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Tag: Beverley Lee

How do You Market Your Book Once It’s Published? 11 Authors Share Their Secrets!

Just the word ‘marketing’ sends nervous shivers down the backs of many authors. It’s something you know you need to do – something really quite vital to your book’s success – but chances are you’re putting it off. You might be procrastinating because you have no idea where to start, because you don’t think of yourself as a marketing strategist but a creative, because it seems intimidating, or because any number of different reasons, but either way – it’s not getting done, is it?

Don’t worry, we don’t blame you. When you’re new to this writing thing you have so much to think about – How do you publish your book? Do you need an editor? What are beta readers and why does everyone say you need them? – that marketing likely takes a step back. Marketing happens after your book is out, right? Why worry about it before you approve your book on Amazon when there is everything else to do?

I know. I, and every author below (or ever), have been in the same place at one point. But the truth is that marketing happens at just about every stage of your bookish career – certainly after you’ve published your book (*high five!*), but also before you get to that stage.

So what can you do? Where do you start? The eleven authors below are here to help you with just that! Marketing is daunting, and chances are it always will be, but hopefully after reading this post you’ll feel a little more confident, and maybe even see the fun side! (I promise you, it exists if you know where to look.)

My personal recommendation is social media. Create a blog, sign up for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook – whichever works best for you – before your book is out, and start mentioning here and there that you’re a writer with a book in the works. I can’t stress how wonderful the writing community is. I know signing up and declaring you’re a writer can be pretty scary, but I promise you we’ll catch you and welcome you with cookies and kittens (and tea/coffee, naturally). You’ll be glad you’ve joined, trust me. The sooner you can do this, the better. Your release day may seem like a long way off when you’ve only just finished your first draft, but that’s precisely why that’s the ideal time to start promoting. Think of it this way – if you wait until your book is out, no one will know it exists on release day. But if you create a blog, post regularly, and have at least a small but intrigued social media following by release day, then those are people who do know about your book! There may not be many if it’s your first book, but a few are better than none.

There’s only one thing you need to be on social media, and that’s yourself. Make sure your posts are genuine, avoid posting nothing but “My book is awesome! You have to read it NOW!”, and you’ll find your people (sometimes refered to as your tribe) in no time!

If you want to catch up with me on social media, glance over to the left-hand side – you’ve got all my links right there 😉

But let’s hear from the other eleven authors, shall we? (My thanks to all of you again for stopping by and sharing your insights <3 )

Nadia L. King, Author of Jenna’s Truth

A surprise that came with becoming a writer is the need for public speaking. When my debut book was published last year, I was most surprised by how much public speaking I needed to undertake. As writers, we often prefer to stay in the worlds we create in our heads. This isn’t always possible. We have to become adept at public speaking. No matter how shy you are, you will have public speaking engagements. The greater the public’s exposure to your book and to you, the more likely readers will ‘buy-in’ to your book. So get ready for radio and TV interviews, library talks, and school visits. You can have the fanciest, most sophisticated author website on the planet, but nothing beats the human touch. If we are truly to connect with our readers, we will need to speak to them and more often than not, this will require us to speak publicly.

Speaking engagements in Australia are paid and minimum rates are set by the Australian Society of Authors. Let schools and public libraries know you are available for talks by personally contacting them and providing details of what you cover in your talks and the audience you target. Remember, exposure is a powerful tool so use it when opportunities arise. So dear friends, get ready, feel the fear and do it anyway. Your book asks it of you.

 You can find Nadia on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Anna B. Madrise, Author of The Hatter’s Wife

Book marketing in today’s day and age, has become a business in and of itself. There are whole websites, presentations, and companies, slated towards the “how-to’s” an author should follow to market their book. What they don’t tell you, is whether you are self-pub, tradish, or hybrid, you – the author – are going to be doing a good deal amount of your own marketing, on your own.

My first tip? Start with one social media site and get really good at using it. Be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (yes there are authors who are doing fabulous on Pinterest!) pick one, and learn EVERYTHING you can about how to use that social media site as a place to market your books.

My second tip? Schedule time each week that you set aside to actually “do” the marketing of your book. Don’t try to pile it on top of writing days or research days, it will only overwhelm and frustrate you. It needs to be treated with the same importance as when you sit down to work on your manuscripts. In some cases, after your book is published, it starts to become more important because finding your audience, that will read your work, is the foundation to your author business.

Finally, enjoy the process. You became a writer/author for a reason. Don’t be afraid to showcase all your hard work to the world. Go in with a positive attitude and you will be rewarded much the same, in return.

You can find Anna on her website, InstagramTwitterFacebook, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Michael Chrobak, Author of Brother Thomas and the Guardians of Zion and Where Angels Dwell

Marketing starts before a book is released. It doesn’t matter how much you are going to spend advertising, if your potential readers aren’t attracted to it, they aren’t going to buy. Period. So, what do you need? First, a well-designed cover. Unless you’re a talented artist, don’t create your own cover. It will look self-published, and in this business, that’s bad. If your budget is limited, spend most of it on a good cover. Also – edit, edit, edit. Spelling, grammar mistakes, or timeline discrepancies give the reader the impression you don’t care. They might buy your first book, but they most likely won’t get the next.

Once it’s released, social media will be your best friend. It’s free, so use it. Try to build your follower base to at least 500 to 1000 before you release. And please, don’t make every post or tweet about your book. Let them see your personality. The more they think you’re someone they could hang out with, the more willing they are to not only read your books, but give you reviews as well. Reviews are what sell your books to the rest of the world. So treat your followers with respect, and be personal. I only post about my book when I have something to share. Updates on new releases, promotions or sales, new cover reveals, etc. I also recommend having a blog and writing about anything but your books. It gives your fans something to read while they wait for the sequel.

You can find Michael on his website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Becky Wright, Author of The Manningtree Account and Remember to Love Me

Cultivating self-belief is one of the most daunting tasks as an Independent Author, but, inevitably, one of the first to master. Your story, your words, your thoughts are of course personal; therefore marketing your book is also promoting you.

The obvious place to start is with your loyal friends and family, but regards to onward marketing, think local. It’s important in the early stages to establish a readership, a following, a core group of readers who will eagerly ‘read & rave’ about your work. Once your book is in the hands of a reader, it becomes theirs; it now, no longer belongs solely to you. This is your greatest connection and tool.

