The Fault in Our Stars Movie-Book Comparison

My book club chose to read The Fault in Our Stars this month, and tonight we all watched the movie together for the first time.

I’d already read the book once before and read it again yesterday so I could have the details fresh in my mind. It was just as wonderful the second time around.

The movie did an AMAZING job of staying pretty true to the book. There were minor differences for the sake of saving time. I was SO PLEASED.


If you’ve not read the book or seen the movie, I really encourage you to do one or both. It’s a beautiful story about a terminally ill teen who strikes up an interesting relationship with two kids at her support group. One of the boys falls in love with her, but, even though she’s drawn to him, she’s afraid of hurting him. She is, after all, going to die.

The book brings in these amazing ideas, like “Pain is meant to be felt.” Think about that. Sometimes we go through extreme measures to avoid pain, but maybe we shouldn’t always.

I also loved the idea that some infinities are greater than other infinities and how our main character, Hazel, is grateful for the little infinity she got to share with Gus. Their days were numbered, but they found a forever inside of those numbered days.

Interesting, too, to be reminded that a terminally ill person isn’t a grenade who will one day explode and take everyone down in their wake. Those who are close to the person relish the privilege of having had the chance to love them. Loved ones never regret having known a cancer victim. They are always GRATEFUL.

Finally, we don’t have to leave some kind of huge mark on the world before we die to feel significant. As long as we are important to the people in our lives, they will remember us, and that is enough.

I highly recommend this book and movie!

 

Instant Attraction VS Insta-Love

Love at first sight might exist in the world, but most of us don’t believe in it, especially when we read it in fiction.

But there’s a difference between insta-love and instant attraction. I think everyone has experienced instant attraction, right?

As soon as you become aware of that person, you can no longer not be aware anymore. In fact, you are hyper-aware of that person, even if other people are talking to you and you are expected to answer. The rest of the world becomes a distraction to your new focus. This person is on your mind night and day.

This isn’t love. You may not have even spoken to the person yet. This is instant attraction.

The attraction may compel you to find a way to meet the person. If your father is the lord of the Underworld, you know there will be a steep price to pay. But you can’t walk away from the opportunity to explore this possibility. You don’t love her. You don’t know her. But you can’t stop thinking about her, and you need to find out if it means something.

This is not insta-love. It takes the entire story for Thanatos to fall in love with Therese and for Therese to fall in love with Than. And by the beginning of the second book, she still has her doubts.

GatekeepersSonsEbook

 

Vampire Affliction: The Vampires of Athens, Book Two, Chapter One

Chapter One: First Drink

Jeno led Gertie across the dark night above Athens. Jeno’s father flew close beside them, and a legion of vampires followed. Gertie was barely aware of them all, however. Her thirst for human blood dominated her conscious thought.

Trembling and on the edge of panic, she cried out, the sound of her voice foreign to her. It was more like a strange and desperate bird.

“What is it?” Jeno asked.

“Blood.” She could think of nothing else to say. “Blood!”

Jeno’s eyes widened with shock.

“She’s been drained,” Jeno’s father said, in Greek. “She’ll die if she doesn’t feed.”

They plummeted toward the cityscape and swerved between buildings before entering a balcony window and coming to an abrupt stop. Even though she was barely all there, Gertie recognized the cream-colored walls, gilded mirrors, and mahogany and maroon furnishings of the Hotel Frangelico.

The other surviving vampires soon joined them—Calandra, Jeno’s sister, among them.

With cheeks full of tears, Calandra rushed forward and embraced her father. “I can’t believe you are standing here before me.”

Her father put his arms around his daughter and kissed the top of her curly black hair. “Neither can I.”

They spoke in Greek, but, to Gertie, it may as well have been English. Despite her urgent need for blood and her feelings of disorientation from all that had just happened at the Angelis basement, Gertie was astounded by how easily she understood a language she’d been struggling with since arriving in Greece over four months ago.

The Angelis basement. Hector. The image of him running beneath her, from block to block, his bright blue eyes never leaving her as she flew with the vampires, made her sick. She hadn’t meant to hurt him. She hadn’t meant to hurt any of them. None of this was supposed to happen. She’d been a pawn, used by Jeno to save his father.

“Lord Vladimir,” another vampire said, stepping forward with a bow.

