that who they thought was bad may not be bad after all. Their adventure takes them to The Realm Beyond The Realm—the place beyond space and time—a necessary step to enable them return the Psi Academy for a face off against the baddest of psi warriors in the most important battle of the Psi War. Amazing psychic powers are on display—telekinesis, telepathy, tele-influencing and more—in this rip-roaring adventure where the magic of flying vans, dragon wraiths, and wolfboars become reality in a battle for the minds of ordinary men. And lurking beneath all this is Henry’s struggle over who is truly good and who is truly bad.

I absolutely loved the first book in this series and couldn't wait to jump into the next one.  As a series, it has so much going for it.  The Psi Academy teaches young cadets about fringe science.  Every child at the academy has an ability of some sort.  It's like magic, but it's real.  Everything is well-researched and it's explained in a manner that young children can understand.

When I picked up the second book, I had a bit of an issue.  It's a little slow in the beginning.  You really need to start reading the second book as soon as you finish the first.  It needs that momentum to get you through the beginning.  After that, however, there's so much excitement!  Instead of focusing so much on science and teaching, this book deals more with strategy.  There are some great science lessons, but it's more adventurous than the first.  We get to hang out with the kids as they battle the big bad in this one.  If you begin the second book immediately after the first, you'll be thankful for the breathing time in the beginning.

The best part of this series for me is that it give the reader a chance for unexpected knowledge.  I remember as a young child, I read about Irma Baumlein and I learned what 'cerulean' meant.  That's stuck with me my entire life.  I was reading along, and BAM!, there was something I didn't know, and I had to find out.  This entire series is full of unexpected tidbits like that.  It's a fantastic way for kids to get lost in an adventure and start asking questions.

In the first book, we were able to attend lessons and have our world set up for us.  It was absolutely riveting!  This second book, we're out in the field more.  I'm anxious to see where Scarsella goes with the third book.  He hasn't announced he's working on it, but he left himself wide open at the end of this one, so I have no doubt that he is.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Attention Book Collectors!!!

I love collector's edition books!  They're the heart of my library.  When an opportunity comes along to get a new one, I get all jittery and excited!

Subterranean Press just announced that it's publishing a special release for Robert McCammon's Swan Song.  If you've read the book, you know it's a necessary addition to your own library.



This is a one time printing of 500 numbered and 52 lettered copies.  It has a unique wraparound dust jacket.  Illustrations, full page and gatefold, are done by David Ho, who does really breathtaking work.  The Lettered edition also has an exclusive gatefold illustration.  The Limited edition is slipcased and the lettered edition comes in a custom traycase.

Lettered editions are already spoken for, but you still have time to get a Limited edition!

If you're a collector, this is a great opportunity for you to indulge.  Jump over and take a look!


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Life of Death gets revamped!

I'm a huge fan of the Life of Death series.  I've been waiting quite awhile for the third book in the series, Sacrifices, and I've been assured that it's coming out within the next few months.  I'm just as excited that Weston Kincade has redesigned his book covers.  There wasn't anything wrong with the old ones, but the new ones really pop!  There's a nice uniformity between each, even though they're all different.  I'm so happy with the new covers!  I can't wait to add these to my personal library!

In the Life of Death series, we follow homicide detective Alexander Drummond.  I'm going to show you the synopsis for each of the first two books, and you'll see for yourself that you want to read these!


Life of Death:  Homicide detective Alex Drummond is confronted with the past through his son's innocent question.  Alex's tale of his troubled senior year unfolds revealing loss, drunken abuse, and mysterious visions of murder and demonic children.  Is he going insane?  With the help of his close friend Paige Kurtley, Alex must find the source of his misfortune and ensure his sanity.


