WHITE RABBIT! Whoo-hoo!
As a special treat for all of you (or a special nightmare, depending on how you look at it...) I made a vlog post to kick the month off with!
What's a vlog post? A video blog post...
And what is this vlog post about?
NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!
Yeah, that is this month!
Check out the video to find out what I am planning to do this month in honor of NPM, and what you can do to join in on the fun! Then, check out my poem below the video, which I wrote for my sister about 5 years ago. It's pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.
HEY! And don't forget to link up your blog post below as well! It is White Rabbit link up time again, after all!
Oh... and beware of April Fools fools... It is that time of year. *looks around suspiciously*
Fiddler of the Night
A lone shadow dances gaily under the moonlight
Playing a fiddle, prancing and dancing in the night
The sight of her charms and her music sways hearts
She plays for joy and pleasure, she leaps like a hart.
But lo another shadow comes with the sound of drum!
He follows her shadow to and fro, beating with a steady hum.
She leaps for joy, he spins in delight, following her every move
They play together in the night, enchantment need not prove.
What sound now reaches ears? Another drum of the night?
Its sound deep and strong, playing, growing with great might.
Now two drummers of the night stand by the fiddle player
They compete against each other to win her good favor.
She plays the melody with thriving joy, and they a steady beat
She spins and dances while fiddling, and they drumming do meet
They circle her and beat their drums while she plays the song
Each hoping he’ll gain her interest, they beat drums loud and strong.
Ah now the test! The fiddler stops and suddenly changes tunes
She leans close to one drummer to better hear his enduring boom
Then she prances to the other to watch his drumming swell
And dances when both past the test drumming along so well.
Now the fiddler plays a last note then vanishes from sight
And the drummers weep and wane away in the closing night
If one will sometime listen to the dark and calm night’s wind
They may hear the drums and know that the fiddler did descend.
Picture - Amazon Affiliate Link
I am so excited that the third book in the Heroes of Ravenford series is out! I reviewed the first two books a while back, as you might recall (The Ruins on Stone Hill & The Serpent Cult).
I am going to make this review sweet and simple, since you can read everything about the world and the writing skill in my other two reviews.
Author: F.P. Spirit
Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/Sword & Sorcery
Rating: 5/6 stars
With the Serpent Cult vanquished, Ravenford is now safe. Or is it? A new threat comes to light that could endanger not just the town, but the entire continent of Thac.
Once again our young Heroes must venture forth, this time to find an ancient monolith, hidden somewhere in the depths of the mysterious Darkwoods, far to the west of Ravenford. But first, they must deal with the arrogant Sir Fafnar and the Duke of Dunwynn. The Heroes have been accused of attacking a Dunwynn soldier. They must either prove their innocence, or be banished from Ravenford forever.
Join our young Heroes and their new allies, as they face political exile, encounter strange mysteries, and confront grave dangers on their search for the Darkwoods Monolith. Will they be able to find it in time? Even so, what will be waiting for them there? Can they stop the Serpent Cult from gaining the secrets of the great Golem Thrall Master, or will the whole world be plunged into peril at the hands of the murderous cult?
The Dark Monolith picks up the story right where the second book left off. There is some recapping to refresh the reader's memory, but then it swings right back into the story and the action, and it does so very smoothly.
The Bottom Line:
As with his last two books, author F.P. Spirit has not disappointed me with The Dark Monolith. Each book in the series has consecutively gotten better (something which I applaud the author for), and I have to say that The Dark Monolith is my favorite in the series thus far!
Besides being packed with clean, fun adventure, great battles, and our beloved heroes who are full of sarcasm and wit, there is a lot more mystery, puzzle solving, and brain teasers presented in The Dark Monolith. I found myself trying to unravel the mysteries right along with the heroes.
There is also a bit of a love triangle going on between a few of the character. Some of the shenanigans and conversations between the love sick peep had me laughing out loud more than once.
As in the last two books, there are some brilliant plot twists. One of them in particular took me completely by surprise (an occurrence that rarely happens to this girl).
However, unlike in the last two books, The Dark Monolith left me hanging off the edge of a cliff. As I read the last sentence, I started crying and hyperventilating... okay, not really. But, telling you that I was flustered at the author for leaving me hanging precariously, in the dark, at the end of the book just lacks the desperate expression I am searching for in this instance. I am pretty sure my favorite fictional people are about to die, and the author leaves me in the dark!? What in the blue blazes am I supposed to do with my life until the next book? (Other than finish writing my book...? Der, der, der...)