Create an eye-catching Press Release, you will find numerous templates online. Think punchy and to the point – ‘who, what, when and why’. This is your press tool. Check out your local newspapers & magazines for spotlight features, book reviews and entertainment features. These are invaluable, some may jump at the chance of a local interest editorial, some may ask for an advertorial – you pay for a small advert and they give you a read up, creating a win-win situation.

All forms of media whether traditional print, or online social are a truly valuable source. Once mastered, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram will be your best buddies. But be caution, your time is precious, you are a writer, so make sure you dedicate time for writing.

You can find Becky on her website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon.

RK Ride, Author of the Stella series

To be honest, the least favourite part of my publishing journey has to be marketing! But, I quickly realised that if I wanted people to enjoy the story I’d created, I had to get my head around the fact that I needed to let readers know my book was out there.  And one way I discovered to accomplish that, was not through ‘selling’ but through ‘connecting’.  Connecting with not only potential readers, but with fellow authors too. As authors, we are not in competition with each other. When you consider how many books a voracious reader can devour in a year, compared to how many books one author can write, it makes a whole lot of sense to collaborate with and support other authors.

A common medium to connect with others is through Social Media, and while it is a fabulous medium, it can also be a huge time suck. Early on in my marketing journey, I spent a lot of time on social media, but I found that my time spent was often grossly disproportionate to the amount of sales made. Now I focus my time and attention on growing my email list so that I can connect with my followers on a much more personal, one to one basis via a monthly newsletter, while still support my colleagues by having an Author Interview section in my mail out.

You can find Rhonda on her website, Facebook, and Instagram, Goodreads, and Amazon.

K.J. Chapman, author of the EVO Nation series and Thrown to the Blue

Indie authors are self-reliant on every publishing detail no matter how big or small. One aspect, and one of the most important, is marketing. Getting your book seen and reviewed will take up just as much time as the writing did in the first place.

I was a total newbie to anything self-publishing when I released my first book. I started marketing after publication and have since learnt that I made my life hard. Networking and building up your social media presence is vital, especially before publication. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and a website/blog are just some of the key marketing platforms to build up a target audience, open avenues for beta and ARC readers, and to garner a solid group of fans who will support your work, read and review, share, repost, host you on their own blogs etc.

One part of successful marketing are visuals to use on these various social media platforms. You can hire professionals to create your promos, Facebook banners etc. Or you can create your own as and when you need them. Here are some links to websites that allow you to create free promos and/or edit images for this purpose:

www.canva.com (this website has a fantastic array of free tools to make book covers, Instagram posts, Twitter banners, and much more.)

www.picmonkey.com (this website allows you to edit images, add text, change eye colour, hair colour etc. Useful for editing free-stock pictures.)

www.pixabay.com (this website offers numerous images released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.

I hope this has helped writers looking at going down the indie publishing route. It can be a long, tiring slog, but it gets your work out there and under your terms.

You can find Kayleigh on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Beverley Lee, Author of the Gabriel Davenport Trilogy

Marketing is an unruly beast as there isn’t an established rule book. But what does work may surprise you. It doesn’t involve spending money, just time. Support other writers. Cheer on all of their successes and be there on the bad days. The writing community is tight knit, they will do the same for you, and their readers may become your readers, which, in turn, will open up another new line of readership for you. It’s only by supporting others that we grow stronger as a whole.

If you do decide that advertising in a book promotion newsletter is for you, do your research on which are the best fit for your genre. Find out how many subscribers they have and what their newsletter actually looks like. Is it professional? (Some aren’t!) You will need to schedule well in advance though if you want to tie in your promotion with any others you are running. Some do book up months in advance so you need a marketing plan. Run a few campaigns and log your sales, rebook with the ones that give you the best return. You probably won’t even break even with the cost, but what it will do is to boost your book further up the rankings so that more people will see it. Keeping your book visible is one of the most important things that you can do.

You can find Beverley on her website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Ellen Read, Author of The Dragon Sleeps

After so many months writing a book, editing and publishing it, I then had to sell it. This is the most difficult of all.  I have worked in publicity/marketing in the performing arts, and although I think this was of some help, books are so very different. I researched and read everything I could find on how to go about selling my books. To start with, I had a website built. Then I started building an online presence. I started a writer’s page on Facebook and I joined Instagram and Goodreads. Instagram, in particular, was a revelation. I did not expect to find a book/writer/reader community there. Goodreads is also a great way to communicate with other authors and readers. A blog followed, although at first I wasn’t certain what I wanted to say. If you are selling your books on Amazon, as most Indie authors are, Amazon gives you an author page in US, UK, France and Germany, but not Australia and being Australian, I wish they did. However, there will always be some negatives. The thing is to work with are the positives. Author signings are a good way to get your book out there too. Sometimes I wonder how to fit in writing but it’s necessary to build followers.

You can find Ellen on her blog, website, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads, and Amazon.

G. R. Thomas, Author of The A’vean Chronicles

Visibility. This is the key word to demonstrate best practice book marketing. This is achievable three ways.

Social media. Used regularly, it is an effective platform to promote your book whether it be the cover, reviews or quotes, release dates and special promos.

Interaction. Be available to engage with readers and other authors to build relationships and trust. This promotes interest in your work as well as a sense of feeling like there’s a connection between the author and reader. We all know how exciting it is if we get a like from our favourite authors.

Book signings. There’s nothing like face to face interaction for you to draw a reader in and become memorable to them. Face to face signings have been the single most successful means for me in terms of sales, return customers and increase in social media following.

You can find Grace on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Amazon.

A. Morgan, Author of The Siblings

As an independent author, it is key to market the story right. Some pay for companies to do this for them, or like me, prefer the cheap and easy route by doing it myself.

For those looking to do it themselves, here is a few things to consider:

– Blog it. If you have a blog, get your story familiar with your followers by posting key information, excerpts, teasers, novel aesthetics or anything else you can think of by shouting loudest.

– Tweet it. Twitter along with its hashtags help many indie authors get their work out in the big bad world. Be it via #BookBoost, #indieauthors or the simple #amwriting, many people get the chance to see it. But be careful, filling up your timeline with nothing but self promotion, it can put a lot off followers off.

– I do not use it myself currently but Instagram seems to be a popular place to leave teasers.

