PLEASE VOTE -What should I write about?

Hi All,

I’m re-blogging this so everyone sees it.

I’m interested in what you’d like to read from me. Please vote on the poll to let me know which of these topics you’d like me to write my opinion on. Once you’ve voted, I’ll write an in depth post on the top topic.  More polls to come!

This post will remain up for a week. After you’ve voted on the poll, please leave a comment (only if you’d like to) in the Comments section regarding future topics you’d like me to consider, or anything you’d like me to consider addressing on the topic for which you voted. I am nothing if not vastly opinionated and very few topics will be rejected by me. Thanks for participating!

Come Play With Me!

Haha… Gotcha!

So here’s a game for readers and writers.

What do you (or a writer in general) need in order to write? Maybe it’s something specific that you personally need while writing, or to get you started.

Also, list what might be a general need that all writers have. The “things” don’t even actually have to be an item, maybe it’s a ritual. You don’t have to be a writer to play. My understanding is that readers often wonder about their favorite authors, so here’s your chance to voice your thoughts.

List three(3)  things…

Here are just some of the things I personally need/do:

1.      I have to gather everything I’ll need so I don’t have to get up…which can cause me to procrastinate. So I grab a drink, a snack, and shut off my cell phone.

2.      I have to have pens nearby so that I can thoughtfully tap them to my forehead while thinking.

3.      I have to have a notepad to jot down notes.

Leave a comment listing three things some writers might say they can’t write without, or without doing. I’m anxious to see what you all come up with!

The Thin Muddy Line of Online Book Reviews: A Writer’s Thoughts

The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard

GangstersA few days ago I was given an offer, much like in The Godfather, that I supposedly couldn’t refuse.

At least that is how the offeror thought of it. See, there is a Facebook page I, from time to time, visit where writers will share links to their books and give updates on their writing. I do as well. Anyway, I had posted about my new book A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM, and underneath the book, the fair offer was given. It said, in so many words. “Hey, I’ll write a review on your book, if you write a review on my book.”

Of course, what the offeror was forgetting in that comment, but was definitely implied, was “positive review.”

If this was only a one-time occurrence of a back alley review deal, I would brush it off, move on, but the fact is I get about four to…

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The Empty Theater: Writers on Twitter, Facebook and Good Reads

The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard

The Empty TheaterNever again. I promised myself never again.

A few years ago, my novel My Problem With Doors was published by iPublish Press, a publisher out of Canada. Being a new press and from a different country, it was quickly proven difficult to get the book on shelves in bookstores or to get the work any attention on Amazon and elsewhere.

I was (and still am) very proud of the novel, and began to make as many calls as I could to make my book a success, in the very least in the area I live. First, I met with the local arts council and garnered their support. Working with a popular bookstore in the area, a reading and event was planned around the book. The local newspaper reviewed this novel ahead of the event (gave it a great review!) and even my local NPR station promoted the reading as…

View original post 1,996 more words

PLEASE VOTE -What should I write about?

Hi All,

I’m interested in what you’d like to read from me. Please vote on the poll to let me know which of these topics you’d like me to write my opinion on. Once you’ve voted, I’ll write an in depth post on the top topic.  More polls to come!

This post will remain up for a week. After you’ve voted on the poll, please leave a comment (only if you’d like to) in the Comments section regarding future topics you’d like me to consider, or anything you’d like me to consider addressing on the topic for which you voted. I am nothing if not vastly opinionated and very few topics will be rejected by me. Thanks for participating!

 

Book Review – This Love

Hi All! Just me, here with another book review.

 

FYI: I purchased this book, and this review was not requested by the author. Regardless, as always, this review is in depth.

 

THIS LOVE

By Nazarea Andrews

 

My Amazon rating: 3 of 5 stars for this tale of forbidden love.

As a reminder, my reviews are my views on a book and its characters. I try to avoid spoilers and will forewarn of them. I do not synopsis a book like many reviewers do, which to me is superfluous.

