Waiting on Wednesday: Lumberjanes Vol. 11

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Hi Everyone!

Just stopping by to let you know about a book that will be here next week, but I am anxiously waiting on! The newest, Volume 11 of Lumberjanes!
Summary from Amazon:Time is freezing at camp, and it’s up to Roanoke Cabin to stop the nefarious and mysterious forces behind it. 

When Molly makes a deal with a mysterious Voice in the woods surrounding Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types to slow down time, she isn’t hoping for an endless summer! All she wants is more time to spend with her friends at camp, hiking and doing crafts, and playing music and having fun. What she doesn’t bargain for is time starting to skip, and freeze, and make campers’ ages jump forward and back… It’s up to Roanoke Cabin to set time right again, and save camp! 

This New York Times bestseller and multiple Eisner Award and GLAAD Award-winning series features danger, adventure, and life-long friendships! Get in on the fun with this brand-new adventure written by Shannon Watters and Kat Leyh (Super Cakes) and illustrated by Ayme Sotuyo.

I can't wait!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Let's Make Pom Poms

Monday, March 25, 2019

Hi Everyone!

Let me introduce you to Let's Make Pom Poms! This adorable book was offered as a blog tour and I knew I needed to get involved. 

Author:  Katie Scott

Personal Review:We have started doing crafts regularly with our nieces and one of them introduced me to pom poms. So when I saw this book, I knew that I needed to read it. This book is positively adorable. There are many cute craft pom poms in the book! I enjoyed looking at the pictures and trying to find out a plan for making them in the future.

If you are looking for a book that offers you a fun project to do with your family, this may be the book for you. Disclaimer: I was awarded a copy of this book, but the reviews are my own. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review.

Be sure to check out others on the tour:

Happy Reading!

Guest Post with Neel Mullick

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here today to bring you a guest post from author, Neel Mullick. Please help me by giving him a warm welcome to the blog.

Dark Blossom came to my rescue at a time when I was struggling with empathy in my life. My imagination had run amok and created characters that were very different from me but were facing similar yet exaggerated ordeals in their lives. I finally took to the pen when I found myself consumed by the need to crawl under their skins, connect with them empathically, and describe the world the way they were seeing it. To be honest, it wasn’t until I had lost a couple of months and gained almost ten pounds that I realized I was writing a story!

Even though the book is not autobiographical by any stretch of imagination, I did find myself turning to events, experiences, and people from my life for inspiration and it does have bits and pieces of me.

While my characters’ ordeals may be considered dark, my innateness drove me to narrate their stories in an entertaining way. Soon I discovered this to be the salve I needed in my life, because in order to achieve that, I needed a double dose of empathy – for my characters as well as for readers. And it was because of the role of the book in filling that personal void that I decided to donate half my royalties to charity.

I am only beginning to understand that writing and learning are synonymous but perhaps the most significant epiphany has been the realization that a good story takes place at the intersection of personal authenticity and people’s perception. A good story must be borne from a sincere place and telling it in a way that captivates audiences requires understanding how people perceive it viscerally. While the former allowed me to delineate the range of my characters’ expressions, the latter lets readers partake of such expression. While the former can get you to a first draft, it takes brutal honesty with respect to understanding the latter that gets you to a final version.

Given that I had taken to writing in somewhat of a frenzy, I had to subsequently double back for research. This was all the more important because I was not only aspiring to deal with a lot of sensitive topics in a riveting way but also narrating from the perspective of a woman psychologist who was from a cultural background different from mine. I had to both push myself out of my comfort zone and dig very deep within. Other than reading works of fiction as well as non-fiction (including autobiographies) dealing with these sensitive topics, I also had to talk to a lot of psychologists. I needed to understand the subtleties of suffering and how specialists help the human psyche cope with and heal such fractures.

The first draft took me about three months but then came the more arduous process of editing. Even though it took more rounds of editing than I am embarrassed to admit, they were almost evenly paced out over one and a half years. In retrospect, this worked out better for me as well as for the story, because it took me that long to be honest and objective about it.

While readers seem to be enjoying Dark Blossom as a suspenseful psychological thriller, to me it remains a story of love in spite of loss and of empathy in the face of adversity. So it’s even more gratifying when I get an occasional note from a reader telling me not just how much they enjoyed it but also what they took away from the book on love, parenting, and on healing for that matter.

Now that I have crossed the bridge of publishing and am navigating the streets of marketing, I am convinced that, first and foremost, there is no substitute for a good story and great storytelling. And the process that helped me the most in getting there was support from a good and sincere editor – one who has ample experience and few prejudices. To anyone looking to get published, I would strongly recommend subjecting your work to the feedback of such an editor, honestly, before putting your work out there.

Once this critical ingredient is ready, come all the other aspects of publishing the book and then promoting it. Given the many distractions competing for people’s attention these days, it bodes well for authors to think through not only how their story will reach target readers but also how their band will resonate with their audience.

If you do all these things you make the publisher’s job easier. But perhaps more importantly, if success takes time, then being true to this process will give you the confidence and belief to persevere.

Thank you Neel for the Post! 

Neel Mullick is the author of Dark Blossom. The Head of Product and Information Security at a Belgian family-office technology company, Mullick is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and INSEAD. He mentors female entrepreneurs through the Cherie Blaire Foundation for Women, is involved in raising a generation of digital and socially aware leaders with Nigeria’s Steering for Greatness Foundation, supports improvement in the quality of life of domestic workers through Peru’s Emprendedoras del Hogar, and works with IIMPACT in India to help break the cycle of illiteracy plaguing young girls from socially and economically impoverished communities. Dark Blossom is his first novel.

