MAKE AUGUST Write An Amazon Review Month by @TerryTyler4 #AmazonReviews #Amreading

August 2016 is Write An Amazon Review Month! By @TerryTyler4 #AugustReviews

On Monday 25th July, book blogger Rosie Amber wrote this post encouraging readers images (4)and writers alike to post a short review on Amazon for any book they’ve read and enjoyed ~ following this up, Terry Tyler is starting this initiative along with other writer-bloggers including Rosie, Cathy from Between The Lines, Barb Taub, Shelley Wilson and Alison Williams.

The idea is that, from August 1st, everyone who reads this uses their Amazon account to post just one review on one book that they’ve read (but feel free to carry on if you get in the swing!).  You don’t even have to have read it recently, it can be any book you’ve read, any time.  The book does not have to have been purchased from Amazon, though if it is you get the ‘Verified Purchase’ tag on it; however, if you download all your books via Kindle Unlimited, as many do these days, they don’t show the VP tag, anyway.

Remember, this isn’t the Times Literary Supplement, it’s Amazon, where ordinary people go to choose their next £1.99 Kindle book.  No one expects you to write a thousand word, in-depth critique; I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to read one short paragraph or a couple of lines saying what an average reader thought of a book, than a long-winded essay about the pros and cons of the various literary techniques used.  Yes, those are welcome too (!), but no more so than a few words saying “I loved this book, I was up reading it until 3am“, or “I loved Jim and Vivien and the dialogue was so realistic”, or whatever!

Why should you write a review?

They help book buyers make decisions.  Don’t you read the reviews on Trip Advisor before deciding on a hotel, or any site from which you might buy an item for practical use?  Book reviews are no different.

If the book is by a self-published author, or published by an independent press, the writers have to do all their promotion and marketing themselves ~ reviews from the reading public is their one free helping hand.

The amount of reviews on Amazon helps a book’s visibility (allegedly).  If you love a writer’s work and want others to do so, too, this is the best possible way of making this happen.

It’s your good deed for the day, and will only take five minutes!

Off we go, then!  A few more pointers:

If you need any help with writing your review, do click on Rosie’s post, above.

A review can be as short as one word.  The shortest one I have is just two:)

You don’t have to put your name to the review, as your Amazon ‘handle’ can be anything you like.

No writer expects all their reviews to be 5* and say the book is the best thing ever written; there is a star rating guide on Rosie’s post.

Would you like to tell the Twittersphere about your review?  If so, tweet the link to it with the hashtag #AugustReviews ~ and thank you!  I will do one blog post a week featuring these links: The #AugustReviews Hall of Fame (thank you, Barb!).

If you have a blog and would like to spread the word about #AugustReviews, please feel free to copy and paste this blog post, provide the link to it, re-blog it, or whatever ~ many thanks, and I hope you will join in to make this idea a success:)

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff #bookreview

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against 26114463the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge? – Goodreads.com

The first line of this book description had me hooked at school of assassins and parts of it hinted at shades of Hunger Games and Nikita.  But I struggled with this novel and it seemed as if it took double my usual amount of time to finish.  Part of that is because it’s a long book, at over 400 pages, but it’s also a very heavy and dark read with a large amount of description that bogged me down and took me out of the story (and that doesn’t include the copious amount of footnotes I skipped).  I nearly quit several times, but the reviews I’d read were positive and the pacing picked up at times, only to dip again soon after – but I stuck it out.

Although the primary characters are young adults and Goodreads classifies this as YA, I wouldn’t recommend it for the younger YA crowd due to language and sexual content.  This book wasn’t really for for me, but based on many other reviews, I think dark fantasy fans would find it a compelling read.  This book is scheduled for publication August 9th, 2016.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Fury by Joan De La Haye #RBRT #bookreview #TuesdayBookBlog

A young girl is brutally murdered.29754336
Two rival crime bosses fight for dominance on the streets of South Africa’s capital city.

The city’s underground film industry is set ablaze.

An angry spirit bent on revenge is on a murder spree.

And Alice, a university student, is caught in the middle of a bloody battle for survival.

Their fates all intertwine in this tale of vengeance and fury. – Goodreads.com

As a warning to those who don’t like their horror on the gory side – this book is probably not for you.  The first several pages are particularly graphic and difficult to read, but those scenes also enable the reader to understand Angela’s need for revenge.  And what a revenge tale it is.

Although Angela is alive for a very short time, the author does an admirable job with her characterization – if that hadn’t been well-established, it would be difficult for the reader to identify and sympathize with her.  There’s also a nice twist I didn’t see coming, but it makes for some interesting dynamics.  The author’s convincing portrayal of Andre’s drug addiction adds to the level of carnage in a different, but highly effective way.