Needless to say, I am DYING for the next book to come out.
Cons: There were a couple of mild cuss words (p*ss & d*amn) that were used in context and are easily skipped over. There was also a scene where a Succubus, a nude female demon, tries to seduce a few of the heroes, and there was a brief part where one of the characters walk to the river and find, much to his embarrassment, that the ladies are bathing. Neither scene was very graphic, but it is something that I would not really want my brothers to read. However, the demon is clearly depicted as a bad, bad guy, and is killed later on, and the dude who accidentally walked in on female bath time quickly bolted. Lesson learned.
As I said before, this book is my favorite in the series thus far and I can hardly wait for the next one to come out. I suspect that there will be a lot of dragons involved in it, and you know how much I LOVE dragons!
Social Media... I swear, someday, it will be used as a cuss word. Facebook especially. Instead of the "F" word, we will have the "FB" word.
That aside, Social Media and Public Profiles have become very important for authors and readers alike. It is one of the main ways for authors to sell their books, and it is one of the best ways for readers to keep up with their favorite authors, interact with them, and watch for the author's latest books.
Now, if you have 15 different public profiles on the internet, you have to keep this in mind: most people are not Social Media gurus, so it is important to go easy on them. You can't just jump out in front of them, grab them by the shoulders, shake them like a madman and scream: "I have a profile on 30 different places on the internet! FOLLOW ME ON ALL OF THEM!!!!"
Nope. That will kill your readers. Not to mention, if you are like me, it will probably kill you to keep up with all those different places on the internet.
So, let me simplify this for you and tell you the most important places to be at on the internet...
This is so important. A personal website is where people can go to learn more about your book and you. It is the best way for those people who don't do Facebook or Twitter to follow you (yes, not everyone in the world has a Facebook account).
Adding a blog to that is also a great idea. Posting something on your blog once a month, twice a month, or even once a week, is an incredible idea.
Your blog posts do not need to be long, drawn out, and filled with inspirational thoughts that make people cry. Short, sweet, and friendly is best!:
There are dozens of ways to keep your readers interested. You might not have a best selling blog, but you'll at least have a blog that keeps your readers and fans engaged. If you are ever at a loss as to what to post about, look at Pinterest! Pinterest is full of Writing Prompts and Blog Post Ideas.
Need a website and/or a blog? I think Weebly is the best!
Twitter scares people, but it is my favorite bit of Social Media. It is easy, it is fast, and is has MUCH less drama than Facebook. Plus, it is becoming the best and easiest way to attract readers to your blog, website, and books.
The hashtag #amwriting get's TONS of attention. So does the hashtag #freebooks and #startrek...
If you need to know how to use Twitter, read my old post How To Use Twitter. Believe me, using Twitter is a breeze compared to everything else on the internet.
Facebook (boo, hiss!)
As an author, I cannot stress how important it is to have a Author Page for your fans to "like" and "follow" on Facebook. It is NOT another profile page. It is a fan page, like the one for Starbucks. All a person needs to do on a Fan Page is click the "Like This Page" button. Then, that automatically signs them up to your fan page and they are able to follow your posts. It is very simple.
However, it is important to keep up with your FB fan page so that you keep your fans interested. Post random pictures and quotes that they might like to share. Link your blog posts there. Post updates about your latest book and your writing adventures.
The goal is to catch your fan's interest and hopefully (hopefully) they will hit the "share" button on one of your pictures, or you post, or something, and all of their friends will see and come check out your page.
The more people you get to "like" your page, the greater your chances of selling your book or getting more attention drawn to your blog.
Here is mine, for example. Please visit it and take ideas from it, if you wish:
Another thing to keep in mind with Facebook is GROUPS. Facebook Groups are a great place to share blog posts and promote your book.
Just keep in mind that all Facebook Groups have rules. Read the rules when you join a group and FOLLOW them. DO NOT be a shameless plug and start screaming at the world "Buy my book! Buy my book! Buy my book!" because, honestly, if people wanted to hear that all the time, they'd get a parrot and teach it to talk like that.
If you are an author or a reader, especially a book reviewer, Goodreads is one of the most important places to be at. Authors promote their books on Goodreads. Readers find books on Goodreads. Reviewers post book reviews on Goodreads.
Goodreads is the place to be for anything that has to do with books.
Now, I have to say, I am NO expert on Goodreads. I only get on there when I have to. I have my books listed there so that they can get reviews, and I have my blog hooked up to it so that people who are on Goodreads all the time will see my blog posts.
