A Time to Reap, YouTube

A Time to Read…

The pun in the title is on purpose. I’m not slacking at proofreading just yet. I was able to sit down with L.R.W. Lee and participate in her YouTube channel, Book Nerd Paradise. She has new and experienced authors alike give a brief synopsis of our book, tell one of our favorite quotes and pose a trivia question.

Did I also mention I read a portion of my book, A Time to Reap?

Did I also mention I’m giving away two free copies of said book? Just for commenting on the video, you can have a chance at winning!

I spent the past few months combing back through and perfecting the first and second books in the series. It wasn’t because I didn’t love the original, I just wasn’t satisfied with a lot of the open ended portions and inconsistencies I had in my own brain. So, it’s back and better than before! If you have a Kindle copy and haven’t tried it out yet, please go update and I hope to hear from you!

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The Next 1000 Miles, Upcoming

Back From Hibernation

So, it’s been months since I posted. I’d like to say I was backpacking or researching or been hammering out novels one after another. No, I’ve just been living life and getting caught up with it at every turn. And who wakes up and stretches their arms out all refreshed?! I’m more like this kid:

cranky-early-morning1

For those of you not familiar with me, I write the Legend of Carter Gabel series. It’s a time-travel YA Sci-Fi novel about a kid who can spontaneously travel back in time but soon finds out that those aren’t his only gifts. I have the first two books out right now <shameless plugs at the bottom>. AND I’m still working on the third. BUT I totally plan on having it cranked out by the fall.

What’s Been Going On?

I have spent the last few months combing back through my books, taking out the unnecessary and shaping up the structure a bit. Overall, I love this story even more now and those I taxed with re-reading it agree it flows so much better.

I have been cranking up the world generator for my next series and even a couple more singular ideas in the wings. I fully plan on starting the writing process as soon as I get Carter out and in the hands of my editor.

On top of that, I’ve helped out a few writer friends with their own work.

What’s Going On Now?

Currently, I help coach a U14 softball team and the season is just wrapping up (Go Adrenaline!). Those twelve young ladies have a lot of my free time and they’re totally worth it. Check out my Instagram at the bottom.

I am looking forward to a YouTube video that will be coming out on Tuesday. I guest appear on the 69th episode of Book Nerd Paradise where I got to read a little bit of my work and there will even be a giveaway for a free copy or two just by commenting! Go check her out and watch for me this next week.

What’s Coming Up?

Soon, I will be diving further into the realm of Carter Gabel and with the end of the series, I will be taxing a few people to help me decide on the ending. #betareaders

I’m on WattPad!! I plan on posting little snipits and stories for the Carter Gabel series and the new one coming out soon. Come join me so I can follow you and your own journey!

Can you say Cross Country Nerds…? Stay tuned!

Oh! And Add My Books!! 

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YouTube

Video Interview with Zachary Chopchinski

This weekend, I tried my damnedest to start an interview on time. Well, my skills of preparation are still evolving and I started late. Then I ruined in, and then 10 minutes later, we began. The entertaining Zachary Chopchinski, the Zach Chop if I may, was nice enough to rearrange his schedule to accommodate my rather fluctuating one. We had some laughs, a few giggles and a handful of chuckles. Dare I say it, I found a friend on the Internet today. If you can’t watch it, at least listen:


Please leave a like or a comment! If you are an author and might be interested, email me: JL.Fiction@outlook.com

Review

Sector C: The Chosen by Nina Soden

Rating Overview

Writing: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★ 1/2
Characters: ★★★★★
Cover: ★★★ 1/2

Overall: ★★★★★ (4.5)

 This book was given to me as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Nina Soden starts off on a brand new series and I think, out of the gate, it’s brilliant. I was asked to help look over her final rough draft and offer a review. In spirited fashion, I will hit all the usual points I make when rating an ARC, minus the grammar Nazi in me pointing anything critical out.

Sector C is a futuristic, supernatural take on what the world might be like if there were societies where you were brought up, trained and tested to fall into the category of vampire, lycanthrope, breeder, donor or castaway. The story follows the lead Heroine, A (because they are assigned alpha-numerics as names until they are worthy to choose their own name). She is resourceful, smart and strong, while somehow at the same time being slightly awkward and unsure of herself. Throughout the novel, you get a better sense of her as a character with each page and before long, Nina has you in the compound feeling like another student and wondering what will come next.

The Critical Points:

Writing:

I’ve reviewed all of Nina’s books and since I helped with the final edits, I can’t really judge it on final product, but I can say that it flowed as good if not better than her previous works. It provided detail and ease of reading and made it fun to move along with her characters.

