Book Review: Outlining Your Novel

review-cover-outlining your novelTitle: Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success

Author: K.M. Weiland

Genre: Non-Fiction, Writing & Publishing, How-To

Rating: 3 Stars

AmazonButtonGoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Writers often look upon outlines with fear and trembling. But when properly understood and correctly wielded, the outline is one of the most powerful weapons in a writer’s arsenal. Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success will help you choose the right type of outline for you, guide you in brainstorming plot ideas, aid you in discovering your characters, show you how to structure your scenes, explain how to format your finished outline, instruct you in how to use your outline when writing the first draft, reveal the benefits of outlining, and dispel the misconceptions.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I have to be honest… this book wasn’t what I expected it to be. Based on the description, I went into this book thinking this was going to help me outline, figure out how to fill in said outline, structure my scenes and plot, etc.—but that isn’t exactly what this book is. 90% of this book was a switch between author interviews where basically every author had the same response (which is fine, they all talked about outlining and why it was useful), and the actual author of the book encouraging the reader to outline. That’s fine… but you aren’t really going to pick up this book unless you’re already planning to outline… so why are you trying so hard to convince the reader that outlining is the way to go?

I expected the book to be more helpful, to help me fill out an outline and spark questions about where to go next in my outline. I was hoping for page after page of outlining advice on how to actually figure out an outline and turn it into a workable story… but there was very little of that in this. Don’t get me wrong—it was in there… sort of, but it felt more like the book was one big advertisement pushing the reader to try outlining and feel really good about that decision… and like I said, no one’s going to pick up this book if they aren’t already going to be outlining.

In the end it felt like the small percentage of the book that was actually useful was so small that it could have easily been a single blog post. The rest was just filler to bolster pages and make the reader feel good about their decision to outline… rather than being of any actual help. I gave this book three stars because it was fine. I learned a few small tidbits that will be helpful, but I also feel like I wasted my money on something I could have just Googled, and probably would have gotten more out of in the process. I’m a bit disappointed.

Book Review: Taming Beauty

review-cover-taming beautyTitle: Taming Beauty [Dunaway’s Daughters 1]

Author: Lynne Barron

Genre: Historical, Romance

Rating: 3 Stars

AmazonButtonGoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

It’s best not to answer the door when the Earl of Dunaway come’s knocking.

After learning this lesson by trial and error, as any good lesson ought to be learned, Miss Lilith Aberdeen fashioned a life for herself on the fringes of London society. She is the last lady likely to risk her independence or her heart on anything as fickle and frivolous as love. Or the waxing and waning of familial affection, for that matter. So, how is it she winds up journeying to the wilds of Cornwall to deliver the earl’s pampered, petulant daughter into the hands of the reclusive Baron Malleville?

Blame it on the scandalous, unscrupulous and downright dissolute earl.

Jasper Grimley has spent more than a decade living in self-imposed exile, tending his lands and waiting for his chosen bride to come of age. When his betrothed is plucked from his grasp mere months before the wedding, he sets in motion a plan to turn the Earl of Dunaway’s plethora of debts and profusion of daughters to his advantage. Unfortunately, when dealing with the earl, even the best laid plans have a tendency to fall to ruin, and Jasper soon finds himself beguiled by the wrong woman. Lilith is not the sweet, innocent, biddable bride he bargained with the devil to possess, but she just might be…

The lady destined to lead him down the primrose path to happily-ever-after.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Taming Beauty by Lynne Barron was such a strange, charming little story. The best phrase I can think of to describe it is vibrant chaos.

The characters were complex in the best of ways—often a tad quirky and loud. Lilith and Jasper made a great couple-at-odds, their relationship a tug of war between seduction, flippant banter, and still, endearing moments—and I loved their odd relationship.

The writing was steadily paced and easy to sink into—but I’ll admit, it could be hard to follow the dialogue at times. The character’s voices were written in a genuine, humorous way, full of colorful language and emotion—truly a whirlwind to try and follow. Sometimes that was good, and at other times I had to pause to figure out what the characters were speaking about.

Overall, I thought it was a charming read. If you’re looking for a quick, funny historical romance to read, I’d suggest you give it a try. I don’t know that it was a style of romance I’d normally want to pick up, but it was nice to find something a little different in this story, and I had fun with it.

Scammers Break The Kindle Store

David Gaughran

On Friday, a book jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon, out of nowhere; it quickly became obvious that the author had used a clickfarm to gatecrash the charts.

The Kindle Store is officially broken.

This is not the first time this has happened and Amazon’s continued inaction is increasingly baffling. Last Sunday, a clickfarmed title also hit #1 in the Kindle Store. And Amazon took no action.

Over the last six weeks, one particularly brazen author has put four separate titles in the Top 10, and Amazon did nothing whatsoever. There are many such examples.

I wrote at the start of June about how scammers were taking over Amazon’s free charts. That post led to a phone conversation with KDP’s Executive Customer Relations.