Also, remember what type of readers you are looking to attract. If you’re trying to sell romance to a site popular with hardcore horror readers, you may not get the reaction you desire. The internet is a beautiful place and I know next time around, I will strive to do much more in advance. Leaving things to the last minute is not ideal. Scout hashtag games, bloggers willing to read advance copies and don’t be afraid to give away some for free.

Good luck with your journey and be prepared.

You can find Alan on his blog, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Melinda Devine, Author of Gina’s Diaries

Marketing. If I had to label this word, a sticker reading ‘A necessary evil’ would be slapped upon it.

When I began writing my debut novel Gina’s Diaries, I had no idea about marketing, let alone having to market my own book and myself as an author. I mean, really? Isn’t being an author just sitting and writing and releasing book after book? The answer: no. Especially for an Indie author.

To sell my book and myself, I needed to let everyone know we existed and to do that, I had to accept marketing was just as important as the book itself.

I have found two platforms which I’m comfortable with: Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook has worked for me in letting my friends and family know about my books, where they can purchase them, giving updates on my WIP and if I’m doing any book events or anything locally.

Instagram has been fabulous in reaching a far wider audience but in also allowing me to connect with authors and readers alike. I’ve held a couple of giveaways, placed my book on sale, attempted a few teasers and learnt an abundance of marketing ideas from the ever supportive author/bookstagram community.

I may see marketing as a necessary evil at the moment but that’s only because I’m still learning how to do it. One day it will just be a necessity and then, when I’ve successfully mastered it, marketing will be a breeze!

You can find Melinda on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon.

How do YOU market your books? What works best for you? Grab a cookie, make a tea/coffee, and let’s chat!


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Review: A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee (Gabriel Davenport, #2) (ARC)

Book Review: A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee (Gabriel Davenport #2)

“Gabriel Davenport has been remade from darkness. Now, he must adapt to survive .

In a small seaside town, Gabriel’s maker unwittingly takes his wards into the throes of a deadly new game. There are rumblings on The Bloodvyne, the mental web of linked vampire consciousness. Whispers about a cleansing, about the ruling council hunting vampires with impure blood.

Gabriel finds himself thrust into a new nightmare, where the hunter becomes the hunted. When his maker is taken, he must battle to untangle the mystifying clues laid out in an uncovered labyrinth to find the only creature strong enough to fight against those that hunt his new-found family.

Gaze long into the darkness, and you’ll find old vampire foes out for revenge, new ones with their own agenda, and a witch who holds the key. But just who is the monster in the middle?”

Book Review: A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee (Gabriel Davenport #2)

What I thought:

I was really chuffed to be on Beverley’s ARC squad <3 Having devoured her debut novel last year I was really excited to get my hands on the sequel.

And it delivered! Book 2 was every bit as thrilling, with new plot twists and new fascinating developments – and, of course, new cliffhangers setting up Book 3 – but no spoilers there 😉

Come to me, she whispered, and the fireflies in her eyes took flight.

The focus at the beginning is on Clove’s little group; however, previous POVs still made plenty of appearances, too, which gave a brilliant overview over (almost) everything that’s going on. I especially loved Moth’s and Teal’s POVs. Both boys really came into their own in this sequel and it was great to see just how much they developed over the course of the story.

There were also a few new characters who brought with them an interesting look into vampire politics!

I shuddered, the sensation running down my spine like the edge of a fingernail. My vision blurred and I blinked back tears, but I wasn’t sure if I was crying for what I had lost or what I had found.

Speaking of Moth and Teal, their character development was a personal highlight. We already knew a few things about them from Book 1, but this time we really got to know them and I loved watching them cope with all the new developments throughout. They are two very different boys who added a lot of depths to the plot. There were some fascinating facts about Teal which were revealed slowly as the plot progressed, and seeing Moth slowly open up was wonderful. For most of the book all I wanted was for Moth and Gabriel to get together and adopt Teal, because they’d make such a beautiful family! <3 Honestly, I can’t think of one character in Lee’s books I don’t like.

The writing was another highlight. Lee’s style is beautiful, and I found more quotes than I usually do – hence why I’ve chosen to include three rather than the usual two.

Something shifted deep inside him. Moth wasn’t prepared to lose another brother. If they went down, they would all do it together.

There ‘s everything to love about A Shining in the Shadows, and I can’t think of one aspect I didn’t enjoy. If you’re looking for a gothic urban fantasy with demons, vampires, and ancient magic (and why wouldn’t you? That sounds awesome!) I can’t recommend this book enough. It has everything you could want, and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.

Buy it on Amazon | Add it on Goodreads


Have you read Mort? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

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WWW Wednesday 8th March 2017

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

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What I’m currently reading

A Shining in the Shadows

I’m so thrilled to be on Lee’s ARC squad!!! The Making of Gabriel Davenport was one of my favourite reads last year, so I volunteered early 😀 A Shining in the Shadows is just as beautifully written and I’m flying through it. I might even be able to finish it this week!

A Shining in the Shadows will be out on the 7th of April, and I’ll definitely have my review ready for it. I’m dying to give you details and quotes, and not just squee and flail at you.

Blurb:

Gabriel Davenport has been remade from darkness. Now, he must adapt to survive .

In a small seaside town, Gabriel’s maker unwittingly takes his wards into the throes of a deadly new game. There are rumblings on The Bloodvyne, the mental web of linked vampire consciousness. Whispers about a cleansing, about the ruling council hunting vampires with impure blood.

Gabriel finds himself thrust into a new nightmare, where the hunter becomes the hunted. When his maker is taken, he must battle to untangle the mystifying clues laid out in an uncovered labyrinth to find the only creature strong enough to fight against those that hunt his new-found family.

Gaze long into the darkness, and you’ll find old vampire foes out for revenge, new ones with their own agenda, and a witch who holds the key. But just who is the monster in the middle?

Crescent Moon

I was happily reading this and enjoying Phoebe’s sarcasm when my ARC arrived on my kindle. Because ARCs take priority it’ll have to wait, but I’m excited to come back to it! I love learning more about Fahy’s worlds, and might have to sneak in a few pages here and there <3 It’d be a shame to not read this at all.

Blurb:

What do you do when your world is turned upside down?

When you discover your father had a direct hand in the genocide of much of the world’s human population?

Phoebe Harkness’ life has changed forever. Thirty years after a cataclysmic world war that eviscerated one third of the human population, a new sub-species of vampire-like drones has set its teeth to the survivors of humanity.

