I’m starting the year right with an interview on Don Massenzio’s blog! Have a look, and thanks for stopping by!

via The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Angela Kay

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Unelmoija: The Mindshifter #bookreview #elleboca

First sentence: As I woke up in the strange room I remembered I had a free morning without any tests, class assignments or chores.

About the story: Amy’s gone away to Miami Beach for a girls’ weekend with her friends Krissa and Lilly. But, when Lilly vanishes, it’s up to Amy and Krissa to find her. In doing so, they stumble upon a slaver’s scheme. During their heroics, they end up meeting an unexpected ally. As they realize the seriousness of Lilly’s fate, Amy and gang race against time before their friend is gone for good.

My thoughts: Unelmoija: The Mindshifter is book number two of the Weeia series, and it’s a pretty good one, story-wise. The writing was fast-paced, like all the other novels I’ve read of Elle Boca. Amy’s character has grown fictional-wise and writing-wise, which is a good thing. However, there were some points in the story where I thought she was being a bit strange. I won’t mention it in case of spoilers.

In the first book, The Dreamshifter, I was curious about the kidnappings of Amy and her sister before the story opened. It was brought to our attention out of the blue, never really discussed, except in passing. This time around, we do get to find out where Amy’s sister has been for the past two years, though I still felt something was missing in the story. My main issue with the kidnapping subplot is that the ordeal was treated as if it were perfectly normal for someone to be kidnapped and show up years later. There weren’t enough tears, especially where Amy was concerned. I also wondered, “why did Kat not attempt to reach out to her family?”

Additionally, when they’re searching for their missing friend, Krissa’s ability suddenly develops and she forgets that something serious is going on and starts acting giddy. Granted, it’s rare for her age for abilities to manifest, but her friend is in danger. If it were me, I wouldn’t be too focused on receiving a special ability until my friend was safe.

I like how Amy grew from not having a clue about what Weeia is, to a young woman who embraces who she is, and will use her sacred ability to save someone, no matter the cost to her.

This is only Elle Boca’s second book and I believe she’s still getting her feet wet, finding her voice. While I am enjoying learning about Amy and her abilities, I prefer the Weeia Marshalls series the most. I recommend for readers who enjoy urban fantasy and a fun, light read.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Does it interest you? Buy it here!

*For more reviews, visit: Angela Kay’s Books*

A little bit about the author: Elle is the author of the Weeia urban fantasy series about superhumans. The Unelmoija series is set in Miami. In the Garden of Weeia, a novella, is set in Portland, Maine, and her newest Marshals Series is set in Paris, France. Growing up the only child of a monkey mother and a rabbit father she learned to keep herself entertained and spend time reading.

Some Words That You Write Are Really Unneeded #fillerwords

I don’t know about you, but as I’m writing, I do it without thinking about the word I place on the page. I find myself so concerned with keeping my word count within the range I want it, which is fine, but in the end, when I return to re-edit, I may be putting more work into the editing than I need. Chances are, you could be too!

Why, you ask?

Well, because you throw in a bunch of filler words. Most of us write the way we talk and a lot of us tend to write the same way in every book we pen. The content may be amazing, but when you read several books by one author, it can become a bit tedious.

I was in the process of editing my books and I searched the web for the term filler words, so I could know straight away what I needed to eliminate.

In case you’ve never heard the term before, a filler word is self-explanatory. It’s a word, which you place in a sentence more than others, and quite often, it’s unneeded.

I did a search for the word “that” in my document, and one of my books found it 900 times. I was shocked and amazed. Granted, “that” is sometimes needed, but certainly not 900 times.

You know how in reviews, readers talk about how tight an author’s writing is? This is a major part of the reason. As I re-read several sentences, I realized I was stumbling because of some of those pesky filler words. I re-read each sentence several times, with and without the filler word. If it didn’t change the meaning, I removed it. Next, after re-reading the paragraph I was working on, I was amazed at how smooth the writing ended.

The bottom line is, if you stumble over a sentence, then the majority of your readers will as well. Find out why. If it’s a filler word, remove it, provided the sentence still has the same meaning. If it doesn’t have the same meaning, you may need to make a note to rewrite it completely.

That was what I meant.” Check.

“I want to go to that store that you went to yesterday.” Delete

Maybe instead: “I want to go to that store you went to yesterday.”

