Category Archives for Book Goodies

Halloween Ebook Giveaways for 2018

The website is back up (obviously) and with a spiffy new look! What do you think? I rather like it, though it’s still an ongoing project to update past posts to make sure they still look good with the new theme.

And speaking of new things, I’m currently trying out Instafreebie (now called Prolific Works—could they have picked a more generic name?) to see if it helps get my books out there and people signed up for my mailing list. It’s a bit too early to tell, but we’ll see. Continue reading

Cover Art for A Shadowed Spirit — Part Two

In part one we went over the evolution of the cover art for A Shadowed Spirit in black and white, created by the talented Ferdinand D. Ladera. Now, in part two, we’ll go over the color variations of the final black and white image. I have to say, this was the most challenging aspect. I think it was because I had particular demands for the coloring of the tree, and it was difficult finding a way to accommodate that as well producing a visually appealing image. Continue reading

Cover Art for A Shadowed Spirit — Part One

Well, it’s been a really long road, but all the formatting and cover art business for A Shadowed Spirit is finally coming to an end. Normally it wouldn’t have taken so long, but along with getting A Shadowed Spirit ready for publication, we’ve also been reformatting The Thirteenth Tower due to changing printers. We’ve also made some adjustments to the back portion of the cover to help keep it a bit closer to A Shadowed Spirit. It literally created twice as much work, and I’ve been in a “I just need to get this done” haze for the past two months.

Anyway, did I say it’s almost done? Please excuse me while I go laugh/cry hysterically in the corner while petting my hair as I recover from it all. As hard as writing can be sometimes, compared to publishing, writing is like rocketing yourself out of a cannon while coated in baby oil. And on that image… Continue reading

The Forgotten Web Cover (and Blurb) Reveal

For the cover of The Forgotten Web, I got to work with Jenny over at Seedlings Design Studio. She was a pleasure to work with–an absolute sweetheart and she knows her stuff. I highly recommend her. I figured I’d do the reveal for the cover like I did for The Thirteenth Tower, only it will be shorter, because there weren’t nearly as many revisions.

So! After settling on a few stock images and a font, this is what she sent me (click on the thumbnails to increase size): Continue reading

Book Review: After Life Lessons

After Life LessonsAfter Life Lessons

Laila Blake & L.C. Spoering

Published April 2014 by Lilt Literary

Book source: Received for free through The Masquerade Crew in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: Three Stars

 

 

After Life Lessons is an interesting, dysfunctional kind of love story, and with zombies to boot. Sort of. Despite the zombie-apocalypse setting, the zombies themselves don’t play a particularly large roll. So if you’re looking for a book with a lot of zombie action, then this isn’t the book for you.

 

What I enjoyed most in this book was the beginning, when Emily was so broken and detached from the world. I should have liked her journey into finding love again, but that part for me just wasn’t as compelling. I think my biggest problem with this book is I’ve had a difficult time separating myself from what it could have been. “No creature is more dangerous than hope,” is what it says on the cover. For me, that brought up images of a character afraid to trust, afraid to feel hope for fear of losing it again. It makes it sound like hope is the true nemesis, rather than the zombies. And so, when Emily began regaining her trust and her hope in life, I kept expecting something to happen that would take that from her. I wanted that to happen, because I wanted to see how she would cope. But it never did, not in any meaningful way.

 

What this book focuses the most on is the relationship between the two main characters, Emily and Aaron. While the interaction between them was interesting for the most part, the whole thing just felt kind of shallow. I mean, it’s essentially the end of the world. Neither Emily nor Aaron has had much human contact since everything went down. It seems kind of inevitable that they would develop strong feelings for one another. So when they did, it didn’t really feel significant or important. Maybe I’m just not convinced that the characters really did love one another, and instead mistook their own need for each other to survive as love. And that’s OK, really. Honestly, in that situation, I don’t think anyone would be able to tell the difference.

 

Despite the book being not quite what I expected, and despite some awkward narrative moments (“sorry” was spoken so much that it lost all meaning by the end) it was still an interesting book and fairly easy to read. And even though I kept rooting for someone to die, I still cared about the characters for the most part. They are flawed and sometimes annoying, but that is what makes them real. That, I think, is where the real strength in this book lies.

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