I’ll start at the cover…Fine and lovely work by Melissa Stevens, The Illustrated Author.

There was mention in another review(s) that Avery calling her father “Daddy” is immature. Personally, I realized that this story takes place in the South. I am from Texas. I have 45 year-old, highly educated, female friends still calling their fathers, Daddy. To clarify, it’s often a southern thing. I do understand that maybe the author could have recognized she was writing for a national, if not an international, audience and should have avoided that term. But where’s the originality in that? Where’s the reality of culture?

In books similar to this that I’ve read before, it’s always the woman who’s whining about the man not showing her love or saying I love you, or not wanting to stick it out, and how he doesn’t want to give up everything for her. Some reviewers must like this old redundant theme. For me, in this book, it was the other way around. It’s Avery who unselfishly didn’t want to see Atticus give up his life for her though the whole idea of losing him hurt her deeply. And she was afraid to mess up her own life too. Doesn’t that show consideration and ambition? I don’t see it as being weak or selfish, but being strong and level headed. I don’t know if this was the author’s intention or if the characters just wrote it that way, but it’s refreshing.

Atticus’ willingness to give up his life, move on to another job just to give this relationship a try is something we see very little of in reality or in books. I would call it uplifting; gallant, even. He’s not a shallow ass-chaser where Avery’s concerned. And unfortunately, we still see a lot of male chauvinistic behaviors in romance or erotic novels. Come on…Overdone. I like it better the Nazarea Andrews way.

The age difference between the two characters didn’t matter to me. I mean, this book is about a relationship that is taboo. In actuality, this is how it would be between a professor and a student who’s a senior in college. That’s where the illicit relationship comes in. Don’t we still believe that art imitates life? What I would’ve liked to have seen, however, was more near misses during the relationship. In truth, I would’ve enjoyed seeing them – a time or two – trying to hide from Atticus’ colleagues in a restaurant or her classmates at the mall in effort not to be caught. There are no cliff hangers, no hold-your breath-moments as far as action and intrigue. This story had the potential to be longer.

The characters seem to be developed enough for this first book in the series, but they could be more rounded. I think Atticus is definitely a hottie, but out of the appearing characters, Dane was my choice for most appealing. I’m always looking for a deviant underdog. By that I mean, I’m looking for someone to prove to me they are better a person than I first thought them to be. It’s early on in this series, but I’m looking to Dane for that role.

My hopes for future UB books: I wish the author will develop Avery’s character more if she is still to play a big role. Who is she, really? I can see the author’s not afraid to be original, so she should be more daring as well. This Love needed more tension – but not of the sexual kind, and a couple of “Oh, no. Run!” moments.

 

There are some details I did not like about the book and they are my personal reasons for not giving it 4 stars and have nothing to do with the story in general. While I absolutely love a First Person narrative, I did not like the “present tense” the book is written in. This is my opinion and has no bearing on the author or her work, but I think it caused a few of the lines of prose to be delivered awkwardly. I feel it limited the book as far as delivery and description. My brain had a hard time wrapping itself around the present tense narrative. That being said, I still must give kudos to the author for writing in this format. It is different.

Next, usually when we open to a chapter and there’s a heading such as “Chicago” or “April 2010”, we know that the following passage is about that subject. So when I opened to chapter one of This Love and read “Avery”, I assumed the passage was about Avery. I did not right off realize it was a cue to her speaking…or that the title meant that the passage was written from her point of view. So it took me a bit to realize that Avery was the one talking. In fact, it took me to the middle of next section titled “Atticus” for me to realize what was going on.

Also, while I have no problem with sex in a book, this one was a bit overboard. I’d like to see Atticus and Avery doing more than sex and drinking coffee. While sex can sell a book, it cannot sell a relationship to an audience.  The ending was a bit hurried. As I said earlier, I feel this book could have been longer. I’d love to see this author really let loose. I’d like to see more obstacles and tension. Maybe Nik should’ve set Atticus’ car on fire for revenge.

