Book Title: How to Make a Living with Your Writing
Author: Joanna Penn
Series: Books for Writers
Length: 126 Pages
Publication Date: June 22, 2015
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
Summary: Joanna Penn gives writers something to work towards in this great book about making a living as a writer. This book includes information on self-publishing, how to write books people actually will want to read and buy, different ways to make income from your writing, and shares insights from her own journey from cubicle farm to full-time writer.
Pros: This is a great book, chalk full of good information for writers. I really love her take on the writing life and the writing community. She encourages sharing the work of fellow writers and creating good karma for yourself and others in the writing community. I love that Ms. Penn is passionate about her chosen career and shares what she knows with us in so many ways.
Cons: I felt it was a bit salesy with links on almost every page to something Ms. Penn had wrote and had for sale. However, she did pepper in links to thinks for sale that were not hers. So there is the feeling that she is just offering what she think will help her fellow writers.
Reader Warnings: None
Conclusion: I recommend this book for writers looking to make money from their writing. It is geared more toward the beginner rather than someone who has already got their start in writing for a living, but sometimes that beginner information is useful to seasoned writers too.
Book Title: Crush it With Kindle
Author: John Tighe
Length: 253 Pages
Publication Date: December 18, 2012
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
Summary: John Tighe has put together a great little book for writers seeking to be successful selling their books in eBook format for Kindle. It includes monetizing Kindle books, choosing between niche and genre, how to write your book quickly, how to conduct research, writing your book, editing, and much more.
Pros: It’s very inclusive of the information needed to be successful on Amazon with Kindle eBooks. I especially enjoyed the parts about marketing your book and the book launch itself. Tighe gives tips on advertising, keyword research and usage, attention grabbing titles, why it’s important to use sub-titles, Amazon categories, and much more. It’s all useful information.
Cons: Some parts of the book were discouraging for me. Although they may have been honest, I felt there could be other ways to do what was being described. For example, Tighe recommends getting reviews for your book before you do the official launch. This would include giving away a free review copy of the book to someone in return for a review. I appreciate the fact that Tighe didn’t recommend making up reviews! However, this seems a daunting task as do other tasks in the book. Like I said, however, it may be the truth of it in which case it needs to be said.
Reader Warnings: None
Conclusion: This is a great book for anyone thinking about publishing eBooks on Amazon for Kindle. You can borrow it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.
Book Title: The Angry Woman Suite
Author: Lee Fullbright
Length: 366 Pages
Publication Date: February 22, 2012
Rating: 4.00 out of 5.00
Summary: The Angry Woman Suite is the story of intertwined lives. Elyse is a young girl when her mother marries Francis Grayson. Francis is angry at the world and is an abusive father to Elyse and her little sister ‘Bean’. To understand Francis’ anger, the book tells the tale of what made Francis into the man he has become and what happens when Elyse is old enough to do something about it.
Pros: This is a touching and elegant story of life-long love, family deceit, mental illness, abuse and just living life. I immediately connected with Elyse and was touched by her devotion to her little sister, her need to protect Bean from the life that was chosen for them. The book definitely elicits emotions of all kinds. Magdalene is a mystery throughout, but you want to like her, to love her as Aidan does. I found myself wanting to love Magdalene, but not knowing how because I didn’t understand her. Which is what the author intended, I do believe. 🙂 The characters really came to life for me and it was a long journey that twisted and turned and came to a peaceful close.
Cons: There were several spots in the book that I found unclear. Especially where the identities of Francis and Jamie were concerned and who was who and which part of the story. There are parts when it is an action scene and I was not really sure what had just happened. For example, without giving too much away, there is a scene where a character is harmed by another character. It’s very unclear what happened. Did the attacker have a knife? Did they attack with a tree branch and inflict that much damage? Was the attacked person nude? I just was left in a cloud, not really understanding what had happened. There are several scenes that, for me, were unclear or confusing as to what had transpired when I was done reading it.