Golden Bulls:  Fifteen years of ritual sacrifices that began before Alex Drummond joined the force have become an anomaly in Tranquil Heights.  For most residents, anger at the unsolved murders has turned to disappointment with the small police force.  Now citizens hope this year's sacrificial lamb won't be one of their loved ones.  Alex Drummond's ability to relive victims' traumatic murders has not been enough.  There are misguided links to Egyptian funerary rights, but without evidence and the murderer's identity, no one outside of Drummond's tight circle will believe him, let alone make an arrest and stop the vicious killings.  After an anonymous tip, Detective Drummond discovers an annual visitor, a local who moved away years before with a similar flare for murder.  He follows her to Washington DC after watching the woman burn her husband alive.  His high school friend, Jessie Arturo, who settled in the large city after a failed baseball career, assists with the investigation.  In such a large place, unsolved murders abound like cobwebs under abandoned guest beds.  September 20, the serial killer's anointed date, is only days away.  How has the murderer proven so elusive, even from Alex's paranormal abilities?  Is he in over his head, or can Detective Alex Drummond save the ghosts calling to him and decipher this network of brutal, ritual sacrifices before someone else is burnt alive?


The third book coming out is titled Sacrifices.  I haven't been able to wrangle out of Weston much about it yet.  I'm pretty sure it's going to cost me a healthy batch of brownies in order to get early information on this one.  We'll keep you updated!  As of right now, Sacrifices is supposed to be released in May.




Friday, February 17, 2017

Another update!!!

We've been working like crazy on our new site!  I have to tell you, when I started these changes, I didn't realize just how far I was planning to go with it.  We've got our fingers in every area of the book industry at the moment!

We just added a Literary Agent page!  I only have a few of them listed so far, but I have far more to add.  These are ONLY agents that are CURRENTLY taking on new clients.  If you're looking for an agent, go check it out!  We've taken the guess work out of sending query letter after query letter in your search for an agent.  You'll see the agent's name, company, what they're looking for, and their specifications for contacting them.  Happy agent hunting!

We've added more books to the Reviewers Needed page!  Seriously, go look at this page!  I'm finding that I'm updating it daily!  It's the perfect spot to find something new to read!  You do NOT need to be a professional reviewer to apply for these books.  If you're willing to throw up a quick review on Amazon or Goodreads once you've finished, then you're eligible!  There are hard copies as well as e-copies and we're expanding our genres so you're sure to find something you'll love.  Just today, we posted our first cozy mystery!  One of my staff reviewers said that it's a phenomenal read and the best cozy she's read in months!

We did a little voting today, which is always fun!  Eventually, I'll have awards platforms listed up so that it's easy to see what voting is beginning and ending and who is eligible to vote.  For now, it's a pretty slim list.  I'd really like to finish getting agents listed before moving on to this.

We've updated our Editors page this week!  We added Hyde 'N' Seek Editing, who will offer you a discount if you use the magic word listed on our page.

I'm excited that we've added several new authors, agents, publishers, editors, reviewers and marketers to our circle.  I look forward to sharing all of them with you in the future.  Honestly...is it possible to have too many contacts?!

Our office will probably be closed most of the weekend, so you won't be seeing a lot of updates.  I'm looking forward to getting back at it first thing Tuesday morning!  So much to do!  So much to do!  For the rest of the day, we're off for a little beta reading!



*If we can assist you in any way, please contact me at here.

Planetary Awards

The Planetary Awards for Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing is one of the newer awards out. There are two categories (short story/novella and novel)  and the winners are chosen by book bloggers.

If you were part of the nomination process, you're finished.  However, if you weren't and you're a blogger, it's time to go cast your vote.  Simply post your vote on your blog, youtube channel, or podcast and then leave a comment here so they can count your vote.  You can vote in both categories.  Closing date is April 1st, 2017.

Who are the nominees this year?

Short stories/novellas:

Athan and the Priestess by Schuyler Hernstrom
Awakening by Susan Kaye Quinn
Edge by Russell Newquist
The Gift of the Ob-Men by Schuyler Hernstrom
The Glass Flower by George RR Martin
Images of the Goddess by Schuyler Hernstrom
Paper Cut by Aeryn Rudel
Purytans by Brad Torgersen

Novels:
Arkwright by Allen Steele
Babylon's Ashes by James SA Corey
Hel's Bet by Doug Sharp
Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani
Murphy's Law of Vampires by Declan Finn
The Secret Kings by Brian Niemeier
Swan Knight's Son by John C Wright


It was tough making my decision because there are a few good novels here.  However, Literary Litter is officially casting its vote for Murphy's Law of Vampires by Declan Finn.  It's the second book in Finn's Love at First Bite series.  I'm a big fan of Finn's writing style.  In this series, he's created fascinating characters and plenty of challenges.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Earthling Publications

This morning, I fell in love.


