2/13/15

Love Radio

Need some love tunes that will guarantee a make-out session with your sweetheart? Here's my top 14 Valentine's day love songs. You can't get your smooch on without Matthew Mayfield or Cary Brothers. Citizen Cope's sideways is about drunk in love as a man can get. When Paper Route promises "If there's a sonnet that makes you feel wanted, then, Sugar, I'm on it." how do you not swoon? And for those who are still holding on to the 90s, I have some Dashboard Confessional, Snow Patrol and Justin Nozuka.
Ima get me some sugar tomorrow!
Happy Valentine's Day!

*Spotify didn't have ALL my songs so I included two more in the SoundCloud playlist below.

2/9/15

Book Review: When Joss Met Matt

I don't usually read NA novels anymore unless a friend highly recommends one. A friend of mine got this on NetGalley and gushed over it so I had to hop on over to NetGalley and try to snag it. I'm so glad I did.

In the past, I've found NA tend to be packed full of issue ridden characters or the sex is immediate and predictable. But as the genre grows, more and more writers are creating stronger storylines with more heart. And I think that's exactly what Ellie Cahill has done here.

WHEN JOSS MET MATT is a love story that follows a non-linear timeline.  Jumping from the college years to a few years past.  Their love story starts out as a "friends with benefits" type but with a clever twist. Instead of the classic two people just looking for unattached sex, they lean on each other for "sorbet sex" a way to cleanse the palate after the last undesirable sex partner.

I really liked this book.  The romance was as sweet build, neither one of them quite seeing the tangled web this "sorbet sex" was getting them into.  The characters were well developed and genuine with light banter throughout.  The sex was so tastefully done but still remained hot and steamy.  Bravo to Cahill for achieving that.  I absolutely look forward to reading the next book Ellie Cahill writes.

My only complaint would be to the publisher about the cover.  The cover is very nice except the main character has strawberry blond curly hair and the girl on the cover does not.  It's very frustrating when publishers do this and I don't understand why they couldn't take the time to get it right.

2/4/15

The Hard and Fast Rules of Book Reviewing

There are none. Yep. There are no rules to govern how books should or should not be reviewed. And in turn, there are no rules on how they will be received.

Before I became a serious writer, I never thought about how my book reviews affected the author nor did I write the reviews to efficiently help other readers decide if they would be interested in reading a book. Years ago I decided only to review books I loved. My reasoning for that is I decided to be a professional writer, not a professional book reviewer. And in doing so, I don’t want something I’ve said to come back and bite me in the butt later (no matter how harmless I may see it at the time.) Maybe you don’t agree with my reasoning, which is fine, but it’s how I chose to life my life. And there are plenty of book reviewers in the world who do a great job at reviewing.

Reviewers come in all shapes and sizes. Some approach reviews methodically while other don’t put that much weight into their words. There are all types of reviews, some helpful and some not. As a reader when I’m on the fence about buying a book, I skim the reviews for intelligent pros and cons and determine if they will justify my purchase. When I see a reviewer is excessively harsh, I skip over their review. Same goes for an overly gushing review that gives no real foundation for their love for the book. It’s the in between reviews I look for to guide me.

Some reviewers gush with praise for the author and their story in a well founded manner.

Some give well thought out intelligent criticism on the shortcomings of the book without coming across negative.

Some reviewers give a middle of the road review: short, not really helpful nor hurtful.

Some reviewers give a glowing review but with only 3 stars. OR give a 1 star review before the book is even released as an ARC. Both can be baffling and frustrating for the author.

Some people review books with snarky criticism, personally attack the author or [insert whatever “unjust” review you can think of here.]  Some of those people pride themselves on giving these types of reviews with others patting their backs in agreement. 

The long and short of it, we can’t control how people review a book. And in turn reviewers can’t control how authors receive their reviews.

The fact is, it’s a free country, with freedom of speech, and you (authors and reviewers) have the right to express your opinion in any way you wish whether others like it or not. And I can promise you there will be someone who doesn’t like what you have to say or do. Does that mean I think you shouldn't give your opinion? No. But keep in mind, just because you have the right to freedom of speech doesn’t mean you should abuse it. Things like, condemnation, justified vengeance, shaming or imposing karma do not make this world a better place.


I think at the end of the day it comes down to this, be the best person you can be. Ask yourself if your words and actions are creating a positive force in this universe. If we all approach life in that manner, we will have so much more to gain, and our lives will be all the richer for it.

1/30/15

The Sweet Sixteens Group

It's official, I made it in!

For those who don't know, this is a group of 2016 debut authors. It was formed to help celebrate, brag about and spread the word for these exciting new YA and MG stories coming to you next year.  Currently the Sweet Sixteens are doing some fun interviews with our upperclassmen the Fearless Fifteeners. We'll also be introducing Sweet Sixteen authors as well.

With each step on this road to publication, my circle of writer friends grows. I feel honored to be taking this journey with so many talented debut authors. If you have the time, scroll down the Sweet Sixteen authors' page  where you can check out my author profile and add a few sweet debuts to your "to be read" list.

1/23/15

Fancy New Face


So how do you like it? After selling my book I decided my website needed a facelift. I was going for a Free People kind of look. I designed my own logo using the amazing graphic design program Adobe Illustrator. There was a huge learning curve from PC's Paintbrush to Holy-Crap-This-Shiz-Is-Pro program but wow, it was worth it.  The graphics are TEN MILLION times more amazing through this program and I'm only an amateur. I can only imagine what I'll be able to do in a couple of years with this program. Found some free social media icon buttons in watercolor too. They didn't have a Goodreads button so I had to create one.  I also updated and added new pages (now that I'm a fancy author.)

On my "about me" page I added some personal photos. Other than my bio and this "dotting the i" section I do about myself (which is umpteen thousand years old) I don't know what should be on my about me page.  Any suggestions? If you know some clever ways to talk about yourself I'm all ears.

I also added a "books" page! I'm still in disbelief that I've sold my book. As the year moves on with editorial letters and cover designs and ARCs I'm sure this disbelief will continue.  Don't forget to add my book to your Goodreads list.

             

In all my facelifting, I created an author Facebook page.  Right now it's just my face plastered next to a banner announcing my book.  I'm sure as I have cover reveals, contests, book launches, signings, etc. I'll post those things.  What else do you post on your author page?  Just book news? Do you post your blog posts? Any personal info?

What else should I add to my website now that I'm all Fancy McAuthor Fancypants? (My official new title, btw.)  Thanks for stopping by to check out the new threads.  All in all, I'm kind of loving my new look.