Soon all of them showed Jeno’s father their obedience and loyalty by calling him their lord and bowing before him. Some stood, while others hovered in the air, closer to the ceiling, to make room.

Jeno quickly took her in his arms. “I’m so sorry for what has happened to you. I never intended…”

“Jeno,” his father called.

Gertie’s throat felt tight, her lips were parched, and her stomach was burning, but she watched in silence as Jeno stepped forward, too. She could read his thoughts of love, joy, and incredulity. Jeno couldn’t believe he had the opportunity to look upon his father’s face once more.

“Father,” he said.

Equal to his son in height, but with much longer hair, thicker brows, and an older face, his father embraced Jeno and kissed his cheek. Then he pointed to Gertie. “This girl must feed, or she will die. Bring me a human.”

Gertie wanted blood, but the thought of drinking from another person terrified and repulsed her.  As many times as she’d been bitten, she’d never experienced this overwhelming and nerve-rattling side effect. Trembling and near hysteria, she cried to Jeno, “What’s happening to me? Why does he keep saying I’m going to die?”

Jeno reached for her hands and pulled her close to him. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize how much of your blood I gave to my father.”

“What are you saying?” she asked, afraid of the answer.

“You already know.” He kissed her forehead. “I shouldn’t have allowed myself to drink from you so frequently. My lust for your blood, and your lust for my power…But it doesn’t matter. Now we can be together forever.”

“Are you saying I’m a vampire?” she asked, faltering on her last word and feeling suddenly faint. Everyone in the room was watching her.

Jeno stroked her hair, the blond strands in stark contrast with his dark skin. “Not yet. First you must feed.”

“What?” She couldn’t breathe. The room was spinning. Her knees quivered and barely held her up. “I what?”

Jeno’s father stepped closer to her with the enthusiastic boy she had met two nights ago in the elevator. She recalled how happily he had turned himself invisible and had reminded her of her own excitement over possessing the powers of the vampire.

“When a human is drained by one of us, it dies,” Vladimir explained.  “Unless it feeds on human blood. Then it turns.” He moved the boy between them. “You must drink or perish.”

The girl vampire to whom the boy “belonged” stood nearby and said, “Don’t think. Just drink.”

The same vampire had told Gertie when they had met not to think too hard and too deeply. Gertie remembered her exact words. The girl had said, “Life is what it is. Just enjoy it, dearie.”

Calandra, who’d remained at her father’s side during all of this, put an arm around Gertie. “The first time is the most difficult. You want to drink so badly, but you are also repulsed. After this, it will get easier. I promise. Just close your eyes.”

Gertie hadn’t expected such tenderness and compassion from someone who had attacked her the night Jeno had erased her memory.

Calandra lifted the human boy’s wrist, pierced it with her own fangs, and then offered the bleeding limb to Gertie.

Gertie stared at the blood in horror, yet her mouth began to salivate and her stomach to growl. She closed her eyes and fought back tears. She’d never meant to become a vampire. How had this happened? Full of sadness, regret, and a terrible longing for the Angelis family and for Hector, she put her lips to the boy’s wrist and drank.

“Turn me,” the boy pleaded. “I want to be like you.”

Gertie closed her eyes more tightly and gave into the desire to drink as she pressed her lips against his skin and sucked. After at least a dozen or more swallows of the warm, intoxicating liquid, she opened her eyes, refreshed. The room spun and danced for several minutes. She breathed in and out, feeling herself growing stronger. In all the stories she had read, the transformation from human to vampire was usually painful, as the mortal body died away and the immortal one took its place; but, she felt no pain. The warm blood moved through her veins, quenching and pleasing every cell in her body.

Something was happening to her bones, muscles, and skin. Gertie believed they had become denser, harder. Her nails, teeth and hair grew maybe a quarter of an inch. In addition to the superior vision and hearing she’d already experienced while infected with the vampire virus, she felt her body become a hardened, invigorated machine. She felt spastic and caged and wanted oh so badly to leap from the building and into the dark night, to be free. But before she could run, Calandra and Jeno had their arms around her, and both kissed her.

“Thank you for saving our father,” Calandra said. “We should all thank her, yes?” she said to the crowd of thirty or more vampires in the room. “Thank her and welcome her to our fold.”

Each of them came to Gertie and kissed her on her cheek or hand, even though she hadn’t saved Jeno’s father willingly. They had used her. Yet, she was moved by their gratitude, and she now realized they had used her out of desperation.

