How to make your book reviews stand out (without wasting a million hours on finding and inserting GIF images) – Guest Post

how-to-make-your-book-review-stand-out-1

 

Step 1. Understand that there are two camps of review writing. 

There are 1) brutally honest, spoiler spilling, swearing filled, harsh yet humorous reviews and 2) there are kind, generally unhelpful, back-of-book, copy-pasted-3rd grade book-summary type reviews. You know the ones I’m talking about.

And sure, there are more review styles but I think they can be mostly summed up in two groups: nice and not nice.

And there’s a difference between giving an honest, bad review versus ripping the author a new one, calling them names and destroying their career as a writer.

I think there needs to be a happy compromise of nice-yet-honest, helpful-but-not-harsh, and no-spoilers-unless-absolutely-necessary (and even then, using the spoiler feature on Goodreads, for Pete’s sake).

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Blog Tour: The Dream Protocol: Descent by Adara Flynn Quick + A Giveaway!

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30268886Synopsis
:

“WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GET OLD.

In fiery young Deirdre Callaghan’s home of Skellig City, no one has dreamt their own dream in over a thousand years. Dreams are produced by the Dream Makers and sold by the Ministry, the tyrannical rulers of the city. In Skellig City, years of life are awarded equally and the ruined are cast away beneath the city on their 35th birthday.

Unbeknownst to the Ministry, Deirdre’s handsome friend Flynn Brennan is afflicted with a terrible disease – a disease that accelerates the aging process. Knowing his fate if the Ministry should ever discover his illness, Flynn has lived his whole life hiding from their watchful eyes. When Flynn’s secret is finally discovered, Deirdre is determined to free him from the Ministry’s grasp. But to save him, she will have to reveal herself to a shadowy enemy…one that none of them even knew existed.”

Excerpt:

Roenin said, “A power inside every living thing sleeps and waits for anyone who will call to it. That power may have diminished, but here in the dream world, it can be felt again and used for good. This is the only power that may shine light through the darkness of the Ministry.”

I ask, “When will this light come?”

He sighs and looks again toward the trees. “That, I do not know. But this room of sacred trees is a promise that it will be soon.” He reaches forward and shows me the fresh green shoots on the branches. “I have waited long for the trees to stir. And now it has begun. But speak none of this outside of here; it is yet too dangerous. When the sanctuary trees are in bloom, then it will be time.”

I study the lime-green shoots and feel suddenly joyful, like something inside me is beginning to grow as well. I step back to take in more of their beauty. Beneath the branches is an altar of sorts, the roots of the trees growing up to hold an object. I notice they form the five interlocking circles of the Dream Makers, and then I look closer at what the altar is holding. It looks like the teak box from our living unit, just missing our Callaghan family pattern on the top. What is that doing in this dream? I wonder why mother has placed our box here in the middle of the sanctuary.

I walked forward, reaching out to touch it like I have done a thousand times before at home. But Roenin’s hand shoots out, stopping me from touching the wood. “No, lady. To touch it is death. You must promise me to never touch it, in here or out there.”

I feel shock. “Wait. How do you know that this is the box in my home? Or about the Ministry’s Dream Protocol?”

He is silent, and the dark pools of his eyes swallow me whole. Then he gathers up the cloth of his robe and in a twisting motion, swings it over my head. Everything goes dark and I feel myself falling backward into the trees. The fresh green shoots on the branches wrap around me and I remember nothing more.

Buy the Book
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GIVEAWAY! –> The Dream Protocol Giveaway <–

About the Author:

Adara.jpgIrish-American author, Adara Flynn Quick, is the writer of The Dream Protocol series.  Early in her career, Adara was fascinated by dreams, the unconscious, and the healing stories of many cultures.  As a contemporary author, she writes young adult literature that brings ancient myths and legends into futuristic worlds.  She is an accomplished visual artist and uses her background as a psychotherapist to inspire the finest and darkest moments of her characters.

Driven to distraction by her computer, Adara writes all of her stories longhand.  Pen and paper are two of her favorite things.  The author tortures her husband with a passion for downtempo electronica and too many pillows.  She is a firm believer that there are never enough pillows.

 

Author Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Follow the rest of the tour here!

Book Review Blogging – Guest Post

As a book review blogger, I never realized that there is actually a community of fellow bloggers who truly want to be in a community and not just out there in cyberspace all alone. Although we love what we do every day – the reading, writing, answering emails, and so on – it is actually a tremendously wonderful break to be able to talk to other bloggers. You might think there is only one way to do things – I know that’s what I thought. Then I had the opportunity to get on a community of sorts through Goodreads and found my fellow people. Hee hee!