They’re not the only ones: ‘Genetic Others’ such as vampires, werewolves and more roam the streets of New Oxford, trying – and sometimes failing – to live peacefully amongst humankind.

But that is all about to change.

A spate of serial killings have occurred, rocking the already fragile ecosystem of New Oxford.

Brutal murders and mutilation are now commonplace.

Phoebe must get to work. She is named as liaison between the Genetic Others and the Cabal, the ruling order of the walled city.

She must negotiate with the Tribals, a subset of werewolves cast aside by the cultural hegemony of the Cabal.

But before she can make any progress with the Tribal leader, Kane, she learns of more murders – and three missing students. And Kane’s daughter is among the missing…

One of the victims leaves a message in blood: ‘Crescent Moon’.

Now Phoebe must act urgently with the help of Kane and her former paramour, vampire Allesandro to track down the culprit of these horrific killings.

But who is conducting all of these strange happenings behind the scenes?

And what does it have to do with the Crescent Moon…?

Crescent Moon is the gripping second instalment of the urban gothic Phoebe Harkness series. It follows the young doctor as she stalks through the corrupt dystopia of New Oxford.

The First Five Pages

Because of my ARC and Phoebe’s infectious sarcasm I haven’t made much progress on this. It’s one of those theory books that makes me want to write, so I’ve probably chosen a bad time for it to be honest, since I’m editing rather than writing right now.

If you’re a writer and you haven’t read this yet I strongly recommend that you do. It’s well-written, easy to apply, and it’s one of the few theory books that are written with humour!

Blurb:

Editors always tell novice writers that the first few pages of a manuscript are crucial in the publishing process — and it’s true. If an editor or agent (or reader) loses interest after a page or two, you’ve lost him or her completely, even if the middle of your novel is brilliant and the ending phenomenal. Noah Lukeman, an agent in Manhattan, has taken this advice and created a book that examines just what this means, and I have to tell you, it’s one of the best I’ve read. Continue reading (what is it with theory books and insanely long blurbs??)

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What I recently finished reading

The Fool

As expected I sped through this! If it wasn’t for my day job and my edits I’d have read it in one sitting, but a bookworm’s life is tough as we all know. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book in her Lovers and Liars series, but I still enjoyed it and will definitely come back for more when my tbr list allows it! (Having said that, I already have The King on my kindle, so it probably won’t be too long.)

Blurb:

One night can change everything.

That’s what they always say, and for now, vampire hunter Delia hopes it’s true. After years of mediocre performances, she’s still nothing more than a grunt in her hunter league, stuck on surveillance duty and low-level vamp busts.

So, when her informant drops an amazing lead in her lap, she jumps at the opportunity to take down the region’s rumored vampire leader at an invite-only masquerade ball. Clad in a mask and an uncomfortable dress, Delia throws herself into the fray—only to realize she’s woefully unprepared for the night that awaits her.

Also… Some ridiculously attractive guy dressed as the Fool keeps distracting her.

One night. One job. One man. One chance to change her life.

All she has to do is not screw it up.

Blood Gifted

BloodGifted was my first book by Lacoba and I really enjoyed it. It was fast paced with intriguing characters and many plot twists! Because my tbr pile has grown to dizzying hights I’m not sure when I’ll get to the sequel, but it’s definitely on my list <3 If you love urban fantasies with sexy vampires and curses I recommend this! My full review will be up on Goodreads soon, too 🙂

Blurb:

What’s a girl to do when she learns she’s the key to breaking a centuries-old family curse? Become dangerously intimate with a jaw-dropping vision of male hotness hiding a secret agenda of his own.
Nothing could be simpler.
Or is it?
When primary school teacher, Laura Dantonville, learns of her family’s dark ancestral legacy, she’s propelled into a secret underworld ruled by magic, mystery and murder, and stalked by vampire clans who would do anything to possess her. For her protection, she’s assigned a guardian not knowing that part of her role in ending the ancient curse that has plagued her family for centuries, involves having a child with him.

And she has one day to make a decision.

With only five years left of servitude to his sire, Alec Munro reluctantly accepts to act as Laura’s guardian or risk remaining in slavery forever. But can he maintain a platonic relationship between them when something far more intimate is required to end his sire’s family curse?

With time running out, Laura must decide to either accept Alec or allow her vampire-hating detective boyfriend to end the legacy his way – by eliminating the undead side of her family.
After all, they’re not human are they?

Being unable to age is just the beginning.

Zero to 100,000

Overall this was disappointing for me. As someone who isn’t new to social media I couldn’t take much away from it, but if you’re new to Twitter, blogging, and other similar sites you’ll be sure to pick up a thing or two! I’m not sure if there’s a more recent version out there (I borrowed this one from my library) but this one wasn’t up to date. Several social media sites aren’t covered, and some of the information isn’t as relevant today as it was then.

Still, if you’re just starting to get into the vast social mediaverse you’re bound to learn a thing or two! However, if you’ve been using social media for a while there’s likely a better book you can use.

Blurb:

I work in digital media publishing, yet I’ve struggled, like most of the business world, to understand how to make social media work for me. Sarah-Jayne and Dean tackled the challenge with an energy that has to be seen to be believed. These two are now my #1 source of information and have provided simple and effective strategies that have helped me to monetize social media. Continue reading (It’s a really long blurb…)

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What I think I’ll read next

I’m not making any promises this week. I’ve got so many current reads on the go that I’m not sure when I’ll pick something new. I’m not like most of you, I can’t read three books in one week 😛 I should have a better idea in two weeks when my next WWW post publishes.

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Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

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My Favourite Reads of 2016 – Indie Edition!

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A couple of weeks ago I gave a shout-out to my favourite reads this year – and today I’m doing exactly the same thing, but for the incredible indie authors I’ve discovered this year!

I know we indie authors don’t always have a good reputation, due to the ease of self-publishing. That’s why I’m hoping that you’re going to take away some great recommendations from today’s post! A lot of us really do put our backs and souls into our books, and all of the novels below are great examples of indie authors who’ve done just that.

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EVO Shift was my second read by K. J. Chapman, and the sequel to her debut novel EVO Nation. They’re fast paced, the characters are beautifully developed (especially Yana) and there are plot twists and cliff hangers everywhere!

The Siblings

The Siblings is A. Morgan’s exciting, fast-paced, action-packed debut novel. As the title suggests, it’s about a brother and a sister in a dystopian future, where intense sun radiation has destroyed much of civilisation. They get separated, and discover terrible truths about the survival of humanity.