I've been a book junkie my entire life.  Always.  The stories inside, the new worlds, the fascinating people, that's only a part of it.  I could spend hours just holding a beautifully created book.  Give me slip covers, and rough cut thick pages and hand sewn bindings and beautiful artwork and I will be your reading slave. I can't even begin to count the rescue books that I have.  Beautifully created pieces of art that are being used as decoration in an antique store just sickens me.  Just last summer, I saved a first edition Poe from being used to prop a chair.

Earthling Publications.  How have I never heard of these guys before?!  This is mass market production.  These are beautifully crafted books!  I can only imagine (at least, until my copies begin to arrive) how wonderful the stories inside are.  A well-told story is artwork.  These books,  in themselves, are artwork.


How did I find out about them?  By accident!  I saw a friend post about Bloodstained Wonderland.  I love Facebook for this very reason!  I find the most fascinating stuff!  I've already ordered my copy and began searching for the perfect copy of Bloodstained Oz (2006) to accompany it in my library.

These are not the types of books that you want to order just because you want to read it and hand it off.  These are the types of books that you put in your personal library, love, and then hand down for generations.  Every book they produce is a collector's edition.  I know that most people can't afford some of them, but they have different price listings so that they're incredibly affordable.  If we're being completely honest, I'm the only person I know that has a book buying budget.  Books can be expensive, but you don't have to sacrifice quality.  To buy a numbered, signed, and beautifully crafted copy of Bloodstained Wonderland, it's only $35.  That's the price of a mass produced new release and a copy.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Update!

I'm really excited with the progress on the new direction of Literary Litter!  We've made some great new friends along the way and I've received such an amazing amount of support from the book community that I'm just overwhelmed!  No one is luckier in friends than I am!

Admittedly, our progress has been going much more slowly than I'd anticipated.  Then again, I'm pretty impatient when it comes to something I'm excited about.

We've got our Publishers page all set up.  I still have several more to get added and I'm sure there are plenty that I've missed.  I'm keeping a running list and feel free to send me names of any publishers that you see missing.  At this point, the page is mostly links (as many of them to submission pages as possible)  to smaller publishing houses.  A few of the websites have issues, so we'll update those links as they're available.  Some of the publishers are actively seeking new submissions and we've noted that beside their link.  The hope is to have a comprehensive list of publishing houses with a snippet about their company, as well as whether or not they're currently accepting.  This way, once you finish that manuscript you're working on that doesn't have a home, you can hop on and see right away where it belongs.

We also have several additions to our Reviewers Needed page.  If you see a book on here that you're interested in reading, follow the link to apply for it.  These review requests come from authors, publishers, marketers, and professional review sites.  So far, these wonderful people have been great about letting me know when a book is no longer available for review so that I can take it down.  You do NOT have to be a professional reviewer or run your own site to apply for these books.  A simple review on Goodreads and/or Amazon is all that most of them require.  If any of you have books you want me to post up on the board, just shoot me a message and we'll get it.  It's going pretty slowly so far, but we're only week two into the changes.  Be patient ;)

Next week we're going to start focusing on our Reviewers page.  There are so many great review sites out there that have so many followers!  Paying for marketing can be a pretty big expense.  We're going to provide you with an easy link list.  This way, when it's time to start marketing and getting those reviews, it's as simple as going down the list and contacting who you want.  No more keeping a written list somewhere of where you've previously had luck.  No more internet searching.  Initially, it'll just be a contact link.  Eventually, I'd like to put a snippet of each review site as well as a rough idea of their follower numbers and expected review time.  If you have a review site, feel free to contact me and I'll put you at the top of the list.  Otherwise, it's going to take me a few weeks to get a list built.  Again, be patient ;)

When I found out that my review career was over, I thought my life in the book industry was over.  I'm learning that it's only just begun.  There's still a lot I can do to help support even though I can't read every book that's created.  I'm looking forward to continuing to expand this as a reference site and adding more literary litter than just reviews.  If you enjoyed our reviews, most of our reviewers are now staffed with Minding Spot so feel free to  pop over there and check them out.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The 12:30 from Croydon



My favorite part of Poisened Pen Press has to be their British Library Crime Classics.  If you like crime and mystery, these are a must for your personal library.  I'm excited to share with you that this month they're releasing The 12:30 from Croydon by Freeman Wills Crofts.