Story:

It seems to pull from a lot of unique but also comforting angles. The society idea is reminiscent of Divergent with the different groups, emotionless feel and the coming of age choice, and the combative / competitive nature, being teenagers and isolated from society feels a little Hunger Games. Putting supernatural elements into the mix puts it in a different class altogether and makes it it’s own.

Characters:

Loved getting to know each character with the personalities I could pair with people I’ve known in life. Getting used to the alpha-numeric names took a chapter or so to get used to, but before long it was common nature.

Appearance:

The only really non stellar grade I could give would be on the cover. Part of it draws me in and another part of it doesn’t speak to me the same way the book does. If anything I like the cover to exceed the writing or story and in this case, Nina’s world in Sector C makes the cover not do it justice. I blame Nina’s awesome writing on this one.

Sector C Bk 1 - FRONT

Final Thoughts

I powered through this read for two reasons: 1) Nina needed it back quickly 2) It was a great story and kept me engaged the entire way, wanting to know what was in store for A and the rest of her classmates. Nina is one of those authors I expect to look at and go, I knew her before she got the movie deal.

Links

Find Nina’s books through her links below and I’ll simply direct you to her WordPress site for now and she provides the rest. Sector C: The Chosen will release on or before the 31st of March. Be on the look out and go to Goodreads and put it in your “To-Read” shelf.

Amazon: Nina Soden

Awaken: a Blood Angel novel

BEGINNINGS: A BLOOD ANGEL NOVEL

Revenge: A Blood Angel Novel

Nina’s Page



 

Review

Revenge by Nina Soden

Rating Overview

Writing: ★★★★ 1/2
Story: ★★★★ 1/2
Characters: ★★★★★
Cover: ★★★★ 1/2

Overall: ★★★★★ (4.625)

 This book was given to me as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This third (final?) installment of the Blood Angel series is once again looking at the transformation of Alee (Aleerah), the only living dhampir. It continues after her transition back into high school, learning the ropes of a vampire, the nature of being a witch, the betrayal of the Underground and the love dichotomy she finds herself in.

The Critical Points:

Writing:

Nina’s writing has progressively improved throughout the series and by this point, she has started to master the craft. Weaving in the imagery and emotions of her characters. There were some misspellings here and there, giving the teeny ding on the writing alone.

Story:

This story starts off on the fast track and very rarely slows down. The build up over the series has led to this moment of turmoil, transformation and transcendence. Nina’s work on the first two novels set the stage for this wonderful and fast-paced supernatural showdown. There were a few parts in the end that threw me. *SPOILER* When the Founders battle started happening, I felt there was little build up to making them the antagonist, so it felt a tad closed off and ended abruptly. That took a bit of the story down, but in all, it was a wonderful ride seeing the characters grow aside the writer herself.

Characters:

Each character has grown into their element from the first novel to this last one. Alee has grown into the confident yet hesitant teen, pairing along with her new vampire feelings she tries to maintain. The affections of Jathan to Damian to Kyle keeps the temperature always on high.

Appearance:

I have loved Nina’s book covers on all her books. This last one just didn’t stay par with the others. It’s hard to match perfection three times in a row. I think if there was something more in the eyes portraying revenge as the title, I’d probably have given it a straight five.

Final Thoughts

Nina created a wonderful set of characters living in the town of Atlanta, MI. When I read her first story, I was a bit hesitant from the way it started, but midway through I could see the story developing faster and faster. Through Beginnings and into the fast-paced start of Revenge, you can see the progression of the Supernatural setting that was painted along the way. There were some brief flashes of time where I wish I could have taken a red pen to the plot to maybe guide it more towards the answer I was looking for. But, I’m a reader, not the writer. Nina did a great job and I had a blast getting to know more about her through her writing and some brief conversations we shared. I look forward to all her upcoming works and I hope to get an Interview out of her in the near future!

Links

Find Nina’s books through her links below and I’ll simply direct you to her WordPress site for now and she provides the rest.

Awaken: a Blood Angel novel

BEGINNINGS: A BLOOD ANGEL NOVEL

Revenge: A Blood Angel Novel

Nina’s Page



 

Review

Beginnings by Nina Soden

Rating Overview

Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★ 1/2
Characters: ★★★★ 1/2
Cover: ★★★★★

Overall: ★★★★★ (4.5)

 This book was given to me as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The story is a Young Adult/Supernatural novel set in the town of Atlanta. It continues the storyline of Aleerah (Alee), a teenager who is starting to learn more about her true nature of being a dhamphir (half human/half vampire). The second novel takes a look at her new life she has had to create for herself and how it overlaps into her old one.

The Critical Points:

Writing:

Nina writes wonderfully, connecting characters to emotions and effortlessly carrying the story along with her. There were still areas in this novel that were editorial oversights and a couple of areas where word usage made me pause and reread more than it should have. So in all, 4/5 as far as that whole process goes.