I enjoy young adult and new adult books, but usually go for action, fantasy, mystery, or paranormal so the romance side of those genres is new to me. Overall This Love is a good summer read, especially for young adults. Although there seems to be no plot (but a lot of books do not have one) its succession seems to be finely planned out, and This Love is well written. I did run across a few over looked editing issues but nothing that takes away from the story. This series has great potential.

I am also interested in the Scout character and was pleasantly surprised to read the Epilogue to find that the next book, Beautiful Broken, is about Dane and Scout. I’ll be reading that one as I’m sure Dane won’t disappoint me. *wink* I’m sure it’s a 4-star read!

Legacy of Dreams

Legends of Windemere

I write of legends
Kicking off the Age of Heroes
Followed by one left behind
Vampires rule the night
Slumberlords and hero thieves
A continent has been found
War between the fallen ones
While children hunt for long lost gods
Hunters of monsters and slayers of wraiths
Two seek the abandoned throne
Lost angels and half-demons
Blood no longer on his hands
Protectors of the psychic child
Awoken when sealed heroes rise again
Tales of gods and warriors
Until the Great Cataclysm struck
Changing Windemere to present day
Ancient secrets held by a lonely man
Cocky warriors bond within their schools
A zombie seeks her life’s goal
Robots, spies, and fairies
Altered mercs and soulless beasts
An abandoned child among the stars
All leading to the final hour
Where hero faces the maddest villain
This is my legacy
The stories I strive to tell
Before I sleep eternal
And enter…

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Book Review – Kydona: From Ashes

Kydona FA Cover XxSmall(1)

(4 of 5 stars on Amazon)

Hello Friends,

Here is another review for a really great book. If you like action, battle scenes and war stories with an underlying bit of romance and erotica, read on. As always, I try to refrain from using spoilers.

This latest blog is a review for Kydona: From Ashes, by T.K. Krug III. This is the sequel to Kydona which I reviewed in May, 2013. In case you haven’t read the first book, Kydona, you can read that review as well if you’d like to. You can find it on my blog here: https://wandasparyla.com/2013/05/15/book-review-kydona-7/

I think it’s important for you to read my review of Kydona because in Kydona: From Ashes you’ll get more of the same, but this time with more plot and more places to visit. Some things I liked most about the first book besides that it was written by an author who knew his subject, was how a few characters showed me there was more to them than meets the eye, and how the story closed was awesome too. The door just slammed shut. I know some won’t like that type of ending, but if there’s going to be a sequel, it’s fine and dandy by me. It was a nice little cliff hanger for this, the second story.

I can say little more than I already have in my earlier review of Kydona about the author’s incredible ability to bring one into war with him…or his characters…and force you to see and feel everything and everyone. This book is less about the development of some old character and more about development of a human being in the midst of the greatest despair to date in his history. It’s about how people under life-altering, horrifying distress can do one of two things, give up and give in, or reach for each other in support instead of lying down their sword to an enemy whether that enemy be foe or oneself.  This is a book about a path to destiny. In this book we see the main character, Marcus, grow tremendously, even if unwilling at times, unfurling himself slowly like a military banner. And, this is exactly as it might have been for a man like him, in his situation, 1,000 years ago…or even today.

Marcus’ ability to go from drinking and binging like a teenager in the first book to overcoming his feelings toward unspeakable crimes against humanity, as well as his need to commit them for the common good, and live to the bitter end to make peace with himself, is heroic. In Kydona, he was tossed headlong into a war, to the frontlines, carelessly as a punishment and/or to be rid of him, yet in Kydona: From Ashes we champion him on as he prevails little by little overcoming his foes.

