Happy Indie Author Day!

Hello my fellow Indie Authors, and to the readers who love us!

As an indie author, I am honored to have a day dedicated to me and my fellow independent writers who grind to build their own name, their own way. We push our work out to readers and make relationships on a deeper level with them whilst dreaming of what it would be like to “make it big”. We may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of books and writing, but I have met so many authors yet to be published with a voice so original, they could teach the big name authors a thing or two about writing. We may not be published by one of the Big 6 companies, but we still have a story to tell and want our readers to enjoy it all the same.

Today, celebrate all the hard work you have completed, and any new projects you may be undertaking with a pat on the back. Regardless if we ever get published, we are putting our work out there one book at a time, and that’s a beautiful thing. Happy Indie Author Day!See the source image

Book Review: Mine to Take by Cynthia Eden

It has been a while since I have actually sat down and read a book. With school, work, and my daughter, I just haven’t been able to find the time. Well, last night, I finally did it! I read a whole book in about three hours with interruptions, of course, such as bath and bedtime routine. It was a quick read, relatively short book, but it packed a whopping punch.18053913

Mine to Take by Cynthia Eden

Rating: 4.5 Stars

I love Cynthia Eden! I have read her entire Bound series which hooked me on her as an author, and just recently found this novel since it was a freebie on Amazon. (One of the best ways for an Indie Author to market themselves because I went searching for the next book in the series and purchased it!) She is a semi-Indie Author who has been published by various firms, but takes pride in her independent accomplishments, and as well she should. I have yet to read a novel that I did not thoroughly enjoy by her! And Mine to Take is no different.

Skye Sullivan is a talented prima-ballerina who had a car accident which maimed her leg and stripped her of her ability to dance professionally. With a long past of darkness, Skye is used to feeling fear and pain, but for months before her accident, she feels as if someone had been watching her, breaking into her apartment and moving things, even stealing her underwear from her drawers. The police didn’t believe her before, nor after her accident, so she turned to the one man she knew she could count on. A man from her dark past she had never been able to forget.

Some men left a mark on a woman, a mark that went far beneath the skin. – Mine to Take by Cynthia Eden

Skye seems to be a frail woman, but her soul is strong. After her parents died when she was a child, she bounced through the system, never feeling safe or unafraid. She lived with the fear and pain until she found her way to a dance floor. She had found her release and her passion, but one man would always trump her need to dance.

Trace Weston is a self-made millionaire who pulled himself from the slums and into high society in a way he would never admit. His security firm based its riches on corporations, but when Skye walks into his office with a bone chilling story of a stalker, he dedicates all of his resources to protecting, including himself. He had let her go once before, and he wouldn’t make that mistake again, but before he could have her the way he wanted, he had to make sure she was safe.

There were some things a man could never forget. – Mine to Take by Cynthia Eden

Trace had met Skye as a teenager, saved her the first night they had met, too. He was a dominate man, strong and powerful in demeanor, and when it came to Skye, his reflex was to keep her close. She was the one that got away, but he wouldn’t let her go a second time.

***SPOILER ALERT***

There were so many twists and turns in the short novel that I absolutely loved. The pace kept you on the edge of your seat, and you constantly questioned who the stalker was. Eden almost had be convinced that it was Trace when the detective was grilling him at the police station in front of Skye, but the scene where she was dancing in the club and practically begged Trace not to be the stalker convinced me it wasn’t him. The vulnerability of Trace and Skye in that moment was beautiful!

The only thing I wish that would have played out a bit more was the captive scene toward the end when Loxley went to where he had Skye imprisoned, and he was going to take her away, so that Trace or anyone else couldn’t find her. It seemed so very short that he was going to clean her up, and she thought that Trace was dead, but on the other hand, it was kind of a relief that it wasn’t too drawn out. Stalker situations like that can be a bit dark and aggressive, so not pushing the boundary too hard was a bit welcoming after all the main characters had been through.

