Book Reviews

Book Review: Writing a Book a Week by Alex Foster

Writing a Book A Week by Alex Foster 3/5

My writing method is a focus on writing short, high quality books that bring value to readers. Most of my methods are for nonfiction, but many examples and ideas work well for fiction books, too.

Learn how to be profitable writing a book a week for Kindle and other book sites. The process is a true test of discipline and character. I share ideas that work for writing under this model and the motivation and mindset it takes to succeed.

Review:

This book doesn’t pretend that writing a non fiction book a week is easy. The author recommends 5 hours a day to complete this task. That’s dedication for even some full time writers.

Although the book focusses on quantity with quality, I do wonder how good research and well written content can truly be produced in one week.

I would be interested to hear from readers who have tried this system.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Write What Sells by Alex Foster

Write What Sells by Alex Foster 3/5

A beginner’s guide to book writing helping you write in categories that sell while finding niche topics that stand out. Focused mainly on nonfiction, many of the tips are valuable for fiction titles, as well. Learn how to:

  • Find categories that are profitable for self-publishers.
  • Research the potential of a book before you commit to writing it.
  • Find niches that will stand out from the competition.
  • Find great ideas to write great books.
  • Publish and use marketing and promotion effectively.

Review:

The title made me shudder a little because I am a true believer of ‘write what you’re passionate about’. Writing to sell books to me is a big no no, and your book will reflect that.

Upon reading, I discovered this book mostly targets non-fiction writers who want to make money selling content based books, mostly of the informative, instructive kind.

If you are one such writer, there are tips and advice for you about categories, niches, and marketing. And… its free.

This is an informative book, just not what I can benefit from.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Book Review: How to Make Money Blogging by Bob Lotich

How to Make Money Blogging by Bob Lotich 3/5

Bob Lotich founded ChristianPF.com back in 2007 and after getting laid off in 2008 he took the leap into full-time blogging. Less than a year later he was earning more from his blog than his previous day-job.
While his results are not typical, this book covers all the steps he took to make money from his blog over that two-year period.

Review:

There isn’t anything wrong with this book, it just didn’t offer me anything personally. It covers the basics thoroughly, so if you don’t know the basics, then this is great. I know the basics, and although I blog as a platform for my books and to review, rather than to make my blog my business, I was hoping for some new, innovative ways to grow, even if just a tad.

Basically, time and hard work grows a blog, and eventually, can lead to income, but I’m already aware of that.

However, like I said, this is a good freebie for beginners.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Review: Black Virus by Bobby Adair

Black Virus by Bobby Adair 4.5/5

Alienated in a world where he doesn’t fit in, Christian Black survives because he’s different. Then the virus came, and made the world turn different, too.
Now people are dying by the million. Food supplies are short. Riots are blazing through the streets, and Christian’s only goal is to keep his family alive. But safety lies far from the city, and just getting out will be tougher than anyone knows.

Review:

It’s always great to find a new take on the zombie/infection genre. A strain of flu that some die from, some survive, or some are left with a mutation that slowly turns you into a ‘degenerate’, is right up my street.

This story focusses on Christian Black and his background. The foreword from the author was a little worrying for me as he states that he wrote Black Virus because when writing Black Rust he realised there wasn’t room for backstory with a fast paced plot. I disagree with this and believe good writing allows for both. So, even though Black Rust was written and published first, it has become book two. I was wary of Adair’s writing after reading the foreword.

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this take on the infection story, even more so because it is packed full of back story and world building. However, that foreword has made my wary of book two. If its all action and no character development or backstory in its own right, then I doubt I will like it as much as book one. I wish that foreword had been omitted.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Review: The Text by Claire Douglas

The Text by Claire Douglas 4/5.

A single text changed her life. Did it end his?

Emily Latimer is furious. Her boss Andrew is being so unreasonable, as always. She fires off a text to her boyfriend, only in her haste she sends it to her whole office group.

In it she says Andrew’s being difficult about letting her have time off work. That she is angry. That she hopes he dies. The next day her face burns in the office. No one believes her when she says it was a typo, she meant to say does. She hopes he does.

It’s a nightmare. But it gets worse – Andrew doesn’t turn up for work. And then the police come knocking. Because Andrew Burton has been murdered . . .

Review:

Imagine sending a scathing text to your friends list by accident. Imagine there’s a typo in it. I hope he does has been changed to I hope he dies. Then, the person you were texting about is murdered.

The blurb to this short is intriguing, and it is an intense read considering it is so few pages. That being said, I knew who was involved in the ‘who dunnit’ from early on. No spoilers!

This book was well written and believable. I’m not usually a thriller fan, but Douglas does it well.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Review: A Hole in the Pavement by Tahlia Newland

A Hole in the Pavement by Tahlia Meal and 3/5.

Every morning, Norris watches his goddess walk to the bus stop in front of him, the gap between them far wider than the physical distance. This morning, she stumbles. He wants to run and help her, but finds himself stuck in a metaphorical hole that appeared along with his self doubt. By the time he gets out, she’s long gone. He vows that if it happens again, he won’t hesitate, but when she falls the next day, he has more than his own hole to deal with. Can he find his heroic self before she walks away?