My first introduction to Crofts was Antidote to Venom, which was an amazing read.  Throughout the book, you know more information than anyone else, but you still don't have all of the key elements to put it all together.  Most of the book is a fascinating look at human nature.  The rest of the book is figuring out the 'how' of it.

Crofts was one of the biggest detective writers in Britain in the 1920's and 30's.  Some consider him to be the founder of realistic police detection.

If you're a crime fan, and you love good literature, this is a release you won't want to miss.  I've already put mine on my 'to order' list.  Run over to Poisoned Pen Press and read the first chapter!


Intensive on Show, Not Tell

Are you a writer who's looking to improve upon your craft?

NY Times Bestseller Shirley Jump is holding a two week class designed to help writers learn how to show, not tell in their writing.  Writers will work with their own manuscripts.  She'll be teaching how to put more emotion and power into your writing.  Class runs from February 15-28 and the sign up fee is $60.

This is an online class offered through Lawson Writing Academy, so travel isn't an issue.

Daisy McDare Box Set!



If you're a cozy mystery fan, check out the latest release by K.M. Morgan!  Return to Cozy Creek with Daisy McDare!  This set includes six previous favorites as well as TWO new books in the series!  At the opening price of 99 cents, you can't go wrong!  This is a great time to load up your Kindle with a fun and fresh cozy series.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Why you should write a review

*  We do not advocate sending babies down rivers.

If you've ever met an author, attended a book party, followed an author on Facebook or Twitter, then you already know why it's important to an author that you review their books.  Every review written has an impact on their sales and popularity.  It's a huge deal for a writer!  Not only that, sometimes a positive review can be the difference between a writing afternoon and a Jack Daniels afternoon.

Let's leave the author perspective out of the rest of this conversation.  This is about why YOU should be writing a review.

Here's a blunt and brutal fact.  In the world we live in, anyone can be a writer if they have internet access and half an ounce of ambition.  Don't believe me?  Send me an e-mail.  I'm willing to put my theory to the test.    What does that mean?  It means that there are more published writers/authors than ever before in history.  Theoretically.  I haven't run the numbers, so I can't prove that.  Regardless of which genre you prefer, there are more authors and books than you could possibly read in a lifetime, even if you read several books a day.  As a reader, that means you need to choose wisely where you spend your money.  By writing reviews, you can give others an idea of what to expect from a book so that they can make an informed decision on whether that's a book they want to purchase or not.

The book industry is a symbiotic relationship.  Writers create because they have to.  Readers read because they have to.  One creates, the other consumes.  There's a third step that is often missed.  Feedback.  Every author I know wants someone to enjoy their art.  They put their heart and soul into a masterpiece and then send it off into the void, in the hopes that someone will love it.  From the void, it's chosen by several.  Some embrace it, some abhor it.  How does the author know?  Unless you review it or tell the author in some manner, they have no clue.  Writing a review let's the author know how you feel about their book.  It helps them choose direction for the next one.  It helps them hone their skill so that you continue to get better and better stories from them.  Without this feedback, the author is flying blind.  They've sent a baby down the river in a basket and they're just having faith somebody fed it.  Perhaps they'll choose to send another baby down the river.  Perhaps they won't.  The more information they have, the wiser the decision they can make.  As a reader, you're the best suited for giving them this information.  

The second reason you should write a review is that it can be a bridge between the author and yourself.  Having spent even a few moments chatting with the author of a book can add an extra layer to your reading experience.   Every book is infused with the writer's spirit.  Having an idea of who the writer is let's you pick up their personality while you're reading.  It's the difference between chocolate mousse and chocolate mousse with sprinkles.

When you begin to write reviews for books, you begin to read differently.  I wasn't aware of this until years ago when I was 'ejected' from judging reader's contests.  I'm a professional.  I'm no longer a reader.  When you start reviewing, you look for entertainment, but you also begin to notice storytelling abilities, character creation, world creation, flow.  These can vastly enrich your reading experience.  You're no longer just a novice looking for someone to whisk you away for a few hours, you're now someone who can really appreciate the artistry held in your hands.