Besides that, I have no idea how to really use it.
SO.... if you are a Goodreads Guru, I beg of you: make a blog post explaining in as simple a way as possible how to effectively use Goodreads for promoting our books and our book reviews. And then put the link in a comment below, or tag my page on Facebook, so that I can read it!
Well now. I have listed what I think is the most important things in social media for a writer/reader to hook up with. My job is done for the day.
If you have a different opinion, please make your own blog post about it and share the link in a comment.
White Rabbit everyone! Gee, I almost forgot about White Rabbit. The first of the month completely came out of nowhere for me.
In case you haven't noticed, I have been BUSY! I interviewed 8 awesome authors in February:
So, to kick the month of March off (March? Already?!) I am posting a book review of a book written by none other than one of the authors above. That's right! Cool, huh?
So, without further ado, I will delve right into Lindsey R. Loucks' book, The Grave Winner.
The Grave Winner by Lindsey R. Loucks
Amazon Affiliate Link
Author: Lindsey R. Loucks
Rating: 5/6 stars
Leigh Baxton is terrified her mom will come back from the dead -- just like the prom queen did.
While the town goes beehive over the news, Leigh bikes to the local cemetery and buries some of her mom’s things in her grave to keep her there. When the hot and mysterious caretaker warns her not to give gifts to the dead, Leigh cranks up her punk music and keeps digging.
She should have listened.
Two dead sorceresses evicted the prom queen from her grave to bury someone who offered certain gifts. Bury them alive, that is, then resurrect them to create a trio of undead powerful enough to free the darkest sorceress ever from her prison inside the earth.
With help from the caretaker and the dead prom queen, Leigh must find out what’s so special about the gifts she gave, and why the sorceresses are stalking her and her little sister. If she doesn’t, she’ll either lose another loved one or have to give the ultimate gift to the dead – herself.
The Beginning: The story starts off full of emotion and conflict at a funeral. The author did a good job at drawing a picture in the reader’s mind of the pain that one suffers when losing a family member. Then, with that, she jumps right into the mystery and the horror - you meet the first undead creature and a thousand questions pop into your mind thus sealing your fate as a sleep deprived page turner.
The Characters: Leigh is the typical teenage girl who hates drama, wants to survive high school, and do something more with her life. She finds herself wrapped up in a love triangle with two boys who are almost as different as day and night: one is the tall, dark, and handsome high school jock - the typical, easy-going, irresponsible, cocky boy who has the power to unleash butterflies in Leigh’s stomach. The other is a boy who is anything but ordinary. He makes bells ring when he laughs, can summon the power of trees, and he has a load of world shattering responsibilities on his shoulders.
The Plot: The plot was sound and well thought out. It had lots of twists and turns and just when I thought I knew exactly where the story was going, I would get a surprised and I would be thrown off balance.
The World: The story is based in a small town in Kansas. I found that I could relate to a lot of things in this book, because Kansas and me are just a few miles away. The author did a fine job of coloring in the dismal small town, capturing its attitude and grimy feel, but also the warmth that its people can have.
The Writing: Louck’s writing was very easy to follow and read. It smoothly conveyed the character’s thoughts and feelings without There were only two instances throughout the entire book that I found her wording to be a bit of a hiccup.
The Ending: The ending was wrapped up nicely, but still left you with unanswered questions, which it did well of reminding you of. So, needless to say, I want to read the next book.
Pros: The writing was smooth, the storyline was intriguing and had several surprises, which I was not expecting. Also, I laughed a lot. There were so many funny parts, especially regarding the town, the people, and the school, that I could relate to. The characters were well fleshed out and likable, and the story left me wanting more.
Cons: Several of the characters cussed off and on and the “F” bomb was dropped several times. However, all the cussing was in context… in context meaning that it wasn’t used for pleasure slang, but for actual moments when cussing is, more-or-less, appropriate. Plus, they are easily marked out and replaced with another word more appropriate.
The Bottom Line: This book was a page turner. I was expecting one thing, but it lead to something else. Loucks mixed just the right amount of creepiness and humor together to make a very fun read. But, because of the cussing, and definitely the “F” bomb, I must remove a star.
I would not suggest this book to just anyone, and I would not read it to my siblings because of some of the creepy elements and, of course, the cussing. But, if cussing doesn’t bug you, and you like Paranormal/creep-pasta, then this book may be just up your ally!
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
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