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Posts Tagged ‘indie publisher’

New Release Friday: New Feature and New Opportunity for Indie Books!

February 12, 2016 Leave a comment

New Release FridayHello my lovely readers!

I’ve been thinking long and hard about how to bring you more posts per week, particularly ones that are related to books but not necessarily book reviews. One of my passions is bringing attention and buzz to books that might not necessarily get them otherwise. In thinking about this, I thought about how many good-sounding books are offered to me for review that I have to pass up simply because I don’t have time to read them all.  Then I had an a-ha moment. I don’t have to have read a book to stir up buzz about it. Especially if it’s a book I think sounds intriguing and could interest my readers but that I simply don’t have time to read myself.  To this end, I’m introducing New Release Friday.

What does this mean for blog readers?
For my readers, this means that on Fridays only my blog will feature a new book release that is either free or has a coupon code exclusively for readers of my blog. Only books that fit the genres that are routinely seen on this blog will be featured, so if you enjoy reading my reviews, you should at least be interested in some of the new releases featured.  If you are a reader of this blog and not an indie author or publisher, feel free to stop reading here and just look forward to the free books and coupon codes and new releases coming your way in the upcoming year! If you are an indie author or publisher, please read on for more details.

What does this mean for indie authors and publishers?
If you are an indie author or publisher, this is a chance to generate buzz and interest for your book from a readership interested specifically in your genre or content. The buzz on your posting day will also cross-post to my twitter, as well as to a dedicated Pinterest board (similar to my books reviewed Pinterest boards) of new releases featured here.

The New Release Friday posts will feature:

  • Book cover –> I am happy to be the official cover reveal, if you wish.
  • Book blurb
  • Genre and content note
    • If the book contains GLBTQ content or would be a good read for the Mental Illness Advocacy Reading Challenge, this will be noted, as these are two content areas that are of particular interest to my readership.
    • Trigger warning note for books containing rape or attempted rape.
  • One paragraph from the author on what makes this book unique/stand-out/a different read than you will generally find within that genre.
  • One paragraph from the author on a topic of their choice (their writing process, why an issue in the book is important to them, etc…) (This paragraph is optional).
  • Coupon code or note that the book is free.
    • Coupon codes can range from 25% to 100% off for readers of this blog and may be for a duration of 24 hours to 7 days.
  • Link to buy the book.

Because I am doing you a service and, unlike when I review ARCs, I am not getting a book in exchange for this service, I will be charging a fee for these posts. Currently the fee will be $20, payable via PayPal, but this fee will change over time dependent upon the readership of the blog.  However, if you fill out the form within the next week (by the end of the day February 19th), you can get featured for free!! Just enter the coupon code below into the coupon code section of the form:

1WKFR

Additionally, because I wish to tailor the content of my blog, only books within the following genres will be featured:

  • Chick Lit
  • Detective / Film Noir
  • Fantasy (including urban)
  • Historical Fiction
  • Horror
  • Mystery
  • Nonfiction – Cookbooks
  • Nonfiction – GLBTQ
  • Nonfiction – Health and Fitness
  • Nonfiction – History
  • Paranormal Romance
  • Scifi
  • Western Romance

Authors and publishers interested in being featured on New Release Friday should fill out the form found here a minimum of 3 weeks prior to the Friday you wish to be featured.

Within 1 week of submission, I will get back to you and let you know if I think your book is a good match for my readership.  If it is, you will need to provide me with, in addition to what was on the form:

  1. A buy link for the post
  2. A coupon code for Opinions of a Wolf readers (not necessary if your book is free)
  3. A jpg of your book cover
  4. One paragraph from the author on what makes this book unique/stand-out/a different read than you will generally find within that genre.
  5. Optional: one paragraph from the author on a topic of their choice (their writing process, why an issue in the book is important to them, etc…)
  6. $20 via PayPal

All of the above will be due one week before the post schedule date aka the Friday before you wish the post to be published.  If you do not provide me with these 6 items one week before the post is to be published, you forfeit your right to be featured on the blog.

This same information is also featured on my Disclaimers and Sponsored Posts page.