All and all, a great quick read when you are hungry for a good book, but are strapped for time. Now on to homework. Boo! I want to read Mine to Keep!

What Draws a Reader In

As a fellow seeker, I’ve been contemplating what exactly it is that draws us, the potential reader, into a new novel. Is it the cover? Is it the title, or synopsis on the back cover? How about the first few pages? Or the reviews? Could it be a combination of all the above?

As an author, each time I begin putting the final touches on my finished work these questions always pop into mind. I try to remember what it is exactly that brings me to each novel I choose to read. I picture my latest exploration into a different world and run the initial face value of the novel through my mind before settling on what aspect had hit my interest first.

Take one of my latest reads as an example, the Callie & Kayden duology by Jessica Sorensen.

As I usually do when I am looking for a new novel, I found the list for what is recommended for me based on a book I have previously read. As I scrolled through the works listed, the first thing that caught my eye was the title, “The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden”. The alliteration within the name rang in my ears, and I have to say the actual characters name’s really intrigued me! For many potential readers I’m sure when something seems to strike our interest, the first thing we do is seek for more information.

As I clicked the title, the second thing to really ignite my curiosity was the cover, a young couple shared a kiss in the rain. The contrast of the dark background to their white shirts and tan skin causes your eye to search rather than rest on any one aspect. Not to mention, what I could make out of the guy, he seems to be rather attractive. (I’m a sucker for a strong jawline.)

Finally, the last deciding factor to whether or not I was going to purchase and read this novel was the synopsis, the brief explanation on the back cover. This blurb really brought my emotions to the surface, connecting me to the characters while reiterating my infatuation with their uncommon names. After reading the summary, I knew I would find this newly created world a worth while read. (I try not to focus on reviews. I usually really like what others say is bad.)

After reading “The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden”, I went on to read the continuation of these characters in “The Redemption of Callie & Kayden” as I was already drawn in from the first novel.

What I have learned from so many authors, including Jessica Sorensen, is to appeal to the senses of your readers if you want them to consider enjoying your work. In this example, the title brought me in because of the alliteration, the cover sunk me a little further because of the contrast in colors, and finally, the synopsis triggered my emotions. Remember these steps, and you’ll have a novel a reader can’t help but read.

What intrigues you?

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Movie Review

Now I know I have done a lot of movie reviews lately, but this one is a must! I read the Hunger Games trilogy about two years ago now, and I love the story behind these books. It was my first adult adventure into the more sci-fi-ish genre, and I was not disappointed. (I read Ender’s Game when I was a young teen, but I don’t think I really grasped the concept of the books. Definitely worth a re-read, but I digress.)

Let me start out by saying that the first movie, The Hunger Games, for me was good, but not to the caliber that I was hoping for. So much was left out that it felt like a scratched CD, skipping vital scenes that built up the relationship between Katniss and Peeta, so with the story line of this first movie, I wasn’t really impressed.

Not to mention Jennifer Lawrence didn’t seem like an experienced actress, almost KStew status throughout all of the Twilight Saga. I just didn’t get the feeling that she really connected to the character or the story behind her. There should have been at least one scene off the top of my head where a friend dies in the games that I should have been in tears. I was sad, but I wasn’t sold.

My overall rating for the first movie was about a 3, but my love for these books is what made me hopeful for the next movie.

Now, Catching Fire.

For an adaptation, I was extremely happy with this movie! I absolutely loved it! J. Lawrence really has become a great actress, connecting to her emotions as the character. She really had me sold on so many scenes that I actually cried in the theater! Definitely an amazing performance leaving me with goosebumps!  There was one scene where Katniss, JLaw, has a mini break after someone comes back from being unconscious, and she is literally shaking through the entire scene! I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house! Don’t get me wrong, all of the actors of the movie were beautifully cast, but she stole the show, as it should be for any main character.