There are some areas that could have used a little more editing with tense changes and incorrect word choices.  In one scene, a person flings a match onto some gasoline, and in another, clenches their hands – but it had already been mentioned this person has no hands.  I also found some of the dialogue a little unbelievable, but overall, this is a story die hard horror lovers would enjoy.

I received a copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team in exchange for an honest review.

Upsizing the TBR Pile

I didn’t post anything last week and with good reason.  I was at an amazing writer’s retreat hosted by C.J. Redwine,retreat1 author of the Defiance Trilogy and Ravenspire Series.  I reconnected with some other writers I’d met at last year’s retreat, met some new attendees, added a significant amount to my word count, attended informative workshops, and got new ideas for my WIP – brilliant ideas, actually.  It’s exactly what I needed to make the new book feel more cohesive.  So – productive week.  And the views were pretty spectacular too!

I participated in Pit2Pub a couple of weeks ago and received 4 ‘likes’, but only sent info to two publishers.  You really have to do your research before sending to anyone.  Here’s to hoping!

The blog post title above isn’t a mistake – I increased the TBR pile this past week and I still haven’t finished Morning Star – but I’m sooooo enjoying being back in the world Pierce Brown created.  Promise to finish it over the next week.

I added Sleeping Giant by Sylvain Neuvel, The Murder Complex by by Lindsay Cummings and pre-ordered Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (a given, right?)- I’m a die-hard Potter fan and Griffindor according to every quiz I’ve taken.

Still currently reading (again):

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Up next:

TBR pile:  96

Read:  0

Bought:  3

Total:  99 (Still under 100!)

The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi #bookreview

First the birds disappeared.27405533
Then the insects took over.
Then the madness began . . .

They call it Wanderer’s Folly–a disease of delusions, of daydreams and nightmares. A plague threatening to wipe out the human race.

After two years of creeping decay, David Arlen woke up one morning thinking that the worst was over. By midnight, he’s bleeding and terrified, his wife is dead, and he’s on the run in a stolen car with his eight-year-old daughter, who may be the key to a cure.

Ellie is a special girl. Deep. Insightful. And she knows David is lying to her. Lying about her mother. Lying about what they’re running from. And lying about what he sees when he takes his eyes off the road . . .Goodreads.com

I’m a fan of apocalyptic novels, and that probably started with Stephen King’s The Stand, so the book description and the fact that it’s labeled as horror – along with the fantastic cover – made me want to read this novel.  And it didn’t disappoint.

As a parent, I could identify with David’s need and overpowering urgency to protect his daughter and attempts to shelter her from the horrors around them; however, David is definitely not a person I’d like to be on the run with.  He makes so many mistakes with regards to their whereabouts and wastes money on such frivolous things, that I was cringing and shaking my head in several spots.  Ellie is intuitive, mature, and wise beyond her years and makes several thought-provoking points regarding humanity and responsibility.

I liked the way the author gradually reveals the backstory, alternating between past and present in several chapters.  There are many macabre visuals – people wearing Halloween and paper plate masks, the hallucinations and physical symptoms the infected people experience.  And some of the characters – the ice cream man and that weird backroads family in Kentucky – make for some morbidly suspenseful scenes.

Personally, I would have liked to learn more about Ellie, but with the ending, I have to wonder if the author is considering a sequel.  If so, I’d love to read it.

The Night Parade isn’t a gory-type of horror novel – it’s a story with a dark tone that inspires feelings of hopelessness and anxiety in the reader and I found it difficult to put it down.  This book is scheduled for publication July 26, 2016.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Teaser Tuesday July 12

Teaser

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted on Books and a Beat.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Choice:  Morning Star by Pierce Brown

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Page 132

I pull a small acid flask from the pack on Victra’s back.  Sevro releases a nanocam no larger than my fingernail into the air, where it hovers above the glass, scanning for life inside the museum.

Book Blurb

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.

Downsizing the TBR Pile

Because of the holiday, I missed this post last week – but I hadn’t finished a TBR book anyway.  And this week I have.  So there.  I may miss next week’s post also – I’m leaving Sunday for a writer’s retreat (YAY!) and won’t be back until mid week, so we’ll see.26057852

I finished reading The Dazzling Darkness by Paula Cappa – and it was fascinating, heart-wrenching, and literally breathtaking at times.  A detective working on a missing child case has to set aside the logical and rational when all else fails and consider supernatural options.  Well-developed characters, eerie setting, spine-tingling occurrences, intriguing premise – highly recommend to supernatural mystery fans.

Currently reading:

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Up next:

 

TBR pile:  96

Read:  1

Bought:  1 (F. Paul Wilson had a new book – I never miss his books – and I’d held out a looong time!)

Total:  96