Monday, October 14, 2019

Book Review Lowdown and Wielder's Prize by Elle Cardy

In addition to this post, I have a post at the Insecure Writer's Support Group website on How to Use Instagram as an Author today! Go there, and check it out if you're interested!


I love reading! However, I have a tough time writing reviews. I want to give fully honest reviews, but I'm afraid I'm going to hurt someone's feelings. I know how that feels.  I also know how much reviews mean to authors because I am one, so I write them.

Did you know that you have to have 50 reviews at Amazon to get featured in their newsletters? I don't think they all have to be superstar reviews, but there is some kind of algorithm to it.

Did you know Amazon doesn't always let writers review other books? This is crazy to me. Trolls get to review. Writers aren't supposed to review. This is why it's good to have two Amazon accounts. That's how my reviews get posted and stay posted. And no, I'm not a troll, or even a super-reviewer. I don't get paid to review. I review the books I like, that's it.

Speaking of which:


Wielder's Prize by Elle Cardy is out today!!! I was given a free copy to review, but please note this does not bias my opinion here.

AWESOMENESS: 

Action - I love action in fantasy novels and this novel had action!

Mystery - I love not knowing everything right away and this novel delivered on all of its promised hints later on in the story! (Agh. The desire to throw in spoilers is really strong, but I'm holding it back.) The bread crumbs of intrigue led to a satisfying conclusion!

World-Building - The slow unveiling of world-building and the power structure of the magic users was awesome! I loved how we learned alongside the main character and discovered what her powers meant and how to use them, as well as why she doesn't seem to have a focus. 

Tension - This book had it. It was tough to put down, and I read it in two sittings.


WHAT I LOVED, BUT WASN'T SURE I DID AT FIRST:

Character-Building for the MC - I admit I struggled to like the main character in the first chapter or two. I wanted her to get out of her tough situation a lot faster, but then as the novel progressed, I found myself drawn more and more into her situation, how she was who she was, and how she began to understand who she could be. I realized the farther I got into the book, just how well the author had written this character. Jasmine is one of the most fully realized fantasy characters I've read in a long, long time.


SLIGHT CAUTION:
This fantasy novel is excellent, but there is an abusive relationship shown in the beginning. It is handled well, but it was troubling when I first saw it. There is justice, but not the way the reader might expect. 


OVERALL: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS!!! This book was one of my favorite recent reads. I really enjoyed it and found it to be fun, as well as thought-provoking. I really liked how the author showed the main character growing into her strengths and finding her footing, even if I didn't like where she was at the beginning.



Do you write reviews? If you ever read one of my books, please feel free to give me a review - even if it's not that many stars. Really. I would like one of my books to get up to 50 reviews someday. Be honest. Give it to me straight. I'll be okay.

And, have you picked up Wielder's Prize yet? I recommend it!

Please check out my post at the IWSG site today!


Monday, October 7, 2019

Two Rejection Letters = A Win? Seeing Rejection as a Step Forward

Last Friday, I woke up late (still feeling ill), wandered around my house like a zombie, ate breakfast like someone not sure the food would stay down, and then found two rejection letters for two different manuscripts in my inbox.

I read them over, and then over again.

I wasn't surprised by the rejections.

I was surprised I had received any response from these two agents.
Both of these particular literary agents had stated explicitly on their websites:
 "If you haven't heard back in 90 days, please consider your manuscript rejected." 

From both agents, I had received no response for over 120 days.
So, I considered my manuscripts rejected.

However, they both e-mailed me. 

This felt like a win!

Rejections as a win?

Yep. If they took the time to actually read my work and send me a personalized rejection letter, it's a win. 

In fact, I see personalized rejection letters as a step forward.

They weren't form letters.
They show the agents actually read my work.
They responded when they had stated on their websites they might not.
They gave me specific feedback.
One sent me three links to databases of other literary agents so I could find the right agent for me.

Win, win, win. Step by step by step.

I am still writing.

I am still submitting my work.

Every day offers new possibilities.



Wednesday, October 2, 2019

October #TheIWSG and Reading


Founded by Alex J. Cavnaugh

Optional Question: It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

First, I must say I'm biased. I love to read. If I could get paid for reading books all day, I would take that job! 
Second, I think what we watch in movies, shows, and even on the world news pours into our brains and becomes a part of our imaginary landscape, so I'm not sure if any of us is truly a clean slate of originality. I know my first fantasy trilogy was influenced by Star Wars (not intentionally, but it was definitely there and once I realized it, I started to pick and choose how much it influenced those books). I have had a strong desire to write strong female characters ever since Princess Leia stepped onto the screen with a blaster in her hand.

Normally, in this next bit, I would update you on my writing life. Um. I finished a short story that I'm proud of and I submitted it to an anthology just a few hours before the submission window closed. I felt pretty triumphant about it, even though I don't know if the story will be accepted or published.
There's more than's gone on in my writing life, but that's my highlight and I'm going to stick with that.

Otherwise, I've been sick for the last 36 hours with a horrible, terrible, wouldn't-wish-it-on-anyone, kind of stomach bug or food poisoning problem. I'm slightly better today, so I decided to post ... late.

Anyway, I hope all of you are well and happy, and healthy!

Write On!!!

This month’s Write…Edit…Publish challenge:

As you sow so shall you reap. What will your character sow - dragon's teeth, elven bones, gouged eyes from tormented souls? Most of our members go with horror or speculative for October. But that's not written in stone ... or blood.

January’s IWSG post day will be on January 8, the second Wednesday. The first Wednesday is New Year’s Day – do not post that day! Note it in your calendars now – January 8.
The next #IWSGPit - our Twitter pitch event – is January 15, the third Wednesday. This will be our fifth one and last year there were thousands of agents and publishers watching, ten thousand Tweets sent out, and #IWSGPit became a trending topic. Polish your pitches and check the site for full details.