Writing reviews can help others make informed decisions about where they spend their money.  It helps authors hone their craft so that they produce better stories.  It enriches your reading experience.

If you've never written a review, I'm about to give you some great advice.  If you ask an author, they'll tell you that words as simple as 'I liked it.' will suffice.  That works from a writer's point of view, not a reader's.  When I'm looking for a new book to read, that doesn't help me at all.  Not. A. Bit.  It helps the author's numbers, but that's it.  There's an important piece of information missing.  'Why?'  'I liked it because it was easy to read.' 'I liked it because the characters were funny.'  'I hated it because there was a lot of description.'  'I hated it because it didn't make sense.'  Those are tidbits of information that I can work with.  Your review doesn't have to be long, but please answer the 'why' of it.  Not only does it help inform other readers, it helps you to start using critical thinking skills while reading, which is a huge part of how much you get from your reading experience.






Monday, February 6, 2017

Hanging out with Matt Beier

I've found that as a reader, I enjoy most authors more when I know a bit about them.  Usually their personality is infused in their writing.  If I enjoy their personality, I'm sure to enjoy their books.


A couple of years ago, our staff reviewer, Carrie Anne, reviewed The Confessions of Jonathan Flite. In December, the sequel, The Release of Jonathan Flite, was released.  To celebrate, we decided to sit down and have a nice visit with the author, Matt Beier, who is an absolute sweetheart.




Me:  Who is your favorite writer and why?  You can choose alive, dead, made up...the sky is the limit here.
Matt:  I would have to say J.K. Rowling is my favorite writer-but not just because I love the Harry Potter books like everyone else (and yes, I do love them).  She is my favorite writer because, apart from showing me how beautifully a story could be layered over the course of a long series, she actually affected the world with her work in an incredibly positive way.  She got people of all ages excited about reading again.  She inspired millions of people worldwide to gather at bookstores at midnight to celebrate book releases, and even build friendships as a result.  She wrote a story about the power of love, courage, and unity, and some of that moral code seemingly trickled into her readers' psyches, because (as one recent example)  we now have people referencing her books in protests against America's new divisive government regime.  If I were to see J.K. Rowling on the street, I would probably burst into tears and fumble over any words of gratitude I might try to express-even though it would be my life dream to have tea with her.  Finally, as she's a fellow INFJ, I'm sure we'd have a lot to talk about while sipping said tea.
Me:  I hadn't really thought about it, but I have to agree with you on most of those points.  I was one of those people at midnight book release parties.  I know my world needs more of that!

Me:  What makes you laugh?  Like, Santa Claus belly laugh?
Matt:  I'm a very internally oriented person, which can sometimes make me seem overly serious (which in turn can make me feel like the odd one out), so in pondering this question, I was quite excited to realize I had an immediate answer:  my dear friend Matt Russell, whom I went to middle school and high school with but didn't get to know solidly until our early 20s.  I laugh to the point of ripping my abdominal muscles (well, almost)  when hanging out with him or even sharing a text exchange.  I can scarcely do him justice in a description here, but I've often said that he's the one person on this planet who gets my head out of the clouds and back down to Earth.  I'm very thankful to have someone like that in my life.  We rarely talk about anything of grand substance, because it just doesn't seem necessary, yet we have a shorthand of humor-infused speech that has somehow evolved over the years to be intimate in its own ridiculous way.  I have zero control over my laughter when I'm with him.
Me:  Where can I buy my own Matt Russell?
Matt:  *silence*  (Because I didn't really ask him! )

Me:  When you get dressed, do you put in the left leg first or the right?  There may be another option here if you've created a new sort of suspension dressing system.
Matt:  I put in my left leg first.  I also launch with my left leg when doing handstands.  If I were to be a karate master, I would also brace myself with my left leg.  But I'm right handed, so go figure.
Me:  I want video footage of the handstands.

