The Pity Cry (A rant because I wanted to)

What do you think of when you think of book reviewers?

Do you think of someone who has a life and a lot of responsibilities just as you have? We hear a lot about authors trying to juggle children and work responsibilities as well as the stress of keeping up with writing, marketing and so forth. Last night it occurred to me that I see a lot of posts about authors, but not too many posts that just feature reviewers. Why is this?

Have we forgotten that reviewers are an integral part of author success and how valuable an honest review can be to our careers as authors? This is not a distress cry from →this reviewer.← Rather, this is an honest question.

Does the value of the person we are dealing with get diminished by our own busy schedule? I can’t say that I am any different. When I am trying to find promo opportunities I don’t sit back and think about what someone else might have to do that week, that month, the day I choose them to make me look good. I think we all see people as numbers when it comes to sales and marketing. Still, occasionally I am reminded from my own busy schedule and the impatience of people, that I am only one person. Most reviewers have more books at any given time than the average person reads in a year. We do the best we can to get to them in some sensible order, occasionally rearranging things to where we can review a certain book by a specific date or taking a shorter book and putting it to the front of the line because we just got done with a very long one.

Being a reviewer is not thankless, and I am not saying that it is. I enjoy interacting with authors and yes, we tend to get a lot of books that we don’t have to pay for with money. What I would like to point out is that we do pay for these books in another way. We pay for them with our time and some hard consideration when it comes time to review. It takes time to read a book and keep up with daily life on top of it. We don’t make money off of this. It is a game of free time vs. the real world. We have to work too.

We are authors. We are business people. We are parents. We are reviewers. We have a life just like everyone else.

Hug a reviewer today.

And this ends my little rant.

Hug line forms to the left.

Multi-project Meltdowwwwwwn

You know how it goes. You have this excellent idea and you go with it, until you hit a roadblock and it is easier for another idea to take precedence over the first one. You do this enough times and suddenly you have twenty great ideas out there but none of them are even close to completion.

(I get all my great analogies from talking to Charles.) So there you are, standing in a wading pool with a ski on one foot and a roller skate on the other, wearing a pair of boxer shorts and a parka. What is the answer to this great conundrum?

1. Remember to breathe.

2. Decide which project is the most important.

3. Decide which project fits into your schedule and your lifestyle.

This is not to say that you cannot be a successful multi-tasker. Many authors have the ability to write multiple things at the same time, whilst still marketing and managing life, but even then, how much time do you devote to writing vs. marketing? Do  you edit one book whilst writing the next or do you keep those projects separate?

Answer: (Not helpful at all)

It depends on the person. There is no simple end-all-be-all answer for the above questions. Each person deals with stress differently and handles multiple projects in their own way. The thing to remember, in my opinion, the thing that is the most important, is that you do not overextend yourself to the point where the quality of your work suffers on all accounts.

Great ideas do not usually have time limits. (I was going to invent the wheel but some other person did that first.)

Has this happened to you? Have you gotten involved in so many things that you can’t decide which of them are important to your original cause and which of them are just distraction? Comment box below.

* Additional note, I had a point to this post but somewhere along the way I lost what it was, likely because I am trying to write a review, answer emails, send out an author interview, write my shopping list, talk on the phone, quiet a dog barking, keep four kids entertained, figure out what’s for dinner tonight, feed  fish, fix a broken watch, read wordpress posts and write my next novel.

Thankfully i don’t distract easily…Hey look! A squirrel!

Case and point.

 

** Additional note, I blame you English Muffin.

Yesterday Road by Kevin Brennan

Yesterday RoadYesterday Road by Kevin Brennan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever read a book where you became so close to the characters that the end of the book felt like a sad parting of ways? This happened to me with Yesterday road. Often, I find that one of the things that sets a decent author apart from a truly gifted one, is how many characters they are working with. True, it takes talent to have a huge cast of characters and be able to make them all work, but having just a few means that they all must be independent of one another and extremely important. Kevin Brennan is a truly gifted author.