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I couldn’t believe this was self-published, it’s that good. If a dark urban fantasy with demons, shadows and sexy vampires (the traditional, awesome, dangerous kind, not the sparkly fairy kind) sounds like your thing I beg you to give this one a go. You won’t regret it.

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I devoured all three of these. Infernal Ties is the prequel novella, so it won’t take you long at all to decide if this series is for you! I’m looking forward to reading the final book next year, too. It features beautifully vivid mentions of Prague, and the character development is superb!

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I found so many amazing indie books this year simply because I know the authors on my various social media hangouts, and Awaken was one of them. I loved the plot immensely, and am really glad I decided to pick it up. While it has some religious sub tones they are very slight and background info more than anything, and didn’t in any way effect my enjoyment of the book (being not religious myself at all). The writing had a strange familiar feel to it, and I flew through it!

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I hadn’t read urban gothic before (although, The Making of Gabriel Davenport can probably also fall into that category) so I had no expectations going in, but I loved every moment of it. It was dark, it had funny moments, and – best of all – the MC Phoebe’s sarcasm matched my own! I’ve got the sequel Crescent Moon waiting for me now, and am really excited to get to it.

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Having read Chapman’s EVO Nation series I was looking forward to seeing how she handled high fantasy. This is her first novel in the genre, and with magic and prophecy playing such a huge part in it she’s handled it rather well! If you love destined lovers, prophecy and a villain you’ll love to hate, then this is for you!

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This was two kinds of firsts for me. I’ve never read erotic novels and I hadn’t read anything by Meldon before, either, so I went in with no expectations. Since this is a novella, and fast-paced, I could easily have read it in one day if my day job wasn’t a thing *shakes fist* It features both a lot of steamy action and an intriguing plot, which has Aphrodite and Loki solving murder mysteries. You also get a small insight into old religions, which made for interesting side info!www-07122016-3

Eléonore is Faith Riven’s debut novel, but it doesn’t read like one. It’s confident, action-packed and emotional, and I’d have read the whole thing in one sitting if it wasn’t for responsibilities and the day job *shakes fist some more* My review for it went up last week, so do check it out! 🙂

What are your favourite indie reads this year? Which ones would you recommend? Get a tea and some cookies, and let’s chat! 🙂

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For all my book reviews, please take a look here.

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Eight Writerly Routines

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What’s better than one writer’s routine? You guessed it – eight of them! 😀 As writers we’re naturally curious and, yes, nosy, so today I’m bringing you the routines of eight writers from all stages in their careers. Some of the amazing people below are at the very beginning of their game, while others have published several books already. All of them have published at least one book – which makes this post a great source of information!

For a lot of new writers the routines they’re meant to have elude them. Truth is, there’s no right or wrong way of putting the words to paper/screen, and the eight authors below show just how different a routine can be. I hope this puts your mind at rest if you’re a new writer starting out, and if you’ve already released a book baby into the scary world I hope you get something from this post regardless 🙂

Holly Evans Profile PicHolly Evans, Author of the Infernal Ties series

I was honoured when Sarina approached me to talk a little bit about my writing routine! Then I realised, with a little awkwardness, that I don’t have much of a routine. I’m one of those writers who only write when they’re inspired. I absolutely refuse to sit down and write unless I’m in the right headspace. Fortunately I write pretty quickly, so I can pull this off. This means that I don’t set aside any set time to write. What I do instead is finish up pretty much everything I have to do in that day, my freelance work, niggly paperwork, errands etc, then I relax and run the story through my head. That means that I rarely sit down and waste time going ‘ssooo… what am I writing next?’ When I sit down, it’s already straight in my head and I get those chapters written as quickly as possible.  If I can write, I do so until I can’t any more. If I can’t, I read or watch a movie.

This does get a little bit difficult when I look at my deadlines, because they’re pretty tight. I have a strict publishing schedule that means I have around about 10 weeks to produce one book, from start to finish. About 6 of those weeks, (sometimes more) is then devoted to editing so I do have to write at a reasonable clip. To do this, I do a good amount of character development and world-building, with loose outlines for the plot. I freaked myself out when I tried a truly in depth outline, I need the freedom to play and explore, otherwise I shut down and can’t do it. Knowing my world and characters gives me the space to play in, without taking away that freedom. Oh and I absolutely must have music when I write, Spotify is a godsend! All in all, it’s a bit chaotic, but it works for me.

Find Holly on Twitter, her blog, and Goodreads

kathryn-evansKathryn Evans, Author of More of Me

I’m a really busy person– I work full time on our family farm, have two kids and do a lot of volunteering plus I have a couple of time consuming hobbies. I’ve learned to jam my writing in wherever and whenever I can – It’s getting trickier now, with all the book promotion stuff, but it’s the same rules really. I’m lucky that I can work in short, intense bursts of time – give me 40 focussed minutes and I can usually turn around quite a lot!  If I can get to writing first thing in the morning, it’s usually the best time, but that’s quite often not possible. Am often writing on trains, in the hairdressers or while waiting to pick up a child from somewhere!

I’m a sort of Plonter or a Plattser…I need to know where I’m going and what the highs and lows of my story are, but then I just write. It does mean a lot of going back and forth but we all have to edit, right? I wish I could plot properly, I think it would save a lot of time – but maybe it wouldn’t, maybe all the time I spend correcting stuff I would have spent plotting!

Find Kathryn on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, her blog, and Goodreads

liz-meldonLiz Meldon, Author of the Lovers and Liars series and the Games We Play series

My goal is to write daily. Whether it’s just a few hundred words or two thousand, I aim to get a little done each day. Now, I write both as a freelancer and as an indie author, and I split my week up accordingly. At the moment, three days a week are dedicated to freelance work, with a set weekly word count decided in advance that I split equally between the three days. Personal work gets three days too, and Sundays are usually my day off.

Both freelance and personal writing days tend to go the same. Before sitting down to write, I go through all my social media, emails, or any other internet distractions so I don’t feel the need to check during my writing stints. Twitter distractions are my biggest struggle!

Once I’ve sorted out my online distractions, I occasionally disconnect the WIFI on my laptop so I won’t be tempted to go clicking around while writing. I then set up my timer (I write in 15 minute stints, then take a break), open my word count app, and confirm what scene I’ll be working on or what word count I need to hit.