Thank you everyone, and I hope you all, authors, publishers, and readers will enjoy this new feature!

Book Review: Finding Bluefield by Elan Barnehama

September 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Picture of two women together with a brown border.Summary:
It’s the 1960s, and Barbara thinks she has enough on her hands handling medical residency as a woman.  She doesn’t need the complications of dating women on top of that…or the risk to her profession of rumors that she’s a lesbian.  But when she meets local cook, Nicky, all these cautions go out the window.  Soon they’re a couple, and Nicky is determined to have a baby for them to raise together.

Review:
I read this book because my previous read from this indie publisher (Bold Strokes Books) was such a unique, well-written piece of GLBTQ lit, and I was excited to get more.  Unfortunately, the quality of this book does not come close to that of Lemon Reef.  Admittedly, Lemon Reef is by an entirely different author, but one does expect similar quality levels from the same publisher.  That was, unfortunately, not the case this time.

The plot is moderately common in lesbian fiction.  Girl meets girl. Couple wants a baby. Girl gets pregnant. Can they raise the baby and keep the relationship going.  With the added backdrop of prejudice and changing rights from the 1960s through the 1980s, it had the potential to be more unique and add an interesting twist, particularly since Nicky is supposed to be involved in the Civil Rights movement.  Unfortunately, none of this really pans out.  There are tantalizing teases of something more or something unique such as when Nicky gives a ride to a black man trying to escape from mob “justice” in the small town or when Barbara cheats on Nicky in New York City, but none of these ideas are brought to fruition.  In fact, the whole book feels more like a moderately fleshed-out plot outline for a future book.  Like, here are the key points, and I’ll flesh them out later.  Only this is the finished book.  There will be no more fleshing out of the plot.  It’s frustrating to read because just when you think something is about to happen, the idea gets dropped and you skip ahead a few years.

Similarly, the characters are never fully realized.  They are extremely two-dimensional, even the two main characters.  I actually found myself mixing Barbara and Nicky up repeatedly, which is intensely problematic.  They are two separate people, and their relationship is the focus of the novel, yet even after the entire book they are mostly unclear to me, except that Nicky has green eyes.  They simply don’t feel like real people to the reader at all, which is a problem in general but even more so when the book is trying to both be character-driven and address rights issues.

A book needs at least a compelling plot or engaging characters to be readable and both to be great.  This book has neither.  I can see potential in the plot and sentence structures for good writing, but the author needs to work on both expanding into greater plot detail as well as on improving characterization.

2 out of 5 stars

Source: Netgalley

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Friday Fun! (Freelance Editing, Reading Projects, and United States of Tara)

January 27, 2012 8 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  Gosh, things have been hopping here this January, haven’t they?  I’m not sure why my reading has reached such a nice, steady rhythm, but I’m certainly enjoying it. 🙂

A quick announcement.  I’ve decided to start freelance editing.  If you’re at all interested, please check out the dedicated page for more details.  You all know that I’m a trustworthy, hard-working, smart gal, so I’d also appreciate it tons if you’d help spread the news.  Thanks!

I was super-pleased at the extent of conversation and interaction that the first book for the Diet for a New America Reading Project saw.  Thanks guys!  Next month is The China Study, and I do hope as many of you as can will join in with me.  This book is very much less about the US specifically and more about the best diet for human beings in general based on a ground-breaking scientific study.

Tomorrow is the discussion of the penultimate book in The Real Help Reading Project–Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely.  It’s hard to believe the project is almost over!  Time flies when you’re learning and growing with a friend. 🙂

On Wednesday I was home sick, and you know how sometimes when you’re sick you just don’t have the focus to read.  I therefore poked around my Netflix account and was pleased to see that the final season of United States of Tara was finally up on instant.  The United States of Tara is a Showtime half-hour show about a woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) trying to learn to cope with her disease without creativity-numbing medications so she can be free again to pursue her art.  I was very pleased with the first two seasons that showed the reality of coping with a mental disease, but that did not demonize Tara or bestow sainthood upon her family members.  I thus was really disappointed to see the third season take such a nosedive, and now I’m thinking I’m going to have to remove it from my recommended list.

