Book Reviews, Books and Me

August Reads Round Up

MONTHLY READS ROUNDUP

Summary of my August reads with links to the full reviews:

Pavel by Brianna West

13734580_1224495820935166_2082436514_nFull Review: Pavel.

I gave this book 5/5. A brilliant follow on to book one in the series. Steamy scenes, hunks, kick ass heroines, and fast paced action kept the pages turning. Paranormal romance at its finest.

 

Bury the Living by Jodi McIsaac

13900661_1238683009516447_231595185_nFull Review: Bury the Living.

I gave this book 4.5/5. A captivating Irish historical fantasy. Well rounded characters, a budding romance, and cleverly woven narrative of factual Irish conflicts interwoven with folklore and fantasy. Time travel in the style of Outlander.

 

Dead by Morning by Kayla Krantz

13936690_1240147482703333_1895443041_nFull Review: Dead by Morning.

I gave this book 3.5/5. A terrifying antagonist with satanic and narcissistic tendencies, who is not just dangerous in reality but also in ‘Dreamworld.’ Sometimes, the narrative was a little unbelievable, but you keep reading to make sure the antagonist gets his just desserts.

Parallel by Shana Chartier

13933315_1240179256033489_668307562_nFull Review: Parallel.

I gave this book 2.5/5. A 10k word short story that can be read in one sitting. A good concept, but little time to apply everything thoroughly. Lack of character development made the characters cliche and predictable. Making this into a novella may have helped.

 

The Aurora Stone by G.S.Tucker

13936524_1241811149203633_830653308_nFull Review: The Aurora Stone.

I gave this book 3.5/5. A YA book that would have done better as a children’s book. A vast array of imaginative creatures, prophecy, and realms. An engaging read that middle grade children may enjoy.

 

The Making of Gabriel Davenport by Beverley Lee

14030950_1244762542241827_1938381680_nFull Review: The Making of Gabriel Davenport.

I gave this book 5/5. A brilliantly written tale of good verses evil. Subtle characters that leap from the page and a narrative that hooks the reader from the first page until the last. If you like fantasy, supernatural, and a touch of horror. Get this book!

Dark Secrets by Leeah Taylor

13942456_1245615458823202_17791767_nFull Review: Dark Secrets.

I gave this book 3.5/5. A fast paced novel with a large cast of supernatural characters. Sometimes my mind was awhirl with information, but I enjoyed the expected paranormal romance tropes: insta-love, romance, action, and the unexplainable.

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

14009840_1245689258815822_871113542_nFull Review: A Boy Made of Blocks.

I gave this book 3.5/5. A raw, honest portrayal of a father’s struggles to connect with his autistic son and how he hits rock bottom in his personal and work life, only to be saved by his son’s love of a certain video game. A little slow for my liking.

 

 Collective Ramblings by Various Authors

14055610_1248793538505394_815131931_nFull Review: Collective Ramblings.

I gave this book 3/5. Some intriguing stories, but many felt unfinished and left me unsatisfied as a reader. Four specific genres, and each story brought something new to the table. Great concepts, but more solid conclusions needed.

 

When Time Comes by Cat Nicolaou

14017897_1249598865091528_51945908_nFull Review: When Time Comes.

I gave this book 3/5. A novella that plays on the fantasy of women who have ever had a pop idol. Some cliche narrative choices, but a sweet, happy ending. The Mina storyline didn’t interest me and was a little far fetched, yet it did make the conclusion all the sweeter.

 

Mirror Mirror by Anthony. M. Strong

14088947_1250081021709979_2030750210_nFull Review: Mirror Mirror.

I gave this book 4/5. The best short story I have read in a long time. The idea was a little cliche, but the narrative development and writing style allowed me to overlook that. Ends on a cliffhanger, so I hope there is a second installment.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab

14138357_1255426807842067_1603806093_nFull Review: A Darker Shade of Magic.

I gave this book 4/5. A great tale of magic and parallel worlds. Believable, unique characters, and a made up language. Slow starter, but action picks up. Kell and Lila reminded me a little of Kelsier and Vin from Mistborn and I couldn’t shake the image.

 

Mad Woman by Kat Savage

14171953_1257768877607860_1730246072_nFull Review: Mad Woman.

I gave this book 4/5. An anthology of honest, blunt, raw poetry. Savage lays herself bare in over forty poems of love, pain, and loss. If you are a lover of dark poetry, then this is the anthology for you.

 

Germination by Jamie Thornton

14138415_1259664230751658_323161362_nFull Review: Germination.