Stretching out my wrists is incredibly important—and it should be for you too! Find a little routine that works for you to maintain wrist health. You need those hands to write, after all.

From there, I just go. I write until my timer goes off, maybe a little over, record my word count (yeay accomplishments!) then take my break to avoid burnout. Rinse and repeat this routine until my word count is hit or my designated scene for the day is complete!

Find Liz on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, her blog and Goodreads

kjchapmanK. J. Chapman, author of the EVO Nation series, and Thrown to the Blue

When it comes to a writing routine, I’m stretched to pull one together. I’m a pantser and a slap dash drafter; take an idea and run with it. Every draft is a journey of discovery for me. That being said, I do keep notes and snippets of dialogue that may or may not make it into the final cut, but my most important notes are the ones I write specifically for when I get to the editing stage- aspects that need more research, or chapters to add to make the ending plausible etc. Due to family life, I have to write when and where I can. On bad days, I don’t write at all. On good days, I can manage up to 3k words or more. The triumph is getting that first draft under my belt, no matter how I do it.

Editing is where routine features more highly on my agenda. I always redraft using my notes, and more often than not, I redraft my redraft. Being a pantser, I have to sift through the ramblings a fair bit. Once the redraft is complete, I comb through the manuscript for spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes. A rough deadline helps me to get through the edits in time to send the manuscript to my proof reader. I’m not an editing fan, so deadlines help me to slog through it.

My best advice is to do what suits your goals, lifestyle, and your sanity. Right and wrong is subjective when it comes to creativity. Do whatever it is that helps you get that first draft written.

Find K. J. Chapman on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, her blog and Goodreads

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James Fahy, author of the Phoebe Harkness series and The Changeling series

I know there are writers out there who plan every last line and detail of their books. Flowcharts, post-it notes pinned to the wall and joined to one another with a web of cotton like some serial killer’s crime scene investigation, but that’s not for me. I think too much micro-management can lead to dull writing. Your characters need room to breathe and express themselves. (within SOME kind of framework of course)

I like to initially split a novel into three ‘Acts’, as though it were a movie or a play. The Setup, the ‘Meat’ and the Conclusion. I have to know exactly what needs to happen in each of these three chunks to move the story forward and control pacing well. Once I’ve rolled the tale around in my head for a few weeks, and I’m sure of the shape of it, I’ll then usually break each of these three acts down into working chapter titles (even if these don’t make it into the final book)

It’s at this point you have to trust your characters to get you from A to Z. You’ve drawn the map as best you can, now it’s time to hand over the wheel to them and trust them to drive it forward. Hopefully, if your characters are strong and well realised, you can trust them to do all the work. It’s always surprising to me what back lanes, unexpected turn offs and occasional dead ends they take you down along the way, but it’s the absolute joy of writing just to fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.

Find James on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, his blog, and Goodreads

beverley-leeBeverley Lee, author of The Making of Gabriel Davenport

I don’t have what I deem a ‘normal’ routine, as in sitting down at a certain time of day to write, but it tends to be the afternoon most recently. I like to get the real life things out of the way first as I find I can concentrate more. When I am in writing mode (as opposed to editing mode, which seems to be my default right now!) I usually have a word count for the day that I like to complete. There’s something so satisfying about seeing that number creep up daily. I rarely plan what I want to write in any session, I always just listen to what my characters tell me and where they want to go.

With all my drafts I write from beginning to end, even if I know what certain scenes will be further along. I find it helps keep me focussed more than jumping about. As far as rituals are concerned I write in silence and I have to have tea on my desk and be comfortable. Writing in lounging wear somehow makes the words flow much sweeter 😉

Find Beverley on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, her blog, and Goodreads

alan-morganA. Morgan, author of The Siblings

My writing can be varied. I can write pretty much anywhere, but mostly use my phone (as I have done for this) using the Werdsmith app. My favourite place to write is in bed. Nice and chilled. When I was writing my first novel The Siblings, I was writing a minimum of a thousand words a day, everyday. After a few months I had a draft but it was brutal. It can be hard to keep up a schedule like that with full time work commitments, a busy home life with visiting new places and other things I like to dabble in.

I have now changed it up and write to a less strict word count. I am a pantser at heart but have been  known to make notes and outlines where necessary, to ensure that certain stories do not get out of hand. I have so many ideas rattling around right now in my mind that it’s hard to stick to one. But my main focus soon will be The Siblings Two in the new year.

Find A. Morgan on Twitterhis blog, and Goodreads

gr-thomasG. R. Thomas, author of The Avean Chronicles

Initially I had zero routine when I began writing. I was quite literally free-range. Many a post-it-note was plastered to my walls; yellow, pink and blue ones with scrawled ideas. My plotting to this day still relies heavily on voice memos and those little coloured squares.  Often though I still just write off the cuff and let the story take me where it wants to go. Characters in particular, seem to develop themselves, despite what I may actually want for them.  

I developed an effective daily routine for the writing of my second book as my life is chaotic. Three kids and a farm to run, I needed a dedicated writing time.  I began visiting my local coffee shop after dropping the kids to school. I now dedicate at least 2 hours to solid writing. Whether that is plotting, editing or putting down new words.

So, what did I discover when I treated my writing as a job? It worked! Surrounded by the smell of coffee wafting through the air, punctuated with the white noise of the chatter-chatter in the back ground, I actually zone out and achieve more than I did previously. I would often look up and the hours had melted away as the cups and saucers piled up.

This is what works for me and I love every second of it.

Find G. R. Thomas on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, her blog and Goodreads

How do you fit writing (photography, sculpting, painting, marketing, etc.) into your daily routine? Get a cookie and a tea – believe me, you’ve earned the break! – and let me know in the comments!


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What Self-Publishing my Debut Novel has Taught me by Beverley Lee

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I’m really excited about this month’s guest post, because the wonderful Beverley Lee, author of The Making of Gabriel Davenport, is here today to talk about her experience of being a self-published writer!

For those of you who don’t know her – Beverley is a people watcher, a dreamer, a lover of nature and simple things. She collects feathers, picks up seashells and likes to run her fingers over old stone. There’s history there. Stories just waiting to be discovered.

She knows that the best way to grow is to support other people and she is passionate about helping other writers as they begin their journey – which is exactly what she’s come here to do today!