I noticed a few things about those of us who review books: we truly love what we do; we desperately want to be a part of community – no it isn’t all about us; most of us love to write a well as read; and we love to share. That’s how I came upon Paige and we discussed exchanging posts on each other’s sites. This is not something that was a new thing for me. I’ve had bloggers, as well as authors write articles for my blog, but to have a blogger from my new community ask me to do what I’ve never been asked to do before really pleased me.

Just as in the real world, I feel it is important that we support one another. Yes, I know some bloggers are in competition with one another, but that’s not the way it should be. We should be encouraging and supportive. For instance, if I receive a review request but I am full, I might refer the author to another blogger I know is looking for books to read. I didn’t have to do that, but we are a community and that’s what you do for people in your community. If my neighbor needs to borrow a cup of sugar, I give it to her. If I don’t have it, she and I might discuss who else could be home to lend it to her. The book blogging community should be that was as well and I honestly think we’re headed that way because it’s super important.

Written by A. Fae from Truth About Books by A Fae

Discussion: Themed Thursdays #3

Whoo Whoo! The third installment of Themed Thursdays! If you’re unfamiliar with how this works, it’s super simple: I post a writing prompt every Thursday and you can feel free to comment your response to it. Be it a poem, a scene, some dialogue, whatever! The only rules are that your response isn’t explicit and that it a) follows the instructions that the prompt may give and/or b) includes whatever the prompt is.

Here’s your prompt!

Create a myth explaining thunder and lightning.

This prompt was taken from figment‘s figment daily theme email subscription.

Discussion: Themed Thursdays #2

 

Whoo! The second post for Themed Thursdays is here! There were no comments on the last one, but does that stop me? Obviously not! Themed Thursdays is here whether you like it or you like it. 😉

In case you’re just stumbling upon a Themed Thursday for the first time in your life, here’s how it works:

Every Thursday, I will post a prompt and you will have the chance to comment (or email me!) your written response. (I may or may not post my composition just to get the ball rolling.) It can be a short story, a single scene, a poem, or really anything. The only rule is that it isn’t explicit/inappropriate, I want to steer clear of that. Depending on how many responses I get, I will either encourage commenting on the original post or ask that you send me an email with your written response and then I’ll create a post where everyone can read the submissions all at once.

I made this prompt, so credit goes to…me!

‘Do you think you could ever love me?’ She asked quietly, handing me a towel.

I toweled my hair and flinched as a drop of water landed inside my ear. “Eggs in a basket, babe, just eggs in a basket.”

She laughed. “Honestly, shut up about that. I hate it.”

3 DAYS, 3 QUOTES Day 2

I was nominated by The Bibliophile Blogs to do the 3 Days, 3 Quotes tag, so thank you again for that! I’m still breaking the rules by doing this three consecutive Tuesdays, but that’s okay! This is Day 2!

 

THE RULES: 

1. Thank the person who nominated you. (Done!)

2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote per day). (To be done!)

3. Nominate three new bloggers each day. (Done!)

 

I’m pulling this quote from the book I just reviewed yesterday, The Photograph by Kristen Otte.

“I never lost my feet, just a little focus.” — Rachel Brandt

 

24067034Synopsis:

Rachel Brandt has spent the first sixteen years of her life in the dark about her mother. 

All she knows is that her mother disappeared when her father was killed in action in the Gulf War a few months after she was born. But when Rachel stumbles across a photograph of her mother, she realizes she doesn’t want to be in the dark anymore. Against her grandparents’ wishes, Rachel begins a search for her mother.

While she searches for the truth about her mother, Rachel is trying to make a name for herself on the basketball court in her first varsity season. But the search causes Rachel to question everything she knows about herself and her family. Can she handle the pressure on the basketball court when she learns the life she knows is a lie?

The Photograph is a realistic fiction novel for teens with elements of mystery and romance behind the backdrop of the basketball season. The Photograph is a great book for teen girls who love sports.”

I don’t know, I just really liked this quote. For some context, Rachel hadn’t been playing well in basketball, but made a comeback and her coach commented that he was glad that she found her feet again. The reply she gave (which is the quote) was pretty inspirational and I wanted to share it with you all.

Nominations:

Maggie @ Maggie’s Musings

Casey @ Adoptabookaus

Daayla @ Bookish Daayla