I gave this book 5/5. A 92 page novella that adds a unique POV to the zombie/ infection outbreak genre. Great character development in such a small space of time. Will definitely be downloading the sequel.

 


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

Save

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Germination by Jamie Thornton

book review(1)

Germination (Feast of Weeds Novella #1) by Jamie Thornton 5/5

14138415_1259664230751658_323161362_n.jpgA group of runaways. A horrifying virus.
Mary knows how to thrive on the street. She makes it her mission to keep other kids away from everyday monsters. But when she’s attacked by a crazed man clutching a bloody heart she realizes—there’s a new kind of monster in town.

A single drop of blood, and now Mary’s one of the infected. Unless she can stop the virus and save her friends, the new monster in town might just be her.

A post-apocalyptic Young Adult series where the runaways are the heroes, the zombies aren’t really zombies, and you can’t trust your memories—even if they’re all you have left.

I downloaded this book for free from Amazon Kindle.

Review:

What a great short story. I was drawn into the narrative from the start, and loved the different spin on the zombie/ infection outbreak genre. Yes, there are some zombie tropes, but the POV is interesting and different from the usual survivor POV. The blog post excerpts added more depth to the main character’s life style, and were raw and real.

This book is only 92 pages long, and most short stories always fall short on character development, but not this one. I’m a stickler for well rounded, believable characters and I loved every one in the gang, and they all played their part in the ‘family’ dynamic.

If you enjoy a zombie story with great group dynamics and believable characters, then this is for you. I shall definitely be downloading the sequel.

This book is currently free on Amazon, so what have you got to lose?


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

Thrown to The Blue

Thrown to The Blue Cover Reveal!

big news!

I’m so excited to reveal the cover for Thrown to The Blue. The whole process of drafting and now editing this novel has been a whirlwind of a ride and I’ve loved every minute, however, I’m still not sure on a release date. Once I’ve worked through the edits with my beat readers and my proof-reader, I shall know more in regards to a time scale. I shall be sending out ARCs about a month or so before the release date (I have my list ready to go.) If you are interested in reading an ARC, give me a shout.

On to the good stuff- the cover:

jamais vu(1).png

My whole series will follow a similar cover theme, and I’ve been desperate to announce a particular theme that shall be running though my titles… Yep, each title will have a colour in it. I’m so happy to finally be able to share this cover with you all. Now, I’ve just got to get the book ready for publication and I can share the entirity with you.

My next big announcement will be the blurb reveal, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Mad Woman by Kat Savage

book review(1)

Mad Woman (Poetry Anthology) by Kat Savage 4/5

14171953_1257768877607860_1730246072_nAuthor of Learning to Speak, Kat Savage, returns with Mad Woman which is comprised of 40 pieces that capture her stream on conscious, her confessions, and her strange thoughts. In Mad Woman, she bears it all and embraces her madness driven by loneliness and disappointment.

I downloaded this e-copy during a FREE promotion on Amazon Kindle.

Review:

I have been following Kat Savage on Instagram for a while, and her words are perfectly blunt, raw, and honest. I had to bag myself a copy of Mad Woman during a free promotion on Amazon Kindle, and I was not disappointed.

Savage pours out her heart and feelings in 40 beautifully crafted poems that perfectly capture her mindset whilst writing each piece. I felt her pain, love, and loss, and feel I know Kat Savage a little more from reading her poetry, and that’s how it should be.

Poetry is subjective, and I find it hard to read a poetry anthology and enjoy all the poems in their own right, but this book is different. Savage has bled into every poem, and it is rare to find a poet who lays themselves so completely bare.


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

Writing and Me

Why Are ARCs Important?

musings(1)

Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, advanced reader copies (ARCs) of your edited manuscript are important. Here is why…

What is an ARC:

ARC is the shortened term for ‘advanced reader copy’. An ARC is a copy of your work that you send out to a group of readers ahead of your publication date.

Note: an ARC copy is not the same as a beta copy. Beta Copies are usually sent out before the final edit to garner constructive feedback during the editing process. ARCs are edited, finished copies of your work that are ready for publication.

Why send an ARC:

  1. ARC reviewers can offer honest feedback before your book is even on the market. You can get a good idea on how well your work has been received
  2. Free promotion. ARC readers tend to be reviewers. Having reviews on blogs, Goodreads, and social media etc is brilliant promotion before publication.  Authors need reviews, plain and simple.