Me:  Where is your favorite place to decompress?
Matt:  Other than my couch with Netflix and wine and dinner (which is pretty basic), I have a few tiers of favorite places.  Since I moved to Marin county just north of San Francisco a few years ago, I've been surrounded by gorgeous nature, so on a regular basis I like to go hang out there, either hiking or lying on the beach or even sometimes taking my book work and setting up shop near ocean cliffs with my extremely portable camping chair.  My next more realistic place to go for decompression is the Desolation Wilderness surrounding Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  I spent the best day of my life up there last May, just hiking alone until the snow blocked me from going farther.  Finally, my least-visitable favorite decompression place is New Zealand, where I was lucky enough to study for a semester in college and return to once more in 2010.  That entire country is heaven.  i wish it weren't so expensive to get there and back again.

Me:  Why are you a writer?
Matt:  I'm a writer because storytelling brings me joy like nothing else in life does.  It's the one thing above all else that makes my little life worth living.  I've been through many bouts of self doubt regarding the challenges of building a career as a storyteller, but when I sit back and truly reflect on what I want my life to be, it's the only life trajectory that makes me feel as if I'm on the right path.  I like to think that stories help us make sense of real life, and that they have a much greater effect on the world and people's understanding of it than they are given credit for.  I like the idea of contributing to that effort in whatever unique way I can.

Matt, thank you so much for taking the time to hang out with me today :)  You're a dear, and I'm a fan of both you and your work.


If you're interested in reviewing either The Confessions of Jonathan Flite or The Release of Jonathan Flite, simply send a quick message here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The change from harfing to savoring

harf- to hastily scarf

With my recent eye weakening, I've had to change the way I read.  I've always been one who devours.  A book in my hand?  CHOMP CHOMP SLURP MMM.....yum!  Now, I'm having to take little bites daily.  It's been an eye-opening experience for me.

Reading has become a crock pot roast for me.  All day long I can smell it.  I can imagine how sumptuous that it's going to be so vividly that I can almost taste it.  I'm frustrated and angry because it takes soooo long to cook!  I want it now!  I'm hungry!

By being forced to slow down, I'm finding that I'm having to rely more on my memory.  Instead of being whisked away to another world and another person, I get little glimpses that don't satiate me.  When I pick up the book, I read one page.  One.  Then I have to walk away.  When I pick it back up, my brain has to struggle to push itself back into that alternate reality.  Once it's done that, it seems like only a blink before I have to pull back to my own reality.  It goes far too quickly.

I have noticed, though, that because my reading time has become more precious, I'm not skipping over parts like I previously did.  There are a lot of times when information is given more than once, or something is described and I prefer the image I already have in my head.  I don't want to miss one single word on that one page that I get to read!  Also, because I'm having to take breaks in between, my relationship with the characters has grown stronger.  I really get a chance to miss them.  I wonder what they're up to and wish I could text them really quickly.  Since I can't, I look forward even more to the time when I can reunite with them.

Even though I constantly long to be captivated in the book world, I'm finding that being forced to slow down is actually making me a better reader.  I can't say I'm enjoying it more, but that's only because I'm an instant gratification sort of girl.  I want it and I want it now.  However, now that I'm forced to take dainty bites, I'm finding flavors that I didn't realize were there.

Nicole Taylor is looking for reviewers!



Piercing the Veil is the first book in The Crusaders series.

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Description:

FAMILY SECRETS.  PARALLEL WORLDS.  FORBIDDEN LOVE.

Eighteen-year-old Alexa Moore has had enough of her rigid, controlled existence.  Shortly after her graduation, she decides it's time for her to make the decisions in her life, and quit letting her grandmother have the last say.  But when she sees a man watching her-at her graduation, at the market, outside of where she volunteers- her excitement is snuffed out by a sense of dread she can't shake.  And that's only the beginning...

Soon, strange things begin happening:  doors opening by themselves, books falling off shelves.  At first, Alexa ignores the bizarre occurrences, chalking them up to coincidence.  But when things take a violent turn, she discovers that these occurrences aren't coincidence at all.  In fact, they're all tied to one thing:  her.  It isn't long before she realizes that telepathy and empathy are not the only abilities she possesses.  And these new abilities-ones she cannot begin to explain-are growing in strength...becoming more and more dangerous.

Lost and confused, Alexa turns to her grandmother, the one person she trusts above all others, for help.  But Gran isn't who she appears to be, and Alexa finds herself embroiled in a family history that's shrouded in mystery and lies, where no one, not even the young Irishman she's fallen for, is who they seem.

Part romance, part thriller, and part fantasy.

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