If you’re into dark tales with dangerous vampires and ancient demons, I highly recommend you check out her book! The title above takes you straight to Goodreads 🙂 It’s one of my favourite reads this year, and all the praise it’s received since its release is very well deserved.

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Writing a book is hard. Marketing a book is even harder. That’s one thing I didn’t even consider when I first started out on my writing journey.

Traditional or self-publishing? The most important thing for me was getting The Making of Gabriel Davenport out there. I wanted people to read my story and to connect with my characters. At first I tried going down the traditional publishing route. I entered all of the pitch days on Twitter that I could, honing my book into an impossibly measly 140 characters, and hoping that someone would see the potential. I did get a few nibbles, but after consideration, they didn’t feel *right* and I’m a huge believer in gut instinct. I tried sending off the first three chapters to a host of agents and small presses, all with no success. I became one of those writers with a stack of emails that went unanswered. I’d given myself until the end of 2015 but I think I knew deep down that I’d have to try another way, as I had it professionally edited in December of that year. But I’ll be honest, the thought of actually going down the *other* route scared me silly!

I knew virtually nothing about self-publishing apart from the fact that you could do it through Amazon, so in a nutshell, I had to learn everything. I spent hours going through the pros and cons of buying my own ISBN’s (which I did), which book trim size was best for my genre, costing, what colour page to use. I lost myself in the forest of ‘how to self-publish’ websites. I bugged all of my friends that had done it before for advice and their list of pitfalls.

I learned that having a solid social media platform is incredibly important. I’ve had a pretty consistent Twitter presence since I first started writing Gabriel, and it would probably have never got past the first ten thousand words without the support of my writing challenge group. Having people around you that really understand what you’re going through, who you can rant at when nothing seems to make sense, and share those highs when everything is rolling along beautifully, is worth more than gold. I discovered Instagram in September last year, and through the #bookstagram community quickly found another support network of amazing writers and readers. Here people seemed to get me even more than on Twitter. They were genuinely interested in the progress of my book. As the time drew closer to publication they were the ones who shouted out my book baby, giving me the confidence to push it even further. They are my first readers, my first reviewers, and for that I’ll always be very, very grateful.

Some things I couldn’t do myself. Formatting and I just do not get along. I ended up outsourcing this, partly because I didn’t have the time or the patience to mess around with it myself. I’m a firm believer that even after countless revisions and beta readers’ eagle eyes, that a professional editor is a must. They *see* things you don’t even think about. I thought my finished draft was pretty tight when it went to my editor, but she found places where my enthusiasm for over explaining took the reader out of the story, and after changing what she’d highlighted, I could see the difference. I lost a lot of what I held close in some of these changes, but I learned so much.

It has all been a huge education, and I’m only just scratching the surface of how to market properly. Next time I will give myself more space at the end of the process. It was such a fine line between success and disaster with Gabriel. I didn’t receive my books from Create Space until the day of launch, or my business cards – both because I didn’t appreciate how long it would take to get errors corrected and then sent back. I ended up paying a lot to have both get to me on time, a cost I didn’t have to pocket if I’d allowed myself more leeway. I will make sure to have the book uploaded to Amazon at least two months before my launch date, so I can get the proof copy and look for errors and then get them ironed out, without giving myself a major dose of anxiety.

It’s not enough to have a well written and captivating story. You have to get it in front of the eyes of possible purchasers who won’t scroll through Amazon page after page. They want an immediate impulse buy – something to grab their attention in the 0.2 seconds that they give to each book. Categories. Keywords. Algorithms. Words that Hemingway never had to deal with, but a must for a modern writer to understand.

But if you asked me, would I do it again, the answer is a resounding yes! The sequel to Gabriel, A Shining in the Shadows, is due for release some time in the spring of 2017. The words ‘a glutton for punishment’ come to mind, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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 If you’d like to connect with Beverley, you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, or you can check out her beautiful new website!

Are you a self-published author, or is it one of your goals for next year? What valuable lessons have you learned along the way, or – if you’re about to self-publish for the first time – is there anything you’d like to ask? Get yourself a tea, make yourself comfortable, and let’s chat!

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For all other guest posts, take a look here.

For Cookie Break’s home page, have a look here.

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Review: The Making of Gabriel Davenport by Beverley Lee

Reviews

“In a house built on truth something lays hidden.

Beth and Stu Davenport moved to the English hillside town of Meadowford Bridge to give their young son, Gabriel, an idyllic, rural childhood. But in a single evening, the Davenports’ dream is shattered by a hidden, ancient darkness– and their lives are forever changed.

Years later, Gabriel Davenport, now a capable, curious young man, makes the ill-fated decision to go looking for answers about his mysterious past. As soon as he begins his quest, his life becomes a place of shadows. The people he loves and trusts are acting abnormally. The strange woman who lives upstairs is even more haunted than usual. Even his most trusted friend seems to be hiding something.

As one fateful night deepens, and the line blurs between darkness and light, Gabriel must confront the terrible events that destroyed his family all those years ago. He is faced with a choice: continue living the life that was never his to begin with, or give himself over to a terrifying new reality more sinister than anything he’s ever known.

The darkness is watching.”

Book Review: The Making of Gabriel Davenport by Beverley LeeWhat I thought:

The Making of Gabriel Davenport was not what I expected – in all the right ways!

The opening line alone was beautiful, and drew me in right away. It also got dark very quickly, and set the tone for the rest of the book. I wasn’t even five (short) chapters into the story before I was fearing for Beth’s life, and I still feel for everything that’s gone so terribly wrong for her. While she wasn’t one of the most active characters throughout the book she’s one of my favourites, which says a lot I think.

I love The Manor. It’s the perfect sanctuary (demons notwithstanding) and gawd, the things I’d do to search that vault and that library! They both sound like someone’s perfect happy place! It might be time to start a list of fictional places I’d love to visit, and put this one at the top… Not that Carver would let me.

The one thing I really didn’t expect was the supernatural twist. I knew there’d be a demon and something evil from the blurb, but I didn’t expect someone who could see the dead, or fudging vampires. Not the fake, sparkly kind. The dark, dangerous kind. I thought I knew who my favourites were until Clove walked in.

The characters are real and convincing, and I felt protective of Beth early on. Olivia is my favourite character. She’s a girl with a fascinating ability, who’s unapologetic, and who gets shit done!