After they had all given Gertie their thanks and welcome, she stood in the center of the group beside Jeno and his family like royalty. The vampires looked to her in deference, because of her sacrifice, and probably, too, because Jeno was the son of their lord and they knew he loved her.

“What now, Lord Vladimir?” one of the vampires asked from across the room.

“My brothers and sisters,” Vladimir said. “I have had centuries to think about what I would do in the event that I was awakened. First, I shall seek counsel with our Lord Dionysus. My hope is that he will agree we should attack the city of Athens—and other cities, if necessary—until the gods of Mount Olympus become willing to hear us.”

No! Gertie thought, as shouts of approval rang throughout the room. Everyone turned their eyes on her and frowned.

“She’s new,” Jeno said in her defense. “Give her time to adjust.”

“We must no longer be treated as the scourge of the human race,” Vladimir said to her. He turned to the others. “For too long, we have suffered. We must be set free to live lives of prosperity, joy, and peace.”

Shouts and applause erupted in the room. Everyone there wore a smile, except Gertie, who wished she could disappear.

Jeno spoke to her telepathically, “Don’t be afraid, and remember that your thoughts are an open book until you learn how to block them.” He squeezed her hand.

She got the message. She focused on how happy Jeno and Calandra were to be reunited with their father, for seeing Jeno’s smile did bring her joy, even if everything else terrified her.

At that moment a dozen more vampires flocked in through the balcony window and hovered there, the leader pointing his finger at Vladimir in the center of the small, crowded room.

“Why should he lead us?” the vampire sneered. “He turned his back on us and has been locked away for over a millennium. What does he know of our suffering?”

Gertie glanced at Jeno, who squeezed her hand with reassurance.

Don’t worry, he said in her mind. I’ll take care of you.

“Believe me, I know of your suffering!” Vladimir said kindly. “Yes, it’s true that I abhorred what I’d—what we’d—become. I turned away from blood and chose nothingness.”

“Exactly!” the intruder said.

“But it was not nothingness I found as I lay there, day after day, year after year, century after century, listening to each and every one of your thoughts.” Vladimir raised his open palms. “I know your suffering. I know it all too well.”

“You were conscious?” a vampire from the crowd asked.

“Aware?” another asked.

“Yes,” Vladimir turned to make eye contact with each one there. “For centuries I have been helpless to respond to your suffering. But no more.”

The crowd hissed in surprise and shock.

The new group of vampires looked down at Jeno’s father with uncertainty. The others in the room became deathly still and quiet.

“Why shouldn’t Homer lead us?” the intruder shouted. “He’s as old as you and has suffered and fought alongside us.”

Jeno telepathically told Gertie that Homer was the leader of another clan, and that the vampires here belonged to his father’s clan.

“Where is Homer?” Vladimir glanced around the room.

“Not here,” another replied.

“I would gladly share his counsel, though perhaps he’s best at telling stories,” Vladimir said.

Laughter and snickering erupted, but Vladimir silenced them all. “That was no insult. Never underestimate the power of the storyteller.” Then he added. “I’m not a tyrant. You have nothing to fear from me. These people look to me to show them the way, but I would be glad to have Homer at my side. And it is Dionysus who shall lead us.”

The newcomers seemed pacified by Vladimir’s words.

“Dawn is about to break,” Vladimir continued, raking his hand through his ancient hair. “Tonight, we should reconvene to discuss our strategies. We should meet in the caves near the temple of our lord. For now, invite everyone you know, then return to your hotel rooms or to your caves, pray to our Lord Dionysus, and be watchful. Stay in groups. Go nowhere alone. Report any suspicious activity directly to me.”

The vampires filed out, like roaches in the Angelis apartment. Some left through the window and others through the door. Soon Gertie was alone in the room with Jeno and his sister and father.

It seemed their first concern was to make sure Gertie was okay, which both surprised and moved her, considering Vladimir had been trapped for centuries in a miserable state of consciousness. She was grateful, but what she really wanted was to be left alone so she could process what had happened to her. It hadn’t sunk in. She could say it over and over in her mind—I am a vampire—but it didn’t seem real.

Oops. She’d forgotten that they could hear her every thought.

“Your feelings are completely understandable,” Vladimir said. “Why don’t you lie down and rest?”

Gertie nodded.