The fight scenes and setting were beautifully done, all of the “future technology” aspects seemed realistic. CGI really didn’t take a toll on the movie like a lot of fantasy/sci-fi genre movies do. Costumes, make up, the whole nine yards was perfect for this tribute (pun intended), especially the dresses Katniss wore for the beginning of the game! Perfectly designed to match the book!

Catching Fire was a fantastic movie and a great adaptation. There were a few things left out, and I wish they would’ve played up certain aspects a bit more, but a movie can only be so long! I would give the movie a 4 – 4.5! A must see!

How to: Edit Your Work

This topic is one that has hit home recently. With my second novel released, I felt like I should offer the bit of wisdom that I am gaining with each new book I finish. Depending on what software you prefer to word process your work, there are quite a few tools at your disposal to best benefit you in the editing area.

Before the final publishing for my newest novel, “The Shoreline” , I seriously contemplated sending it off to be professionally edited. I did some research, and most editing services were a bit out of my price range. I did happen to find one or two websites for people who fit into my budget, but they were swamped with submissions and wouldn’t have been able to work on my novel by the time I was hoping to release.

With these sad but true realizations, I found myself searching for other avenues for editing. I am confident in my writing ability and do not find my work to be riddled with mistakes, but I would rather my novel be the best it could for a more enjoyable read. The worst person to edit your writings is yourself. You already know what the sentence should read as, so a mistake is much easier to slip by you than a reader.

My research brought a few editing ideas, like have a trusted source read over your work. Many people within my network enjoy reading books as much as I do, so this was an easy suggestion to follow. A simple slip of ‘find me’ turning into ‘find be’ will read funny to someone who is enjoying your work for the first time.

Another was to use the “Find” tool. If you are using most any computer program, pressing CTRL+F simultaneously will call forth this search option. You can type a word into this box and it will find it within the content you are currently viewing. Within Microsoft Word 2007, I used this tool to find the commonly mistaken words, such as you’re, your, too, to, their, there, they’re, etc., to correct any mistypes.

The last tool I used was, of course, Spell/Grammar Check. DO NOT IGNORE! This simple tool so many people know exists is not used frequently enough. Most of us now rely on the auto-correct feature, so when we misspell addresss, we automatically think the software will fix it, but as seen above, the auto-correct does not always work. Before you consider any document complete, make sure you use this simple tool!

As my writing progresses, I will be sure to share every ounce of wisdom I find useful with my fellow independent authors. Happy writing!

 

 

Back at it!

It has been a while, friends, but guess who’s back!

For the past couple of months I have been rather busy with real life events, all kinds of rite of passages, but now I am back and ready to publish my second novel!

“See you soon” was a great success! Over 1,000 reviews on all different distributing websites with an average of a 4 star rating; I call that an amazing starting point. I have to thank every single person who downloaded my first novel for helping me start my self-publishing dream.

But as with all things, I must go on!

My next novel to be published is another romance. It is a far more developed and lengthy novel than “See you soon”, and I believe it will surpass the ratings my first novel received. With every novel I write and publish, another piece of me goes with it. I cannot wait to share this piece with you!

Coming to readers August 2013. The perfect summer’s end novel.

“The Shoreline”

After years of staying far from where the ocean met the sand, Alexis can’t help but be drawn to a sexy surfer, Jason.

Alexis Anderson has a lot going for her in the near future. She has bills to pay, divorced parents to deal with, and a degree she has yet to find a job for which will put it to use. Her friends, Lori and Jordan, seemed to completely have their lives together with jobs lined up and goals to meet while Alexis was just hoping to stay above water. As the girls decide to take a beach vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, none of them would have ever guessed on finding love.

After all the years of staying out of the ocean, Alexis finds herself swimming within one full of emotions she could have sworn had never existed. Jason opens her eyes to a world of possibilities, but a sea of secrets stands between them. Overcoming them might be the greatest feat Alexis has ever faced, second only to her fear of being taken under by
another wave. As her love for Jason evolves, she hopes to find common ground somewhere between the ocean and the sand, the shoreline.