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I bought it, but it wasn’t this and I can’t wait for the sequel. The Making of Gabriel Davenport ended in such a brilliant way, and I can’t recommend it enough!

Buy it on Amazon | Add it on Goodreads


Have you read The Making of Gabriel Davenport? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

Please note: All reviews contain affiliate links. I do not review books on this blog that I didn’t enjoy or believe in–all reviews are recommendations.

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WWW Wednesday 15th June 2016

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW WednesdayThis meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

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What I’m currently reading

Six of Crows

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I couldn’t resist any longer!! 😀 After all these good reviews I’ve seen I had to read this next, and while I’m only about a third through I’m really enjoying it. It’s very fast paced, which is why I felt a little lost at the beginning. There is a lot going on and a lot of people are introduced in the same chapter, but by now I’m used to who everyone is. I think.

I probably won’t finish it and get the review written in time for next week Thursday, but I should have it up the week after that 🙂

Blurb:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

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What I recently finished reading

TheMakingofGabrielDavenport

The Making of Gabriel Davenport

The Making of Gabriel Davenport is Lee’s debut novel, and wasn’t at all what I had expected – in all the right ways! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew that I had to read this and I was not disappointed. The opening line was beautiful, and the tone for the book was set rather quickly. Overall it was a dark and fascinating read. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my review here, so keep an eye out for that 😉

Blurb:

In a house built on truth something lays hidden.

Beth and Stu Davenport moved to the English hillside town of Meadowford Bridge to give their young son, Gabriel, an idyllic, rural childhood. But in a single evening, the Davenports’ dream is shattered by a hidden, ancient darkness– and their lives are forever changed.

Years later, Gabriel Davenport, now a capable, curious young man, makes the ill-fated decision to go looking for answers about his mysterious past. As soon as he begins his quest, his life becomes a place of shadows. The people he loves and trusts are acting abnormally. The strange woman who lives upstairs is even more haunted than usual. Even his most trusted friend seems to be hiding something.

As one fateful night deepens, and the line blurs between darkness and light, Gabriel must confront the terrible events that destroyed his family all those years ago. He is faced with a choice: continue living the life that was never his to begin with, or give himself over to a terrifying new reality more sinister than anything he’s ever known.

The darkness is watching.

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What I think I’ll read next

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The 5th Wave

This has been waiting on my bookshelf for far too long! I already nearly picked it over Six of Crows, so I’m positive that I’ll read this one next. I’ve heard a lot of great things about it, and the blurb is amazing so I’m really looking forward to it. Right now I’m not sure if it’s a sci-fi novel or just another zombie apocalypse thing, but either way I’ll be speeding through Six of Crows to get to this.

Blurb:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

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Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

32 Comments

WWW Wednesday 1st June 2016

WWW 01062016This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW WednesdayI’M BACK! 😀 You’d think I’d have finished more since the last time I took part was one month ago, but I’ve only finished one book! I’m also reading two books right now, so as you can see things are wild here 😛

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

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What I’m currently reading

TheMakingofGabrielDavenportThe Making of Gabriel Davenport

I know Beverley from Twitter as well as her blog, and because she’s such a lovely person and because that cover is stunning I had to buy her book. It’s not my usual read and I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but so far it’s got me hooked and I’m looking forward to reading more. I’m really glad I decided to give this a go, and I’m enjoying it a lot! It’s a fast read, so I expect I’ll be done before the week is over. A full review will follow in a few weeks 🙂 (that cover is hand-drawn, people! hand-drawn!)

Blurb:

In a house built on truth something lays hidden.

Beth and Stu Davenport moved to the English hillside town of Meadowford Bridge to give their young son, Gabriel, an idyllic, rural childhood. But in a single evening, the Davenports’ dream is shattered by a hidden, ancient darkness– and their lives are forever changed.

Years later, Gabriel Davenport, now a capable, curious young man, makes the ill-fated decision to go looking for answers about his mysterious past. As soon as he begins his quest, his life becomes a place of shadows. The people he loves and trusts are acting abnormally. The strange woman who lives upstairs is even more haunted than usual. Even his most trusted friend seems to be hiding something.

As one fateful night deepens, and the line blurs between darkness and light, Gabriel must confront the terrible events that destroyed his family all those years ago. He is faced with a choice: continue living the life that was never his to begin with, or give himself over to a terrifying new reality more sinister than anything he’s ever known.

The darkness is watching.

The second book I’m reading is this:

RebeccaHowie CoverThe Game Begins

I’m interviewing Rebecca here tomorrow, and really wanted to read her book before that. Sadly I’ve only just started it and am not very far into it, but it’s intriguing so far.

Because I’m only a few pages into it I can’t say very much about it, but as I’ve just mentioned the author herself will be here tomorrow to chat about her book, so watch this space 😉

Blurb:

Four years after the car crash which took away her father, Samantha Beckett is still struggling to move on with her life. There are so many questions plaguing her since she woke up in hospital. Deciding to try and make peace with the past, her nightmares return and moving on seems impossible.

When a series of break-ins are brought to her attention, Sam begins to investigate with the help of her friend, in the hope of taking her mind off her father. She soon realises that the case isn’t as simple as it first appeared after a woman is killed and her husband is accused of her murder.

With threats, deception, and murder making it hard for Sam to know who to trust, she has to solve her case before somebody else is killed.

It isn’t long before she realises just how dangerous her world really is.

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What I recently finished reading

WWW040516.1The Wise Man’s Fear

After The Name of the Wind I had to read the sequel. I know I’m in for a wait for the final book in the trilogy (November, was it?), but this one I had to have now. If you’ve seen my review for The Name of the Wind, you’ll know that I wouldn’t have cared if it had a thousand pages – this one actually has a thousand pages (994, to be exact) and I don’t care. Usually long books like this intimidate me, but these two are exceptions.

I’ve enjoyed this so much – my only tiny criticism would be that it might have been better off as two books – and I’m itching for the final novel in this trilogy. My full review will follow next week.

Blurb:

“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”
My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trehon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view — a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man’s Fear, an escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe uncovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King’s Road.

All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, is forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived…until Kvothe.

In The Wise Man’s Fear, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

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What I think I’ll read next

Since the two books I’m reading now are outside my usual genre I’ll probably read a fantasy book next, but I haven’t decided which one 🙂 I’ve got more than enough on my book shelf to chose from! Both of my current books are short, so I imagine I’ll pick one later this week 🙂

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Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

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