This book makes its way from beginning to end with three vital characters. Naturally, they encounter others along the way who each play an important role in the story, but it is the same three characters that you come to know and love, grow to feel empathy for and ultimately become like close friends or family members in the end. This is the kind of book that you want to savour and enjoy every word of.

I have a special fondness for novels that use repeat passages in certain locations to get a point across, and this author has a way of doing so that makes you both smile, and feel a stab of sadness each time this certain passage appears.

After reading both “Parts Unknown” (A few years ago) and now “Yesterday Road,” I can assure you that there is magic in the pen of this author and this magic comes from his ability to make the ordinary more extraordinary. It is easy to form a lasting bond with these characters and even find yourself wondering about them as if they were real people long after you have finished the book.

Yesterday Road is a book of second chances, lost memories and new friends that will keep your attention and your heart occupied from the first page to the last. My highest recommendation.

View all my reviews

The Returned by Jason Mott

The ReturnedThe Returned by Jason Mott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That’s what all the Returned were.

Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they’ve settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time … Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep—flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.

All over the world people’s loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it’s a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he’s their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.

With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, award-winning poet Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. A spellbinding and stunning debut, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

My thoughts:

I rarely say this with any real emphasis, but this time I have to: This book is unforgettable.

Have you ever stopped and wished you could have someone you’ve lost come back for a minute, a day, any length of time so you could settle something with them? If you have, then this is the book for you.

This story captivated me from the first page. This story is such a surreal experience. At once, you believe that none of this could be possible, but then you wonder, could something like this happen, and if it did , what would you do?

The story of Lucille and her family was a touching one and I enjoyed all of the characters that were tied together through the opening of each chapter. This book reminded me that this world really is small when it comes to how interconnected our lives are. The way the author made these connections throughout the story were subtle, but effective. Read this book with a box of tissues nearby. Don’t say I didn’t warn you first. It isn’t sad, but emotionally moving is not quite a good enough description.

The only thing not 100% positive I can say about this story is that I felt toward the middle of the book there was a slight lag. It wasn’t terrible and soon passed, but I did feel there was a little spot there where it seemed the author wasn’t sure what he wanted to do next with the story and it showed in the shift of writing style.

I have to say, this was a case where my favourite person was not the main character. I was really impressed with the character Agent Bellamy. He is the type of character that displays compassion and makes you want to keep reading to find out what he does for the other characters in the book. I thought whilst reading this, that the author must have either modeled him after someone he loved, or after his own image, because he was so realistic and his traits seemed effortless that it was like getting to know a real person.

If you have been looking for a story that will resonate with you, raise questions and offer you hope that there really is no forever goodbye, this would be a perfect choice. I really enjoyed this. I will definitely be picking up a hard copy of this book to add to my personal shelf.

This review is based off of a digital ARC provided by the publisher.

I feel like shite and it’s great!!!!

I got zapped by the big bug zapper. It was awesome. They discovered a brain metastasis. It was not awesome. I got a great prognosis of 95% chance of full recovery. It was awesome. I go back next week for results. I hate waiting. I am writing this from my phone. It is not so awesome. I got the coolest drawing ever from Dean at deanzdoodlezdeanzdoodlez

Needless to say: awesome.

I feel like complete shite. I’ve never felt better in my life!!!!

I love you guys! A few days to get back on my feet and I will be the neighbourhood terror once more. Thank you everyone for the love, support and well wishes. You mean the world to me.

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Have you ever wanted so much

 

Have you ever wanted so much

to reach out and help a friend?

To touch someone inside the heart

The way that they have done?

 

Do you ever get the feeling

that someone you love is lost

someone so dear and important

you would go no matter the cost

 

Do you ever wish to hug them

be there to hold a hand

pick them up, dust them off

help them from the sand

 

If you’ve ever really cared

about someone so deep

think of friends as seeds sown

and the benefits we reap

 

Always there

always here

always  time to listen

always ease your fears