I have to admit, for my first two books, I didn’t think of filler words, nor did I edit along the way. Granted, I’m a good editor, but it’s not easy editing your own work. But, while I recommend sending your hard work to an editor (fresh eyes never killed anybody), you can still make the process easy for you and the editor by taking care of certain words and phrases. My suggestion is to write a couple thousand words, then perform a search for each word after you’ve finished. Once the entire work is completed, go through and search again for these words in the case something was missed.

I sent my first two books to a new editor…paid this time, so I hope she did an amazing job for my readers. When she returned the changes to me, I went online and searched for filler words, then decided to post a blog on it, for your sake as well as mine.

I came across plenty of those pesky filler words I’ve been rambling about. There would be times where my lieutenant would say a dialogue such as “Has he shown any kind of anger temperament in the past?” Or the narrative would say “He looked around for any kind of weapon the killer may have left behind.” While it’s not awful that these phrases are within the pages of the book, they aren’t always needed. Especially when each character talk in the same manner. This is one way to round your characters and set them apart a bit more…remove certain phrases that pops up in more than one character.

Below, I’ve listed a few filler words. Comment on this post of other filler words I may have missed!

Just, Only, That, Then
Sort of, Kind of
Very
Definitely, Certainly, Probably, Actually, Basically, Virtually, Totally, Completely, Absolutely, Literally, Really
Rather, Quite, Somewhat, Somehow: “Somehow, he knew he wouldn’t get any sleep.” “He didn’t quite believe what she was saying.”
Down, Up: “I sat down in the chair, on the verge of tears.”

The Maker #Bookreview

36642652First paragraph: It starts as a half-moon with a braided cord hanging from the bottom. Wavy strings grow from the cord. Tentacles. Kind of looks like a jellyfish. I add more curvy lines until they’re a thick maze slithering down the page. I close my eyes, focusing on the image in my mind. A lidless eye glares at me from the jellyfish’s back. With a sinking heart, I trace out every creepy detail.

About the story: Nate loves to draw. He gets the passion from his dad, who disappeared without a word six months ago. Before the story opens, Nate had come in possession of a drawing binder. He has no idea how it got to be on his windowsill. Regardless, it doesn’t take long for Nate to begin having strange visions, which he draws inside the binder. To make things even stranger in Nate’s life, strange creatures come in the night to steal the binder and throws Nate into the adventure of a lifetime. Not everything is all fun and games, though. The lives of planets and his parents rest on his shoulders—and he’s only a thirteen-year-old kid.

My thoughts: This was definitely a fun story. I’ve read a lot of books where I need to turn a few pages before I truly get into it, but this one sucked me in right away. The writing was taut, the adventure original and not a single slow paragraph to be found. I was amazed. Truly. This is definitely a story young teens would love; however, I believe any lover—whether teen or adult—of science fiction and fantasy would adore it. I know I did. Reading this book started my new year off on the right note.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Does it interest you? Buy it here!

A little bit about the author: With the launch of my middle grade sci-fi novel The Maker, the release of my new illustrated chapter book Charlie Sparrow and the Book of Flight, and the re-release of Charlie Sparrow and the Secret of Flight, 2017 has been a busy year.

Besides writing, I enjoy spending time with my family, walking in nature, collecting records, reading, and travel (some pictures from my trips to Southeast Asia and Africa are featured on my author website http://www.dfandersonauthor.com).

I live in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, with my wife, daughter, and tabby cat, Neko.

Retaliation (The Praegressus Project Book 3) #bookreview

  • Title: Retaliation (The Praegressus Project Book 3)Retaliation (The Praegressus Project Book 3) by [Hodges, Aaron]
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 222
  • Publication Date: August 22, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

You always know you’re reading a good book when you’ve finished it in one sitting without realizing it. Such was the case with me and Retaliation, the third installment of Aaron Hodges’ Praegressus Project series. Chris and his band of renegades are still on the run from the government. As to be expected, they are wary of who to trust, but they know they’re going to have to trust someone sometime if they are going to survive the nightmare they’ve been sucked inside.

It’d been a while since I’ve read Renegades, so I couldn’t remember how it ended, but thankfully, as always, we’re fed everything we need to know throughout this third novel. Piece by piece, I’d begun to recall the events of the previous two books. Book three feeds us a lot of action that keeps you flying across the pages, eager for more.