Story:

The story-telling process shows vast improvement from the first novel. relying less on the development of the main character, the readers are able to dive right into her life and pick up on her new talents of being both a witch and vampire. Learning about the Underground and its connection with her family is still elusive but with a third book, I hope to gain more background on the Wenham Coven.

Characters:

The characters remaining from the first novel carry on with their same qualities, so I didn’t find myself questioning anyone’s reactions. The only thing that left me wondering throughout the book was Jathan’s character. I couldn’t really confirm, even by the end of the book, whose side he was on or if he was real.

Appearance:

Love the simple, gothic and eye-catching use of colors. It says to the reader to be aware and that’s just what they will find inside.

Final Thoughts

Intertwining the magical/supernatural realms of witches, vampires, lycanthropes and other creatures is somewhat saturated these days. Thankfully, a few glorious writers can pull it off and not make it feel like a chore to read. Nina is one of those writers. She has enhanced the flow of her story in this second installment of the Blood Angel series. Her characters and writing keeps a playful tease between a powerful female character and the fragility of her still being a teenager coming into her own skin. Here’s to the third installment, hoping to see her ability to entertain continue to thrive!

Links

Find Nina’s books through her links below and I’ll simply direct you to her WordPress site for now and she provides the rest.

Awaken: a Blood Angel novel

BEGINNINGS: A BLOOD ANGEL NOVEL

Revenge: A Blood Angel Novel

Nina’s Page



 

Review

Awaken by Nina Soden

Rating Overview

Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★ 1/2
Cover: ★★★★★

Overall: ★★★★ (4.375)

This book was given to me as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The story is a Young Adult/Supernatural novel set in the town of Atlanta. It follows mainly along the storyline of Alee, a teenager who is starting to learn her illness is actually the side effects stemming from who she truly is, a dhampir (half human/half vampire).

The Critical Points:

Writing:

Nina writes beautifully mixing in scenery and emotions with her characters along the way. The only reason she is not getting a 5-star rating in this area is due to some minor editing errors with spelling and a little structure peppered throughout the midsection of the story. There were a few cases when the he/she areas got flipped and made it confusing. Nothing worth getting all bent over though.

Story:

As far as Supernatural settings go, I like the spin and background that Nina gives all of the characters within her novel. Some of the areas felt a little cliche, but the realm of vampires, witches and shape-shifters tends to be popular right now. So, unless there’s a completely new angle that hasn’t been touched, it will always feel that way. There were some tweaks to the elements of vampires and lycanthropes that I enjoyed. The one thing I always wonder in every witch spell is why must they always cut the palm of their hand? Can’t they give themselves a short-lived bloody nose? I mean, I’ve cut my hand there on accident and it hurts forever. (Obviously not a flaw, just my own personal curiosity)

One thing I was almost lost with is the beginning. It takes a long time to get to the meat of the story as we follow Alee throughout her infancy to teenage years without knowing where it will end. Still, done in such a way that I wanted to keep reading. From midpoint on, flowed like water in a river, great job.

Characters:

There are a lot of characters surrounding Alee throughout her years, thankfully constant, but in the beginning there are a lot of similar names and relationships that puzzled me up until the end. Lots of lineage to account for. I docked a little for that and an area where Alee’s romantic relationship seemed to springboard, losing me for a moment.

Appearance:

The cover is wonderful. Subtle colors, great font and makes you wonder what to expect before you even break the spine. Would love to find a hardcover in the store. Very well done.

Final Thoughts

As genres go, there are a lot of similar elements that go along with the supernatural. Each one brings a slightly different take. The same principles seen in Anne Rice novels won’t always apply to True Blood or Vampire Diaries. I think going into any scenario of supernatural, readers should try as best they can to wipe their slate clean and take in the surroundings the writer is painting. Nina Soden is a great author and I look forward to the remainder of her series and what she has developing.

Links

Find Nina’s books through her links below and I’ll simply direct you to her WordPress site for now and she provides the rest.

Awaken: a Blood Angel novel

BEGINNINGS: A BLOOD ANGEL NOVEL

Revenge: A Blood Angel Novel

Nina’s Page



 

A Time to Reap, Journey of 1000 Miles

Join Me at the Finish Line

That’s right! The days of waiting, wondering and pondering are at an end. A Time to Reap is officially a book and available this Friday. So, August 1st, what should you do with a portion of that paycheck? Um, entertain yourself for hours with my story for less than the price of a cup of coffee! Of course!!

I promise to put a link up on Friday once I have it. And even if you’re not sure, there is a small 3 chapter preview through Amazon! And if that wasn’t enough, I still have the first 5 chapters available on my site!! So, please, pretty please, share this post and let me know what you think.

My finish line is just days away!!