Review:

This short is a blend of metaphor and literal. The holes the characters fall in are those of low self esteem, anxiety etc. They help each other to ‘climb’ out.

In places the narrative was a little repetitive, and I couldn’t read it (even understanding the metaphor) without thinking, ‘ why aren’t the council filling in those bloody holes?’


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Review: Swept Away by Penny Parkes

Swept Away by Penny Parkes 3/5

Swept Away is a short story based around a large country medical practice in Larkford that also features in Penny Parkes’ novels Out of Practice and the forthcoming Practice Makes Perfect (June 2017). The Surgery at Larkford proves to be a hotbed of rivalry, resentment and romance – and that’s just the doctors. Think James Herriot meets House.
Married mum of two and successful GP Holly Graham moved to Larkford hoping to find the peaceful life she craved. Instead she found chaos and intrigue, but also a tight-knit community full of wonderful characters who helped her through difficult times.

Review:

This short is well written and showcases some interesting characters such as Elsie. Unfortunately, due to length, these characters are only touched upon, but there is more to this series to get your teeth into.

I like books that rally community and friendships, but they can be a bit samey samey. I think the neighbours and friends will be the defining feature for the rest of this series.

This book is free from Amazon at the time of this review.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Review: The Lost Lamb on Honeysuckle Lane by Lucy Daniels

The Lost Lamb on Honeysuckle Lane 3/5

It’s summertime in the little of Welford. The sun beams down on the rolling green Yorkshire hills, and the scent of freshly cut grass is in the air.

Local vet Mandy Hope and her boyfriend Jimmy Marsh are happily setting up their new home, and life at animal rescue centre Hope Meadows is as busy as ever. When the Welford Garden Committee announces a Midsummer Fair, Mandy is thrilled to be invited to judge the animal-themed fancy dress competition.

The whole of Welford turns out for the fair, and the fancy dress competition is a roaring success. Three-year-old Herbie and eighteen-month-old Kiran come as Bo Beep and her lost sheep and Mandy can’t help but melt. Maybe having children of her own isn’t such a ridiculous idea after all? But in the euphoric mayhem of the day, little Kiran goes missing and a frantic search ensures.

When the lost lamb is rumoured to have been seen on nearby Honeysuckle Lane, it’s all hands on deck to solve the mystery and restore him to his rightful home.

Review:

If you remember the Animal Ark children’s stories, then you’ll be interested to know that Mandy has grown up and this series is of her adult life, career, and relationship.

You can read this short without any previous knowledge of the Animal Ark stories.

The writing style is still reminiscent of the children’s book, and that was the only downfall.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

Review: Valentine’s Day at the Cafe at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe

Valentine’s Day at the Cafe at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe 4/5

Searching for love? You’ll find it at The Café at the End of the Pier…

When Jo’s beloved grandparents ask for her help in running their little café at the end of the pier in Salthaven-on-Sea she jumps at the chance.

The café is a hub for many people: the single dad who brings his little boy in on a Saturday morning; the lady who sits alone and stares out to sea; the woman who pops in after her morning run.

Jo soon realises that each of her customers is looking for love – and she knows just the way to find it for them. She goes about setting each of them up on blind dates – each date is held in the café, with a special menu she has designed for the occasion.

But Jo has never found love herself. She always held her grandparents’ marriage up as her ideal and she hasn’t found anything close to that. But could it be that love is right under her nose…?

Review:

This story is a cute introduction into the Cafe at the End of the Pier series. There’s something more than romance in this story: a warm, homely feel that rallies behind the notion of family and community.

For an introduction, it certainly made me want to get to know the characters in more depth and buy the rest of the series. (This short story is free on Amazon at the time of this review.)

I’m glad I downloaded Valentine’s Day at the Cafe at the End of the Pier, and now have a new series to enjoy.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews

ARC: Darkened Light by Sarina Langer

Darkened Light by Sarina Langer 5/5

The death goddess Ithrean has led the dead to their rest and watched over them in Dunhă for centuries, but they are no longer at peace. Their souls turn the red grass black, and their corruption seeps into the world of the living.

Naavah Ora is an elven mage who can enter Dunhă at will, and study its corruption like no one else can.

Doran is a runaway thief who cares about nothing as much as the next treasure, even if it puts his own life in danger.

840 is the only male sacrifice in his village, longing for a chance to live.

Ash is a troublemaker who is learning that he can’t burn his way through every obstacle.

To halt the coming darkness, they need to work together.

It’s too bad they are too different to get along.

Review:

This is the third book I have read of Langer’s and it certainly lives up to her high/epic fantasy reputation. Magic, a variety of fantastical creatures/ characters, and strong world building make for a fascinating read.

The vast array of diverse characters is the strongest factor for me. Characters make a story, and as long as each has a distinctive voice and and their own motivations, you can’t go wrong. 840 was my favourite. The name itself is just intriguing, right?

Langer uses epigraphs at the start of each chapter. I’m a Brandon Sanderson fan, and he loves a good epigraph, so Langer’s were right up my street.

This book is available from Aug 20th. Pre-order now, folks!


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review