Reader Warnings: I would recommend this book for mature audiences. There are topics of child abuse, violence, alcoholism and sex. There are no over-the-top scenes, but there are scenes and descriptions of child abuse which I found to be disturbing, but who wouldn’t?
Conclusion: Overall, this is a good book. I enjoyed reading it. It’s really just the last few chapters that seemed to get confusing and unclear as to what was going on. The attack scene that I mentioned before, the scene on the third floor of Grayson House, and others that are just very confusing all happen towards the end. But it’s a great story. I love how history is woven into the thread of the story and made to be a part of the tapestry of their lives. The characters pulled at my heartstrings and pushed me on to the last page so I could make sure they turned out alright.
Book Title: If Looks Could Kill
Author: Eileen Dreyer
Length: 354 Pages
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
Rating: 4.50 out of 5.00
Summary: Chris Jackson is the real name of a famous writer who has chosen Pyrite as her new home. The townspeople love her, for the most part, and protect her identity from the outside world. Under a pen name, Chris writes horror stories about horrible murders. While working on her latest novel and welcoming the hunky new police chief, Al MacNamara, to town, Chris is haunted by a real killer who is copying her murder scenes perfectly. While Chris and Al try to discover who the killer is before they come too close for comfort, Chris tries to convince herself that the killer is not herself.
Pros: I liked this book and the underlying story about Chris Jackson. The characters were good and I think readers will relate to the hidden pains of Al and Chris especially. I liked the characters in the town of Pyrite and the descriptions of the town itself. I think I may have lived in Pyrite at one point in my life and not realized it! The supporting characters were very real. I loved Dinah and Trey and I, of course, loved to hate Sgt. Lawson and Reverend Sweetwater. I think my favorite character was Al MacNamara. After suffering a horrendous injury, Al decided to move to a smaller, quieter town, only to be put into the circus that is Chris Jackson’s life. Solid as a rock, Al is calm and cool and carries everyone through the story to the exciting end.
Cons: Chris’ different names are a little hard to keep track of. I can’t be a spoiler, but for me, it was just a tad too much. There were a couple typos in the book, but nothing that hugely detracts from the story. I think the biggest Con for me was that I felt there was no true resolution at the end of the book, and I’m a girl who loves a happy and complete ending. Another thing that is very small, but really sticks with me is that I don’t connect the book’s title with the events in the book.
Reader Warnings: This book does contain some sexual content, violence, child abuse, phobias and negative religious connotation.
In Conclusion: I enjoyed reading this book. If you like suspense and surprises, then this one’s for you. I recommend this one.
~ Eileen 🙂
Book Title: The Final Arrangement
Author: Annie Adams
Series: The Flower Shop Mystery Series
Length: 304 pages
Publication Date: January 30, 2013
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
This is a great little book that I really enjoyed. The main character, Quincy, is plucky, funny and very lovable. Quincy is at odds with everyone, it seems, until things finally start to come together. Not knowing who she can trust when a fellow florist is murdered, she sets out to clear her name. Items found at the scene of the body’s discovery indicate that Quincy could be the one who killed the horrid man. With colorful characters, exciting happenings and a happy ending to boot, this is a good book for those who love mysteries and love.
Despite my enjoyment of the book overall, there were a few parts that I found confusing as I was reading the scene. I can’t tell you the scenes, or I’ll spoil the book, but towards the end, there is a scene that is pivotal to the story. There is a lot going on and it was sort of hard to follow. There is another conversation later in the book that made me confused as well. The scene and the conversation were both very important parts in discovering who the killer is.
The last scene in the book seemed a little forced as well. A bad-news character from earlier in the book pops up again and is subsequently squelched. All in one scene. I didn’t really understand the need to have that person pop up again, so I think I tried to read too much into it and ended up feeling disappointed that there wasn’t more to the situation than there was.
Overall, like I said, it’s a great book and I’m certainly not sorry I read it.