And, of course, there is no shortness of scheming. There are still methodical wenches and politicians, and military men…we just don’t realize what’s truly going on off scene until closer to the end. And well, there’s lies. The place that these lies put Marcus in regarding his father is maddening and sad.

This second book has quite a few twists and turns in it and despite Marcus being let down at nearly every turn, it is his men…who were first his comrades, then became his very own army… that showed him the respect and loyalty that carried him through.  It was for their honor, and not his own, that he trudged onward through to the end of the book.

In Kydona, the two countries, Elessia and Kydona, are forced into a battle because their leaders refused to realize the one thing that would bring peace. Then in the end of Kydona: From Ashes, the story comes full circle (maybe seemingly accidental, if you don’t believe in fate) and peace is, for the moment, derived from the very thing first denied. Can’t tell…I don’t want to spoil.

Again, as in the first book, there is a character that proved that he was not just hogwash. For me, in Kydona it was Vernon. In Kydona: From Ashes, it is Roslene. I thought the whole time she was out only for Number One, and while even in the end it seemed so, I realize that maybe she schemed for love to actually raise someone above her. Devious, yes; shallow, no. But you all may find the characters that surprise you to be different from my picks.

We don’t see a huge difference in some of the lesser characters, but the growth of Marcus as a person is overwhelming enough in and of itself, and while we still catch glimpses of Vernon’s love of mischief, wine and women, as this story progresses, it becomes more of a joke. After all, even in our own lives, as we grow and learn out of pain, do we not wish for the good ol’ days? And really, would we truly go back if we could? Vernon continues to be a pertinent piece of this saga, even though he disappears for awhile, while Marcus makes his mark in Kydona and deals his hand with its tzarista, then Vernon reappears just as loyal as ever in the end.

I am still stumped as to the underlying theme of immortality that wades around in the last quarter or so of this book. I am wondering, will that go somewhere?

There are a couple of small things that kept me from giving Kydona: From Ashes five stars. Of course, these are just my opinion. I think the author should have given an introduction to the characters and a little back story for those who didn’t realize Kydona: From Ashes is a sequel. And it would also be a good refresher for those who might read Kydona but take several months to pick up the next book.  This information could be given in a prologue or even in bits and pieces in the first couple chapters of the book with Marcus reminding us who these people are. The next thing along that same line is that perhaps on the back cover, or in the description, it should be revealed that this is a sequel so folks know to grab the first book.

In passing, this book could use a bit more editing but the oversights did not distract me from the story, but I’d urge the author or a proof reader to have another go at sprucing it up.

Overall, the story is engaging, the feeling of camaraderie stays with you as you read. If you want to know how people make it through war…maybe this is it.  My assessment of the first book, Kydona, stands true for From Ashes as well (don’t forget to read my Kydona review!). Once again Krug’s work reads as well-researched historical fiction from the start. Nothing about what goes on in this book seems forged or overblown to me.

Feel free to check out an interview I did with T.K. Krug III here: https://wandasparyla.com/2013/05/15/t-k-krug-iii-an-author-interview/

Happy Reading!

Reviews for Someday Always Comes

I see I have a new review on Amazon:

8/2/13- 5 Stars – “Although not normally the type of novel I read, availability of a free promotional copy persuaded me to take a look. Having a relatively short attention span, the length of the novel (500+ pages) caused me a little trepidation, but I persevered. I am glad I did. The novel is very well written, first person POV from a sixteen year old girl trying to hit the big time as a rock star. Her background and story seemed very real, and I found myself totally engrossed and at times, quite emotional. Some of the situations I found difficult to comprehend, not being female or American, but I have no hesitation in awarding 5 stars for an excellent story.” ~by Rob Read

Thanks, Rob Read!

 

Check out my other reviews on Amazon…
http://www.amazon.com/Someday-Always-Comes-Wanda-Paryla/dp/1478329963/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366378241&sr=8-1&keywords=someday+always+comes

Also, on Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17311306-someday-always-comes

Happy Reading!!