May 272014
 

Hey folks.  If you have seen some of my reviews on here, they seem to have a lean towards my friend Becca J Campbell. Click on her name to go to her blog.

Kindle 3 moved all major operates to the botto...

It is no secret that I am a fan of her fiction.  She writes very interesting characters who don’t kill everyone like most of my characters seem to do.  She has some stories that push the limits of reality like Foreign Identity.  (That link goes to my review).  Her current story is no different, it pushes reality in a cool almost-the-future-but-not-quite, human-interest, love-story, adventure way.

I wrote a review of her last short story Not the Norm (again click for the link), and said that it needed more to the story and more to the world.

Well, now there is.  Unmasked Alloy is the next installment is what I am perceiving as a serial fiction series.  Much in the “feel” of old time radio, this story gives you a sense of a self contained episode in the greater overall story.

Now, before I go any further, I have to pacify the governmental types, I received an advanced copy of this book to review, at no charge.  I am sure that she would prefer a positive review (it is) but it will be honest at any rate.

So, Unmasked Alloy is a story set in the world created in Not the Norm.  It is months later, and leaves me wondering not only what is going to happen moving forward, but what has happened to this point.

There are new characters who can play with fire and another who really could be part cyborg, think Terminator 2.  This story, while not long, does not want for lack of action.  It hits right off and keeps going until the end when you want to say, “What?!?! That’s it??!?!”  Yes, I was not excited to get to the “Tweet that you finished this book” page on my kindle.

So, in conclusion, do yourself a favor and get in on this series.  Not the Norm is at Amazon and Goodreads, with those links, and the new one, Unmasked Alloy, is on Amazon and Goodreads with those links.

Continue reading »

Mar 242014
 

Hello folks!  Today I am going to review a fabulous book that I had the opportunity to pre-read for clarity. (ie I got a free copy to read through and evaluate.  assume all links are affiliate links.).  That book is called  How To Build An E-Book.  It was written by Aaron Pogue over at Unstressed Syllables.com.

This book was launched a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t put up this post then because I thought there would be so much promotion that mine would get lost in the stream.  So I am here today to review this fine book and bring some new life to it.  Aaron’s sales page is here:Click here to visit Aaron Pogue.

Hello Aaron.  Ok here is a list of things that I noticed while reading your book.  They are in no particular order so take them as you will.

First, this book is very well written.  It is easy to read and in a very conversational style that flows very quickly.  It really goes in depth on how to convert blog posts to a useful ebook.  Aaron is a technical writer (as well as novelist) by trade and his attention to detail is fantastic.  The book is easy to understand and it really lays out the right way to put your ebook together.

I mainly write fiction but the information Aaron presents can be modified to even make a fiction ebook look good.  I actually used some of the techniques to tweak my first fiction ebook: Death With A Vengeance.  It is also instrumental in the planning of my non-fiction ebook about my daughters kidney disease and dialysis.  The chapter on Outlining brought back horrible memories of both high school and college English classes but gave me a great reminder on how to do it.  I haven’t needed to outline anything in years but for this book I am writing it was essential.

Aaron also gets into some simple points of Microsoft Word (or other word processors) and talk about styles for chapter headings and how to bookmark and link in between pages in the ebook.  There were several points that I didn’t know about and now use quite often.  I have been using Word since the old Wordperfect went belly up and there were several things that I still didn’t know.

This ebook has a really good flow to it.  The headers and footers are very clear so you always know where you are.  It is littered with practical examples of how to put the concepts into practice, from pictures to links, to info boxes that show what is exclusive content to your ebook and what has been published on your blog.

He even includes a checklist that you can use to follow the concepts exactly as they appear in the book.  Most of these things I had thought about but I didn’t know how to put them together in a coherent and cohesive manner.  This checklist solved that problem.

At the end, he also discusses how to publish your ebook and get it out to the masses.  From formats to publish in to using distributors like e-junkie it is all here. Click here to visit Aaron’s Sales Page!

All in all, this is a great book for learning to make an ebook.  You can tell that Aaron really loves his work and is good at it.  He has easy descriptions of the hard stuff like outlining (I hate outlining but it must be done!) and publishing.

If you want to publish your own e-book from your blog posts, go get this book.  It is well worth the $49.97 that he is charging.  He also has the book split into three modules that run $19.99 each if you would rather go that way.

Bottom line: Want to write a successful ebook from your vast collection of blog posts?  Get Aaron’s ebook today and get started!

Nov 112013
 

Greetings and Salutations my fine friends!  Today I bring you yet another review of yet another book by my friend Becca J. Campbell.  This one is a wild ride I have to tell you.  Hint: if you click on the picture there, you can go to Amazon.com and pick up a copy for yourself.

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And now for the critical review part.  Becca has written yet another world of mystery while challenging reality.  Becca sent me this book as a reviewer copy so that I can give you all the good word and force ask you to go and buy it.  For the sake of an honest review: here goes.