“We’ll talk outside.” Vladimir beckoned his children to follow him to the balcony where the night sky was still untouched by pre-dawn light.

Jeno kissed Gertie’s cheek and followed his father and sister outside.

Gertie lay down on one of the double beds and pulled the thick blankets up to her chin. She closed her eyes and thought that—just maybe—this had all been a bad dream. She would go to sleep and then, when she would awaken, she would find herself back home with the Angelis family. And she would be human.

 

 

Conference Attendees Can Pre-Order My Books

Are you attending any of these events? If so, are you interested in pre-ordering one or more of my titles?

April 14-17, 2015: Texas Library Association, Austin

May 22-25, 2015: Comicpalooza, Houston

June 18-21, 2015: UtopYA Con, Nashville

July 23-25, 2015: Penned Con, St. Louis

Readers may be wondering if there is an advantage to pre-ordering books over waiting to buy at the event. The answer is YES. The most obvious advantage is that you don’t have to worry about an author selling out. Your copy or copies will be guaranteed. The other advantage is that authors usually offer an incentive for pre-orders. This year, my incentive is that all pre-paid orders get a discount of 20% off the regular price.

Fellow authors may be wondering if they should make pre-orders available, too. YES, YOU SHOULD, for many reasons. First, simply by posting the pre-order around social media, you are marketing your brand. Second, pre-orders will help you to better plan for the number of books you should bring to the event. Third, you can offer the option to have readers pre-pay, which will help you with your upfront costs. Finally, you can include an incentive for readers to subscribe to your newsletter on your form.

TLA Con Attendees, Pre-Order Here:

Comicpalooza Attendees, Pre-Order Here:

UTOPYA Con Attendees, Pre-Order Here:

Penned Con Attendees, Pre-Order Here:

Seven Sparks of YA Weekend Trivia

Weekend Trivia Graphic

Today is the inauguration of the Seven Sparks of YA WEEKEND TRIVIA!

Every Saturday, we will ask a trivia question from one of our favorite young adult titles. Readers have all weekend to comment with their answers. The first person to comment with the correct answer will be entered into a monthly drawing five times. Everyone else who answers correctly will also be entered once.

The monthly drawing will take place on the last Sunday of each month. The prize is always a surprise, but it might be a t-shirt, swag jewelry, a signed book, or a swag pack.

The correct answer to each WEEKEND TRIVIA question will be posted on Sunday night.

You can answer this weekend’s question by visiting the Seven Sparks of YA Facebook page.

Good luck!

Merging Lanes

The conundrum: a lane of traffic is coming to an end. You can

A. Move over to the continuing lane immediately, or

B. Continue driving down the ending lane to the point where the two lanes merge.

What should you do?

lane ends 2

Here in San Antonio, the majority of drivers seem to believe you should choose A and move over to the continuing lane immediately. From the way they treat people who choose B (butting bumper to bumper to avoid said merging and shooting dirty looks at people who try to merge), they believe you are the scum of the earth if you choose B.

Lane ends signThe problem is, there is always a good reason for having that extra lane that ends. It’s there to help with the overflow of traffic from another on-ramp. If people choose A and move over immediately, this will usually congest the on-ramp and back up traffic.

Once that happens, people will have no choice but to drive up the empty merging lane, because they have no where else to go. This makes all the people who have chosen A very angry, because they feel as though these other cars are cutting in line and are the scum of the earth.

To avoid this dilemma, PLEASE ALWAYS CHOOSE B.

If people would just fill up the two lanes on a first come, first served basis, they would help with the overflow of traffic and fewer people would be angry about other cars cutting in front of them.

Just to warn you, people who choose A will be downright mean to you for choosing B, but if more and more people choose B, maybe others will see the light. As they’re giving you ugly looks or pretending like they just don’t see you, take the higher moral ground and be courteous. Eventually, a smart and reasonable person who chose A will let you in.

A merging lane is a legal lane. You will not be breaking any law in choosing B. In fact, you will be helping the flow of traffic. If everyone followed your lead and filled the two lanes simultaneously, the world would be a better place.

Here is another article that presents findings supporting my position.

Let me just add that I’m not condoning the behavior of the assholes that will go around everyone faster than the speed of light and even use the shoulder to cut in as far in front of everyone as they can. In fact, if everyone practices this late merging, assholes like that would be less likely to cut.