The thing that made US of Tara so appealing in the first two seasons was that, yes, sometimes Tara did bad things as the result of her illness, but she was fairly good at finding a balance.  She made mistakes like healthy people, just for different reasons.  In season three, though, Tara develops a new alter who is pure evil.  We’re talking stabby, Psycho sound effects, steals babies and tears her own teenage son’s room apart evil.  This alter is an abuser alter–an alter who takes on the whole personality of Tara’s abuser.  Now this is a real thing in DID (source) but the show handles it all wrong.  Yes, the new alter is scary and would be to all of the known alters, Tara, and her family.  However, having the alter kill all of Tara’s other alters then Tara kill the abuser alter is the exact opposite of how healthy healing from DID works.  Healthy healing is either learning to cope with having alters or integration.  Killing your alters and then proceeding to run off to therapy after the fact shrieks of writers who didn’t get their facts straight.  For a show that started off so strongly and well-supported by the Mental Illness Alliance community, I was really disappointed in this.

The other bad message in season three that really bothers me as an advocate is the change in Tara’s family and how they handle things.  Tara basically becomes too much for them to handle, and they all want to ship her off and lock her up.  Ok, some people do need in-patient treatment, and I definitely would have re-entered Tara into real therapy much sooner than her family does to prevent all this drama in the first place, but essentially the family comes to say that Tara isn’t worth it.  Tara is too much to handle.  They’re just gonna go do their thing now.  They even judge Max, Tara’s husband, for refusing to not continue to stick by her.  He insists repeatedly that he’s neither a stupid person nor a saint.  He just loves Tara.  Yet, in the end, the whole family is torn apart, leaving just Max and Tara.

While it is, unfortunately, very true that a lot of people abandon loved ones with a mental illness, one of the positive aspects of this show was that it let people with a mental illness believe that in an enlightened family unit, it doesn’t have to be that way.  Season three kills all that.  The only one who truly loves and advocates for Tara is Max, and everyone else feels pity for him because of it.  Sad stuff.  Definitely not advocate stuff.

Book Review: Vow of Silence By Robert Laughlin

September 3, 2009 1 comment

covervowofsilenceSummary:
In an alternate universe, Karlan escapes the drudgery of his family’s farm by moving to the nation’s capital when it is discovered he is one of the few possessing a memory strong enough to join an elite group known as Datists.  Datists, utilizing memory techniques, are responsible for all knowledge in this society that has not discovered writing.  All goes well until he is assigned a specialty that wreaks havoc on his humanity.

Review:
When I first started reading this book, I was immediately struck by how much the story-telling style reminded me of European literature in the 19th century.  Less action-oriented, it is much more prone toward introspection, like Frankenstein or Dracula.  I enjoy this writing style as much as I enjoy the more modern style, so it was nice to see this in a new novel.

Laughlin does an excellent job of making the reader sympathize with someone who goes on to essentially lose his humanity.  He turns Karlan into a monster, yet the reader, instead of being horrified, understands why Karlan does what he does.  Making your main character an anti-hero is difficult to pull off, but when done well goes far in making the reader ponder things she might not have otherwise.

[spoiler warning]
I also was surprised and appreciative of the fact that Laughlin gives Karlan a chance to win back his humanity, ironically by causing a revolution by not doing anything.  Even though Karlan is left essentially alone and broken, he gets to see the revolution he helped cause transform his oppressive society into an engaging one.
[end spoiler]

Unfortunately, Laughlin’s writing style is not entirely consistent throughout.  Some passages are more engaging than others.  While most of the book flows well, parts of it drag.  This is Laughlin’s first book, however, so hopefully this will improve with time.

Vow of Silence is published by an indie publisher, Trytium Publishing.  This is not the same as being self-published.  Laughlin still had to sell his story to them and standard contracts are still involved, but it does mean that they don’t have as many resources as mainstream publishers.  This means that the binding isn’t as strong in the book, and the type-set is a bit odd.  However, I doubt that a mainstream publisher would have given this work a chance, and it is a great story.  I encourage you to buy a copy and support indie publishing if you are interested in reading the book.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Library

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