When to send an ARC:

Of course, it would not be an ARC if it wasn’t received in advance of the publication date, however, there are differing opinions as to how early to send an ARC. I have received ARCs up to seven months before publication, and some within two weeks of the release date. Ultimately, it is the choice of the author/publisher. I would not advise sending unedited ARCs, but again, that is personal preference, but please be fair in your time allowance. Give the reader enough time to read and review your work comfortably, unless they specifically agree to last minute reads. 4-8 weeks before publication is acceptable for sending ARCs (especially indie books/ eBooks).

How to find ARC readers:

ARC readers are everywhere, you just have to know where to look for them.

  1. Blog: If you have a blog, do a shout out for ARC readers and reviewers.
  2. Twitter: Write a tweet requesting ARC readers. OR search hashtags such as #bookbloggers #bookreviewer #bookblog etc. You can DM or find blog links to reviewers in your genre.
  3. Social media: Post requests for ARC readers and reviewers on all your platforms.
  4. Research: Use search engines to find book blogs etc. Most book bloggers have review policies for you to study.
  5. Netgalley: You can pay a fee to have your ARC signed up to Netgalley.com. Members can request copies of your work to review.
  6. Friends: Send out copies to honest friends. Make sure they will give you a review. The more reviews the merrier.

Keeping ARC readers for future use:

Once you have found ARC readers, you ideally want to keep them.

  1. Always thank them for reviews, even if it is not the 5* review you wanted!
  2. Reblog/ share their reviews and links. Not only does this help you, but it helps them get traffic to their platforms.
  3. Build a list of trusted reviewers. Ask all of your ARC readers if you can call on them in the future. Avid readers are a valuable assets to all authors.

filth


 Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

GIF sourced from giphy.com

Save

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab

book-review1

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab 4/5

14138357_1255426807842067_1603806093_nKell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London — dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne, where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back — and back, but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.

Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is this dangerous hobby that sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to take her with him for her proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save both his London and the others, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — a feat trickier than they hoped.

Review:

Kell is a parallel world postman of sorts. Using Antari magic, he can slip between the four London’s to deliver correspondance between the rulers of each. Kell has a fascination with trinkets from the different Londons, and smuggles different things in and out for willing buyers in exchange for trinkets and objects of interest to him. That is where the problems begin. Kell is set up, and is left holding something valuable that must not fall into the wrong hands. He happens across Lila, a wannabe pirate and thief, and the pair set off on an mission to return the item to the London it belongs in… Black London. However, there are some who do not want that to happen.

First off, Schwab’s descriptions are awesome. It made it easier for me, as a reader, to differentiate between the four Londons and the characters that reside within each. The concept was great, although it took me a while to get into the book with a slow paced start. However, the action picked up, and I was submerged into Kell’s world, or should I say, worlds.

Kell and Lila’s relationship was believable and developed organically over the course of the narrative. However, I couldn’t help but think of Kelsier and Vin from the Mistborn series. The name ‘Kell’ didn’t help either in that respect. Of course, there are differences, but there was a street urchin taken under the wing of someone more experienced vibe that I couldn’t shift.

The ending was fantastic (no spoilers), and I cannot wait to read book two. If, like me, you like fantasy, magic, well developed characters, and a unique storyline, then this book is for you.


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

Save

Save

Save

Book Reviews

Review: Mirror Mirror by Anthony. M. Strong

book review(1)

Mirror Mirror by Anthony. M. Strong 4/5

14088947_1250081021709979_2030750210_nJaime thought he’d hit the jackpot when he found the antique mirror out by the curb, just waiting for a new home. Hours later the old mirror with the ornate gold frame was taking up pride of place in his apartment.
But there’s something wrong. The mirror harbors a dark secret, and before long Jaime and his girlfriend Cassie find themselves up against a terrifying supernatural force that has its sights set on them.

I downloaded this novella for free from Amazon Kindle.

Review:

Jaime is a college student, living alone and making ends meet by ‘dumpster diving’. Trawling the streets outside of the student digs and local estates to find little gems that have been left by the moving students to furnish his own apartment, he spots an antique mirror and takes it home. Jaime quickly realises that there is something odd about the mirror.

The best short story I have read in a while. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised with this freebie. This short was well written with a naturally developing narrative. Although the haunted mirror concept is not highly original, the narrative built suspense and the writing style allowed me to overlook that.

The ending is a cliffhanger, but I am unsure if there will be a second installment. I would definitely like to know more on this narrative. As a thrift shop buyer, it makes me think twice about picking up antiques…


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