This book was Becca’s most confusing book yet. At least at first, it took me a while to figure out where the characters were and who they were. The story began to make better sense and really pick up on the action a ways into it.

I particularly liked the small inside jokes that were throughout the story, movie references etc.

I did get a little distraught in the middle though.  It started to drag but I pushed through it and it picked up again finishing strong, and I was satisfied.  She didn’t however, finish up everything, setting up a sequel perfectly.

It seems as though Becca wants to write epics, and each book is just a bite sized chunk to make you hungry for the next.

All in all, this book is great. It is well worth reading and well worth waiting for the next one in the series, if there is one. If you are trying to decide if you should buy this book, right now, I mean RIGHT now, just do it, you won’t be sorry. (Just click the picture up there and you can get a copy for yourself.)

Now, I haven’t asked her directly yet, but I am still trying to figure out how she can find time to write fiction and pump out all of the books that she is doing.  She has young boys, one is just older than my 2 1/2 year old  and I can’t seem to get much of anything written with the kids running around and the house needing cleaning.  Kudos to her.

You can learn more about Becca at her website: BeccaJCampbell.com as well as see her contest for Gateway to Reality as well as unique insights into the twisted mind of a writer.  Seriously, she is great.  Other places to find her:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon

She is also having a Rafflecopter giveaway: check out what you can win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

(I highly recommend the books.  Go buy them if you don’t win).

 

And as if that were not enough, she is doing something that I think is way cool.  A blog scavenger hunt.  Visit each site, each day, and get a clue.  Collect all 15 clues and you can get an additional 10 entries in the giveaway!  A good prize for reading some cool blogs that you may have not heard of before.  Go check them out.

The Scavenger Hunt Blog Tour

You can enter the giveaway now, but to really amp up your odds at snatching one of these prize packs, check out each site along the blog tour.

April 1st     Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Reviews

April 2nd     The Peasants Revolt

April 3rd     Catharsis of the Bogue

April 4th     The Pen and Whisk

April 5th     Write for Life

April 6th     S.M. Boyce

April 8th     Paranormal Lounge

April 9th     Lisa Is a Bookworm

April 10th     Jade Kerrion

April 11th     Paper Book Princess

April 12th     Now is Gone

April 13th     Worlds Away Book Blog

April 15th     FU Only Knew

April 17th     Sarcasm and Lemons

April 18th     Brandon R. Luffman

Your Third Clue

Wes visits many worlds in the Existence. Here’s your challenge in this scavenger hunt:

Collect the names of the fifteen worlds in Gateway to Reality (one will be revealed each day).

Following the schedule above, collect a world name at each stop, and when you have them all, plug that list of 15 worlds into the giveaway below to win a BONUS TEN ENTRIES.

HERE’S YOUR THIRD WORLD:  Emily Donovan World

Continue with your hunt tomorrow at The Pen and Whisk. Good luck!

 

and if you missed it, here is the Amazon link again:GtR-kindle-cover-final-websize-225x300

 

Thanks for reading and supporting your Indie writers.  I am currently working on a book with pirates and a twist on the popular myths.  I am going to hire Becca to promote it she is doing such a good job on here stuff.

Until later, go buy an ebook and relax for a while.

-Justin Continue reading »

Sep 262013
 

Hey Folks!  Today I bring you another review, this one is not an affiliate link yet!

If you are not listening to Blogger Beats, you should be.  Twice every week, Nathan Hangen (you have heard of him right?) and Oleg Mokhov bring you a great mix of music and inspiring messages to help get your workday started.  Or something like that.

Basically, Nathan comes in at the first with something to think about.  How to make your blog a business, or your business a success.  Then you have 25 minutes or so of some great music from Oleg.  This is not super beat heavy dance club music and it definitely does not put you to sleep.   I am not a big fan of most electronic music but this is good stuff.

I gets in your head in a way that really lets you concentrate on your writing and not what is playing in the background.  I have been listening and writing at the same time for a while now, and most of the time I don’t notice the time flying by.  I have a bunch written when Nathan comes on again at the end to sum up his earlier question.

I have been digging the beats since the launch of the site, and I am hooked.  Recently, they have released music only mixes that are sans-Nathan but with all of the good music.  I put a bunch of those in a playlist the other day and wrote almost 2000 words before I noticed that I had been writing that long!

The details:  Head over to http://bloggerbeats.com and sign up.  You get a week free and then it is $9 per month for 2 episodes per week.  For a dollar and some change, per episode you get some great tunes and motivation that just may kick your business in the rear end.  Give up a Red Bull per week and you pay for it.  And then some.

Go get in on the beats, I am really digging them. And they are not paying me to say this.  Yet.

See you tomorrow and don’t forget about fiction Saturday’s!  New podcast coming Thursday…

-Justin

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