And yet, I still let those kind of people in just in case their house really is on fire or their wife is having a baby.

Seven Sparks of YA

In the fall of 2014, seven YA authors banded together to help spread the word about their books, and the sparks were born!

I recently became one of the sparks when one of the originals had to step down.

Our mission is to help readers of adventurous, fantastical, romantic stories with strong heroines find our books. We Seven Sparks authors provide compelling reads without explicit descriptions or swearing, making our books perfect for the younger YA reader or anyone in the mood for a fantastical adventure!

Seven Sparks BannerTo help in that mission, we’ve created a fun and interactive Facebook page with something exciting happening on it EVERY DAY of the week!

Fandom Monday: Terah Edun inspires us with her weekly young adult TV and movie reviews and recommendations. You’ll want to look for these on Netflix!

Teaser Tuesday: Cidney Swanson bedazzles us with amazing teasers from books by the Seven Sparks and by other authors we love. These will SPARK your imagination and help you to build your TBR list!

Win on Wednesdays: Allie Burton brings the excitement with a weekly giveaway. This will be a fun way to spend hump day. Enter to win each week!

Throwback Thursday: Anthea Sharp stirs up the nostalgia by presenting older YA books we all love.  A different book will be featured each week. If you’ve read it, be sure to join in on the conversation about it!

Freebie Friday: Ednah Walters features a free ebook that meets the Seven Sparks’ criteria for excellent clean adventures for young adults. Be sure to check the page on Fridays to download your FREE copy!

Weekend Trivia: Eva Pohler (that’s me) will test your knowledge of some of our favorite young adult books (beginning with ours) and the lore that inspired them. I’ll post the question on Saturday and the answer on Sunday. A list of the names of those who commented with the correct answer will be touted all over social media. Those names will also be entered into a monthly drawing. The FIRST person to comment with the correct answer gets entered into the drawing FIVE times. The winner will be announced on the last Sunday of each month.

Brenda Hiatt will be posting fun stuff throughout the week, just to keep things REALLY interesting!

Meet the Seven Sparks…

cropped antheaANTHEA SHARP

Growing up on fairy tales and computer games, Anthea Sharp has melded the two in her award-winning, USA Today bestselling Feyland series. She now makes her home in the Pacific Northwest, where rainy days and cups of strong black tea fuel her writing. When not imagining new stories, she hangs out in virtual worlds, plays the fiddle with her Celtic band Fiddlehead, and spends time with her small-but-good family. Explore her world and the magic of her award-winning series by visiting her website.

3yDvHHuXTERAH EDUN

Terah Edun is a young adult fantasy writer born and raised in the Atlanta metropolitan area, who transplanted to the Northeast region for college, and has spent years living abroad in South Sudan and Morocco. She writes the stories that she always loved to read as a young girl. She prefers tales of adventure, magic, fellowship and courtship – in other words fantasy of both the contemporary and high variety.  Terah’s Courtlight series was featured on the USA Today Happily Ever After Blog and her Crown Service series hit the Amazon Top 500 on release of Book One. She has sold over 50,000 copies of her books and is proud to be a young adult author. Discover her world and the magic of her books by visiting her blog.

BHBeachShot

BRENDA HIATT

Brenda Hiatt is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty novels (so far), including traditional Regency romance, time travel romance, historical romance, and humorous mystery. She is as excited about her STARSTRUCK series as she’s ever been about any of her books, which is saying something! In addition to writing, Brenda is passionate about embracing life to the fullest, to include scuba diving (she has over 60 dives to her credit), Taekwondo (where she is currently pursuing her 3rd degree black belt), hiking, traveling, and reading, of course! You can find out more at her website.

Allie Burton

ALLIE BURTON

Bestselling author Allie Burton’s stories rock with adventure and romance. From real places to made up worlds, from first love to united souls, from suspense to fantasy…but always to the tune of love. Her tales take you under the ocean in the Lost Daughters of Atlantis series and through mythical legends and relics in the Soul Force series. Allie currently lives in Colorado with her husband and teen inspirations. You can learn more about Allie and her books on her website.

Cidney Swanson

CIDNEY SWANSON

Cidney Swanson is an award-winning writer of Young Adult Sci-Fi and Fantasy including The Ripple Trilogy and The Saving Mars Series. SAVING MARS (Kirkus, starred) was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012 and was an honor book for the SCBWI Spark Award 2014. When she’s not writing, Cidney is distracted by shiny things such as books with raised foil covers, macarons in jars, and stars set against an inky night sky. She lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband, three kids, two cats, and entirely too much rain. Please check out her website.