In my opinion, with every book Hodges’ puts out, he gets better in his writing. I do wonder, though how The Praegressus Project can be stretched into a total of five books before it starts to become too many in a series. However, I do love the premise, the action, and the characters, so I care enough to keep reading and find out. I also find that the Chead is an interesting concept. Scary, too. Even scarier that the government is so corrupt that they will stop at nothing to keep the truth behind the Chead a secret—including murder.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Today, his adventures continue…

December Contest Time! #Giveaway #Books @SterlingGate @MorcanJames

Hiiiii, All!

I’m excited this week!

Hopefully a good majority of you will remember my review of father/son writing team’s thriller, Silent Fear. If not, check it out HERE!

Now, Lance and James Morcan are offering you a WONDERFUL chance at yet another giveaway! This time, you can have YOUR choice of their books! Love thrillers? Then you have a chance to win Silent Fear. Love historical fiction? Well, tell them you want  World Odyssey. I quite loved Silent Fear, so I’m pretty sure that the rest of their works are amazing!

Hurry up! One lucky winner, one book (They all seem to have high reviews, which is awesome)!

The contest will run from December 18 until December 23. I have the link below each book for you awesome readers and followers to check out the blurbs, reviews and more!

To enter, click RIGHT HERE!

See the source imageSilent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]White Spirit (A novel based on a true story) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan,James]Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]The Ninth Orphan (The Orphan Trilogy Book 1) by [Morcan, James, Lance Morcan]World Odyssey (The World Duology Book 1) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]

Silent Fear – genres: crime-thriller, horror, romance, sci-fi

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HRYTVC/   

White Spirit – historical adventure, romance, action

https://www.amazon.com/White-Spirit-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B01LWIRH9J/

Into the Americas – historical adventure, romance, action

http://www.amazon.com/Into-Americas-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B00YJKM51E/

The Ninth Orphan – international thriller, conspiracy, espionage, romance, action

http://amazon.com/dp/B0056I4FKC/

World Odyssey – historical adventure, romance, action

http://www.amazon.com/World-Odyssey-Duology-1-ebook/dp/B00HHVOMO0/

The Killing Ploy #Bookreview

  • Title: The Killing PloyThe Killing Ploy by [Haberman, Steve]
  • Author: Steve Haberman
  • Print Length: 265
  • Publication Date: May 8, 2012
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, Espionage

Pablo de Silva is a former CIA tracker and shooter who is being haunted by the memory of his last mission, when he failed to save the lives of a fellow agent and lover. In this present day, he’s been trying to work through his failure, but it isn’t so easy when his colleagues are holding him in such low regard because of such failure. When his former boss calls him home on a new assignment, he quickly begins to realize that he’s fallen into a dangerous web.

The Killing Ploy was an interesting read. For the first half of the story, though, I found myself slugging through. The characters weren’t rounded out as I liked and a lot of the times the dialogue didn’t quite fit who they were as people. And while the scenery was developed wonderfully in the narrative (marvelous job at that. Coming from somewhere that doesn’t travel to exotic places, I felt I was there), there were a lot of times when I felt the sentence was incomplete. For example: She could remember their panicky flight out to the terrace, stumbling down the steep bluff, and struggling up some dunes to her Mercedes. After that, though, a fog as to why they had escaped to RCB.

I can see what the author is saying in the last sentence, but it, like many others, don’t really sit that well with me.

The second half was much better than the first. I can see a better grip on the writing and details. While the dialogue still wasn’t up to par, I found myself getting a little more into the story, wanting to find out how it would end.

Overall Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

Steve Haberman

A University of Texas graduate, Steve Haberman pursued legal studies at UCLA before embarking on a career as a legal assistant. Profitable stock market investments made travel abroad possible, and he has since visited Europe extensively and frequently, including London, Paris, Prague, Berlin, as well as Milan and Budapest. Many of these feature as settings in his two e-book novels. “Murder Without Pity,” a murder mystery with tragic echoes from the past, occurs in Paris. “The Killing Ploy” (with heavy overtones of “fake news” before that was topical) is set partially in several Continental capitals. His two works in progress, “Darkness and Blood,” the sequel to “The Killing Ploy,” and “Winston Churchill’s Renegade Spy” also use foreign locales. He is presently planning another three month trip abroad for research on a fifth thriller, this one set in the post World War II apocalyptic ruin of the German capital.

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