Happy Reading!

Guest Post with Lilly Barlett and Review The Truth About Love and Dogs

Monday, March 18, 2019

Hi Everyone! I am excited to be here to tell you about a really fun book and share with you a mini review. Let's start with details about the book! 

How often do you pick up a book because of the cover? I do it all the time. It’s what makes me take the time to look at the description, read the first few paragraphs, and, if I like all that I see, decide to buy it.

So, is it any wonder that covers cause us authors so much angst? They might even make us more nervous than writing the book itself. That’s because writing is an evolutionary process. It takes months to do, plus there are many rounds of editing. But the cover is the instant, one-and-only first impression your book will make. It’s like getting ready for a first date with someone that you really really want to impress! You’ve only got one chance.

Every single author I know holds her breath when that email comes through from the publisher saying “Here’s the cover art and we hope you’ll love it as much as we do.”
So here it is: my one chance. These are the two covers we’ve chosen to make a first impression for The Truth About Love and Dogs. What do you think? They’re very different from one another, aren’t they? That’s because tastes in romcom covers in the UK are so different from preferences in the US.

For the US cover – the basket of pups – we wanted something fun and eye-catching that conveys the book’s tone rather than the story exactly. Publishers go for the look and feel more than an image that literally tells you what the story is about (that’s the job of the title and the description). There are pugs in the book, by the way!

The UK cover might have a very different look, but its tone is the same. There, we wanted to project a cover the reader can fall into, with intriguing groupings of people that provoke curiosity.

I always ask my Facebook friends and newsletter followers for their feedback about my proposed covers, and the US readers mostly go for a photographic cover while UK readers love the illustrated ones. Does that hold true for you? Which do you like better?

Whichever cover grabs you most, I hope you’ll love the story inside!
Happy reading!
Lilly xo

If you want to connect with me on Facebook or through my newsletter then you can get involved in my next cover choices!

Author Bio:

Michele writes books packed with heart and humour, best friends and girl power. Call them beach books, summer reads, romantic comedy or chick lit... readers and reviewers call them "feel good", "thought-provoking" and "laugh out loud". She is both a Sunday Times and a USA Today bestselling author, raised in the US and living in London with her husband. She is very fond of naps, ice cream and Richard Curtis films.

Michele also writes cosy chick lit under the pen-name Lilly Bartlett. Lilly’s books are full of warmth, romance, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.

Personal Review:
I really enjoyed this book! First of all, of course the covers pulled me in. Who doesn't love a cute dog and a love story? This book kept my attention throughout and I really appreciated the opportunity to read. 

 Disclaimer: I was awarded this book from the author. Though I did not pay for the book, the opinions are strictly my own.****

Happy Reading!

Grey's Anatomy Book Tag

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Hi Everyone!

I was tagged by Mari at Musings of a Book Girl for the Grey's Anatomy Book Tag. You KNOW I had to get into this one! :) Thank you for the tag!

Without further ado...

Meredith Grey-Character that never gives up...Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz! 

Derek Shepard-Book that features a love triangle...Frequently the case with Elin's books :) 

Alex Karev-Best Character Development.............The Shopaholic Series! Just a fun way to watch our characters expand and grow! 

Maggie Pierce-Character that features a POC...Gotta love Mindy :) 

Christina Yang-Badass female lead...Julie nailed it with Dumplin, but again in Puddin'! 

Lexie and Mark-Favorite OTP...not a book...but have to...Drew and Adam :) 

Addison Montgomery – favorite childhood book....Of course :) 

There are a bunch of other fun categories, so please check out the original post (linked above!). Feel free to tag and give credit back to Mari.

Happy Reading!

The Friday 56

Friday, March 8, 2019

Hi Everyone!

I am trying something new today...

The Friday 56 (with Instagram 56) @ Freda’s VoiceWeekly. Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56. Find a sentence that grabs you and post it either on your blog or on Instagram tagged with #Friday56.

To that end...let me share a quote from my most favorite book!

"I never had money, and I don't think I ever will," Mary said. "People think they need to have a lot of things to make them happy. They ought to look around and see what's really important."

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Fraternity: An Inside Look at a Year of College Boys Becoming Men

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Author: Alexandra Robbins
Summary from Goodreads: 
The New York Times bestselling author of Pledged is back with an unprecedented fly-on-the-wall look inside fraternity houses from current brothers’ perspectives—and a fresh, riveting must-read about what it’s like to be a college guy today.

Two real-life stories. One stunning twist. Meet Jake, a studious freshman weighing how far to go to find a brotherhood that will introduce him to lifelong friends and help conquer his social awkwardness; and Oliver, a hardworking chapter president trying to keep his misunderstood fraternity out of trouble despite multiple run-ins with the police.

Personal Review:
When I saw that Alexandra Robbins had a new book out, I knew I needed it. I always appreciate the story in whatever it is that she is researching. This time she follows two students and their fraternity experiences. The book was an interesting read that kept me wanting to know what would happen all the way through. I appreciate the real-world details. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book.

Disclaimer: I was awarded this book from NetGalley/the publisher. Though I did not pay for the book, the opinions are strictly my own.

Happy Reading!