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Book Review of the Week Poll

The results are in. I will be reviewing, The Du Lac Devil, by Mary Anne Yarde. Look for it in your email, or here. Review will be posted to Amazon on 5/26.

NEXT POLL OPENS 5/21

Vote for the book you most want to see a review of in the 5-26-2017

CJ’s News & Reviews Newsletter.

Authors: To have your book included in the vote, click on the Newsletter or HookReview FAQ link at the top of the page. I will email you once a week with a review, an update about my projects and upcoming reviews, and occasionally a raffle for an Amazon Gift Card.

Visitors/Readers: Click on the Newsletter link at the top of the page and enter your email. I will email you once a week with a review, an update about my projects and upcoming reviews, and occasionally a raffle for an Amazon Gift Card.

The results are in. I will be reviewing, The Du Lac Devil, by Mary Anne Yarde. Look for it in your email, or here. Review will be posted to Amazon on 5/26.

Rise of The Shadowalker, 3 Part Novella series, or 1 book?

Dark Communion, Book 1 of the Godswar Chronicles came out on October 30th 2016. It has been 7 months, and I am at the conclusion of ACT 1 of Rise of The Shadowalker.

It ties up the initial conflict well, but leaves the overarching plot still in question. It is a satisfying enough ending to make a novella. The idea was posed by more than one person to stop where I am and publish Book 2, part 1 as a novella of approximately 30,000 words.

By my estimation, including editing, Rise of The Shadowalker will not be published as a full novel until late August. If I move forward now, and release ACT 1 as a novella, ACT 1 will be published by the end of June.

 

NOTES For My Alpha Readers

Notes to Alpha Readers 5/19/17

 

  1. I have completed ACT 1 and cut the original first chapter and the prologue. The relevant scene from the prologue is now in chapter 5: Magic & Traitors. The essential items from the original chapter 1 are going into (the new) chapter 2: Mothers & Brothers.
  2. I split 3 different chapters in half. My intent was to smooth out and speed up the pacing. Some of the transitions will be rough, and the perspective is wrong in Chapter 5 – No Middle Ground. I will be working on it this weekend to see that it is from Justin’s perspective. It will be heavily edited and rewritten.
  3. The Chapter Outline is now available in the folder. The notes for chapter splits are there. There is also a “3 Act Structure Outline” after the “Scene/Sequel” outline (they are in the same document). Check that out for a glimpse into where the story is going. I will update the outline with the appropriate chapters and links by Monday.

Questions:

  • What unanswered questions do you have as you read? Do I fill in the gaps from book 1 and the deleted chapters?
  • Is there too much information thrown at the reader at any point?
  • Do you agree with splitting the chapters mentioned here and in the outline?
  • Is the plot clear?
  • If you have read to the end… how do you feel about the romance?
    • Believable?
    • How bout that ending?

A #HookReview of Legacy: Book #3, the Fire Chronicles, by Susi Wright

rom the preface, maps and even a page on fantasy philosophy – you get the feeling this world has a rich history, and has been shown a lot of love by the author.

The author submitted this one. The first thing that caught my eye about the cover was the unique style of the art, the dragon in the background, (I like Dragons – who doesnt?) then the interesting fish-bone looking sword in the character’s hand. I checked the blurb:
It needs work. In order to find out what the plot is, and not just background, I had to scroll down half-way through it.

“Driven by destiny, courage and love, Luminor’s intrepid daughter, Espira, must reconcile with her rebellious brother, Ardientor, summoning nascent powers to join the quest.”

I dug the concept, even if the blurb was structured oddly with one sentence paragraphs and teetering on infodump. I opened the preview. After maps, a preface, and a disclaimer, I arrived at a prologue.

The open is scenery and then a sword fight in the background. Slowly, the author zooms into the fight, and one page into it, we get a character’s name that was in the blurb “Ardientor.” The fight is written well. From the preface, maps and even a page on fantasy  philosophy – you get the feeling this world has a rich history, and has been shown a lot of love by the author.

The writing is passable, and I plan to read a little more to get a better feel for the author’s voice. But so far… it’s a maybe for me. If you would like to see a review of this one, please vote for it in the poll of the week.

A #HookReview of Unfinished, by Isana.

The author stays true to the story, and holds nothing back. She is blunt as a spoon, painfully specific, and doesnt look for pity.

This one came in as a request from the author. It’s not fantasy, but I’m going to do it and I will tell you why. When I looked up the genre I saw:

Books > Parenting & Relationships > Family Relationships > Abuse > Child Abuse

Parenting & Relationships > Family Relationships > Dysfunctional Relationships

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Biographies & Memoirs > Memoirs

Okay. A memoir about a dysfunctional family and child abuse. Cheery. But, I have a personal stake in stories like these. In a book like this, the writing isn’t that important. Books like this need to deliver only one thing – honesty. The reader’s empathy will follow. Stories of triumph over abuse are nothing new, but every story is different, and each new one has a chance to reach people in a way that the last one didn’t. Stories of abuse need to be told, to help others. As long as I feel like it’s honest – Ill keep reading.

Let’s see:

#HookReview

The cover didn’t grab me, but I’m used to flashy fantasy covers. Considering the genre though, it was alright. It conveyed a metaphor, and one appropriate for the story; the endurance trial of escaping abuse and self doubt, but she made it.  (Of course, her run isn’t over – I dont see a couch anywhere in the pic. So, hence the name of the book, I suppose.)

I opened the preview.  The prologue was cute, but ended without anything happening. The story starts with a beautiful backdrop for a childhood, and then the author calls forth memories of some hardcore fundamentalist Baptist church, with old-school fire and brimstone sermons. I was just hoping that it wouldnt turn into a vendetta. To stay honest, you cant attack anyone.

There was a point or two throughout the preview that I thought it might happen, but it didn’t. The author stays true to the story, and holds nothing back. She is blunt as a spoon, painfully specific, and doesnt look for pity. It’s dark, but so far, this is a story about child abuse; it doesnt get darker than that. Chapters are short, and kept me turning pages to the end of the haunting preview. It helps that it is well written.

To vote for Unfinished go to our Book Review of the Week Poll HERE.

A #HookReview of: The Du Lac Devil, by Mary Anne Yarde

The descriptions were short but eloquent and the plot started building fast; building a wall to defend, winter is coming, a baby on the way. This one is going to be rife with conflict – you can feel it from the first page.

The author asked me to take a look at this one in a Facebook Review group. The cover is great so I looked at the blurb. It is set in Saxon Briton, and war is coming. I dug it so I popped open the preview.

The writing is top notch, but the author throws a lot of names at you fast. Maybe because it is a book 2, but the description claims it is a stand-alone work as well as part of a series. I managed to keep up, so it wasn’t that bad. The descriptions were short but eloquent and the plot started building fast; building a wall to defend, winter is coming, a baby on the way. This one is going to be rife with conflict – you can feel it from the first page.

To vote for Du Lac Devil go to our Book Review of the Week Poll HERE.

A #HookReview of The Mansion’s Twins, by Rose M. Channing

The imagery was hard to visualize and the action was bogged down by passive voice.

The Readers Favorite, 5 star medallion caught my attention. I wondered if it was real. I read the blurb and was pretty convinced I would not like the writing. It had grammar problems, with commas in particular. (A weakness of mine at times – too many commas.) I popped open the book to more of the same. The imagery was hard to visualize and the action was bogged down by passive voice.