Ednah Walters Button-2EDNAH WALTERS

Bestselling author Ednah Walters writes about tortured heroes and the women who love them–from her international bestselling Runes series, which focuses on Norse mythology and legends, to her Guardian Legacy series. Whether she’s writing about Valkyries, Norns, and Grimnirs, or Guardians, demons and Archangels, love plays a crucial part in her series. When not writing YA and NA books, she writes contemporary romance under the pseudonym E. B. Walters. You can visit her online, including her websites—www.ednahwalters.com and www.author-e-b-walters.com. You can also join her Mailing List- https://mobile-text-alerts.com/TeamEdnah.

Eva PohlerEVA POHLER

Eva Pohler is the Amazon bestselling author of The Gatekeeper’s Saga and The Vampires of Athens Series, both young adult adventures where Eva’s obsession with Greek mythology, epic battles, and heart-breaking love triangles lights the pages on fire. She’s also the author of The Purgatorium Series, a young adult psychological thriller and island survival story, and The Mystery Book Collection—a group of suspense novels for adults. When she’s not writing herself, Eva teaches writing and literature at a university in San Antonio, where she lives with her husband and three teens. You can learn more about Eva and her novels at her website.

You can show your Seven Sparks spirit by wearing our badge on the sidebar of your blog. Look to your left to my sidebar to see how pretty it looks.

Grab it here:

Seven Sparks Graphic

Hope to see you on the Seven Sparks YA Facebook page! You can also visit our website here.

Book Reviewers: Are You a Teacher or a Shredder?

I can’t write a post often enough to thank book reviewers. I know being a reviewer takes time, energy, and talent. I know, because I used to be one.

But when I was a book reviewer, I had a personal policy. I would only review books I mostly liked. If I hated a book, I remained silent.

I realize now that I should have written critical reviews, too. To remain silent on a book that didn’t live up to my expectations was to do a disservice to readers of my review blog. And as an author, I appreciate both the positive and the negative reviews. The positive ones build up my confidence and help me know what I’m doing right. The negative ones help me to grow as an author.

I’m especially grateful for the critical reviews that manage to find something positive to say. When I was in college, my creative writing teachers used to instruct us to write both positive and negative feedback for the other students in the class. And our negative feedback was meant to be instructional and respectful, tempered with the acknowledgment that some of it was a matter of subjective taste.

I get amazing critical reviews written by readers who get that. To me, these reviewers are “teachers.” They not only teach other readers what to look for in books, but they also teach writers about their weaker moments.

This type of critical review appears less frequently, however, than the type that rips an author’s dreams to shreds with no mention of anything positive. Maybe a “teaching” critical review is less fun to write, or less sexy, than a “shredding” critical review. Forgetting the courage it takes to publish a novel in the first place, the hopes and dreams that are all packed up into that novel, and the fragile ego of the artist behind the scenes probably adds to the ease of becoming a shredder.

red x on Gatekeeper's SonsIt’s particularly frustrating when the shredder forgets the genre of the book and complains about elements that are typical of that genre, such as the character’s age or the way he or she speaks (i.e. like a high-schooler when it’s a young adult novel).  Often shredders pick apart elements of a story that are necessary. For example, if a protagonist is to grow, she must start off as weak, or whiny, or complacent, or whatever. Shredders often don’t finish the book to see the character arc. They just can’t wait to start shredding, I guess. The most frustrating negative reviews are the ones that begin with, “I’m a teacher,” or “I’m a writer,” and then they go on to shred without a single instructional word of advice. You would think that, of all people, teachers and fellow writers would write “teaching” critical reviews.

I don’t expect reviewers to take the time to provide a thorough evaluation of a book, complete with a list of items that might be improved, along with a careful stroking of a writer’s ego. Hell, no one has time for that. So when I say a “teaching” review, I simply mean one that tries to provide constructive criticism by saying something like, “This element didn’t work for me, and this element could be improved, but this other element was interesting.”

Fortunately, the vast majority of the reviews I receive are positive. But every author I know has agreed that even if a writer receives only one negative review out of 100, the negative review will have more impact on the writer than the 99 positive ones. Since that’s true, I think writers of critical reviews have an opportunity to make a difference.  I’m not saying they are morally obligated to do so; I’m just pointing out they they have this amazing chance to do something positive for both readers and writers. They can be teachers rather than shredders.