Repeated assurances were given that the entire leadership team at Amazon was taking the scammer problem very seriously indeed. But it was also stressed that the…

View original post 2,302 more words

Free Fiction Friday #83

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Free Fiction Friday #83! For those of you who are new to this blog, or who may have missed out on the previous Free Fiction Fridays—every Friday I post an article containing 10 fiction e-books that are 100% FREE on Amazon at the time of posting and an additional 5 that are roughly of the same genre, and on sale for less than $5.

I try my best to make sure they are all 4+ stars, have over 40+ reviews, and are 100 pages minimum—so you can have a hand-picked list of the best-of-the-best to choose from and enjoy over the long weekend (while I do more important things, like laundry). I try to switch up the genres every week, and this week our theme is: Romance!

THE FREE

fff-1fff-2fff-3fff-4fff-5fff-6fff-7fff-8fff-9fff-10

THE BARGAINS

bar-1bar-2bar-3bar-4bar-5

Book Review: 93% Chance I Don’t Hate You

review-cover-93 perecent chance i dont hate youTitle: 93% Chance I Don’t Hate You

Author: L. Taylor & Amy H. Lynn

Genre: New Adult, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

AmazonButtonGoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Ashton Lewis doesn’t have a care in the world. His only sources of stress are passing mixed media art classes and setting up a tattoo parlor one day. But when the one-night-stand-only lifestyle no longer appeals to him, Ashton decides it’s time to settle down. A drunken mistake and a poorly chosen pseudonym later, Ashton finds himself on a blind date with his classmate, Carter Redford, the stuck up rich girl whom Ashton is pretty sure hates him.

College junior Carter Redford has been groomed to take over the family business since before she could talk. Heiress to a major entertainment journalism company, almost every aspect of her life is controlled by her overbearing parents, from the clothes she wears, to who her friends are, and eventually, the man she marries.

While this is not ideal for Carter, she is ready to sacrifice her own happiness if it is what her family needs. That is, until one day, when her best friend Jackson convinces her to try blind dating. More specifically, to use an app called Blinder.

Expecting someone business minded and type A, Carter is astonished to learn that her blind date is with none other than her fellow student – Ashton Lewis. Though he is gorgeous and a talented artist, Carter is hardly pleased with his “devil may care” attitude, and would rather take her chances on the man her parents have picked out for her than a laid back slacker. But when Carter’s curiosity gets the best of her, and Ashton manages to pull her into his unstructured lifestyle, Carter may not be able to resist the rushes of freedom and rebellion he encourages.
A laugh out loud romantic drama, 93% Chance I Don’t Hate You is a novel about overcoming prejudices, standing up for oneself, and learning how to live life on one’s own terms.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I didn’t expect this book to be as good as it was. I mean, it sounded good, but let’s be honest: the cover that it came with is rather lackluster—but I picked it up anyway because I like reading new Indy authors… and I am so glad I did.

93% Chance I Don’t Hate You by L. Taylor and Amy H. Lynn was an endearing, sweet romantic read. Ashton and Carter were an adorable pair of opposites that in other circumstances might not have worked out—but there was never a point in this novel that I questioned their relationship. I wanted to them to succeed. They were both flawed, but good people at heart. The authors did an extraordinary job giving them depth.

As far as the technical aspect of the book goes, it was well written. I ran into the barest amount of typos or errors—nothing that gave me too much pause. The narrative voice was easy to read, personable, and flowed well throughout the story. I have no complaints.

If you’re looking for a new, solid NA Contemporary Romance, I’d highly recommend you give this book a try. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Book Review : Feel Me Fall

review-cover-feel me fallTitle: Feel Me Fall

Author: James Morris

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Survival, Adventure

Rating: 5 Stars

AmazonButtonGoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.

But can she carry the burden of the past?

Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Feel Me Fall by James Morris is perhaps one of the best books I’ve read yet this year. Part adventure, part thriller, I was sucked into the vivid narrative voice.

The book was flawlessly written as far as the technical aspect goes; it flowed at a steady pace, it was easy to read and held just enough description to make the story come to life without feeling bogged down. The characters were full of depth, and even if I didn’t like all of them, they were at least interesting. I found the struggle of survival for the teens both disturbing and realistic. Combined with a few twists and turns to the plot here and there, and it proved to be a gripping story.

Honestly, I have nothing bad to say about this book. If you’re looking for a somewhat realistic story of survival and adventure, I’d definitely recommend you pick this up. I’m excited to pick up more from this author in the future!

Free Fiction Friday #82

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Free Fiction Friday #82! For those of you who are new to this blog, or who may have missed out on the previous Free Fiction Fridays—every Friday I post an article containing 10 fiction e-books that are 100% FREE on Amazon at the time of posting and an additional 5 that are roughly of the same genre, and on sale for less than $5.

I try my best to make sure they are all 4+ stars, have over 40+ reviews, and are 100 pages minimum—so you can have a hand-picked list of the best-of-the-best to choose from and enjoy over the long weekend (while I do more important things, like laundry). I try to switch up the genres every week, and this week our theme is: Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction!

THE FREE

fff-1fff-2fff-3fff-4fff-5fff-6fff-7fff-8fff-9fff-10

THE BARGAINS

bar-1bar-2bar-3bar-4bar-5