A New Release from Kelly Risser

Always Remembered

by Kelly Risser
Release Date: 05/19/15
Clean Teen Publishing

Ebook - Always Remembered

Summary from Goodreads:

One clue… what does it mean?

Ken, the leader of the Blue Men of the Minch, has kidnapped Evan. Before they left, Evan was able to leave a package for Meara—her grandfather’s necklace wrapped in a cloth napkin with one word written in blood. Azuria. Unfortunately, Meara doesn’t understand it and neither does her dad or Kieran.

When Dad and Aunt Brigid attempt to rescue Evan, Meara and Kieran begin to train the clan on how to fight and defend their home. A war is brewing, and Meara is determined their people must prepare for the battle. The training sessions are long and arduous, but the Selkies work hard to learn.

Meanwhile, Evan wakes and finds himself in Belle Tresor, the home of sirens. He’s bound to his blue form, unable to transform to human, and Ken has plans to use Evan’s powers to destroy the Selkies. Thankfully, he’s not alone. He befriends a siren named Deanna and several Blue Men. Can he trust them to help him escape or do they have ulterior motives?

As both sides prepare for an ultimate confrontation, the stakes are high and friendships are tested. Some will rise to be victorious. Some will be destroyed. But love and loyalty will be always remembered in this exciting conclusion to the Never Forgotten series.

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Books in this series:

Never ForgottenCurrent Impressions

About the Author

Becoming a published author is a lifetime dream come true. As a child, I subjected friends and family to my “KellyMark” greeting cards (“When you care enough to make the very best.”), poetry, homemade magazines, and short stories. In high school, my short story, “If Only to Escape” was published in the local paper, and I won a writing contest for my children’s story, “Televisella.” In college, my creative writing tapered off, but I still managed to write the occasional review for The Marquette University Tribune. Once I graduated, I mixed creative writing with business writing, and I’ve held positions in Advertising, Marketing, and Instructional Design/eLearning Development.

Today, I am busy writing the next book in Meara’s story. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, hanging out with my husband and two kids, or playing with our Whoodle puppy

Author Links:

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YA Bound Book Tours

Welcome, New Readers!

Bookbub AdI just want to give a shout out to all the new readers who have been stopping by this website of mine. Whether you found me through BookBub (have I mentioned how much I LOVE BookBub?) or through some other means, I’m glad you did. Kick off your shoes and stay awhile!

In fact, if you haven’t already, please sign up for my monthly newsletter. Each month, a random subscriber gets to choose a prize from among my books and fan merchandise. Sign up there——>>>>

I’d also like to thank my true blue loyal readers who visit me, either regularly or now and then. I couldn’t do this without you!

Big things are happening at Eva Pohler Books. In a previous post, I mentioned the extreme makeover I’m in the process of receiving from professionals over at Indie Visible. You can read all about it here. Don’t freak out if, the next time you stop by, things look a little different–or a lot different!The Calibans - Promo

In case you missed it, the third and final book of The Purgatorium Series released last month. The Calibans is now available everywhere, and the first book, The Purgatorium, is free. The audiobook is in production and will be released sometime this year.

Vampire Addiction Ebook FinalCurrently, I’m working on the second book in The Vampires of Athens Series, Vampire Affliction. I am SO EXCITED about where this book combining vampire lore and Greek mythology is going. I hope you all love it as much as I do! I’m still on schedule to reveal the cover in April and release the book in May.

After I finish the Vampires of Athens Series (the final book will be released in October), I will turn my attention to The Mystery House–the third book in The Mystery Book Collection. I’m thinking MysteryBox3DVertabout expanding this collection beyond the original three. I had a dream the other night, and it sparked a complete outline for another book (no promises), The Mystery Man. We’ll see.

Because there’s this whole other series I’ve been planning and haven’t even told anyone about. It’s another island adventure series, like The Purgatorium. Right now it’s tentatively titled Queen of the Bees and is a kind of a female version of The Lord of the Flies. I can’t decide if I want to write it before or after I begin work on my Monsters of Mythology series. Any requests? What do you think I should do after The Vampires of Athens and The Mystery House are complete?

 

Get your Greek on!