Writer Wednesday–How Do You Review?

So, I’ve been watching my writer friend, Kendall Gray, on her journey of self-publishing. I’ve been lucky enough to read an ARC of INHALE, the first novel in her JUST BREATHE trilogy and, man, I just want to shout it out to the world how AWESOME Kendall’s writing is.

If you don’t believe me, check out the book trailer HERE.

Awesome, right? Seriously, you need to pre-order the entire series NOW. *waits while you go to Amazon*

*squints at screen to make sure you’re at Amazon’s website*

Okay. Glad you’re back.

What makes me love INHALE so much?

The characters are clear. They are goal-directed (sorry, that’s a psych term, but you’d be surprised how many characters are just wandering around their novels like post-lobotomy schizophrenics). They have faults. There’s great smexy scenes. There’s a TON of action and conflict.

All those things keep me reading on. It keeps me thinking about the characters when I’m not reading. I even picture myself hanging out with the main characters, Gavin and Zoe. In Australia. On the beach. Yeah. And heck, if I can picture myself hanging out with the characters, that means their writer has made it into my inner circle of favorite authors.

(Pssst, that includes YOU, KENDALL!!!!!!)

We know books sell based on word of mouth (yes, there are other things, but go with me on this one). So, I wanted to review INHALE. I wanted to support Kendall.

I wanted to really capture how I felt and why it was important for me to recommend INHALE to other people.

…And then I realized I kind of suck at writing reviews.


I worry about writing spoilers. I worry about sounding trite or saccharine. I worry about rambling aimlessly (sort of like what I’m doing now). I worry about not conveying the essence of my reaction.

So, I wrote about what I liked (as I just did above) and left it at that. Better to be short and sweet, than ambling and confusing, no?

Still, I feel like my review fell short.


Now I open the forum to you.

How do you review? Is there a certain template you follow? Do you only write positive reviews? Or do you “tell it like it is?”

Check out Lydia’s response to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog topic of the uses (or misuses) of Prologues!

Author Christine Fonseca Guest Post

I’m so excited to be here with Laura for Day 3 of the blog tour for the launch of my debut novel, LACRIMOSA. Laura was one of the first to read this book forever ago, so I was thrilled when she indicated that she wanted to be part of the tour fun.

For this post, we both thought it would be EPIC to bring a special interview with Nesy and one of Laura’s characters, Justin. Take it away Justin –

Justin [adds another log onto the fire and rubs his arms]: Sorry, it gets cold at night in the mountains. I want to thank you for traveling here to meet with me. Smith is keeping watch, but we’ll have to talk fast…just in case, you know, the Vie ambush us. [laughs nervously] Then again, I guess you know about surprise attacks and fighting and stuff. What is it that you do again?

Nesy: Without giving too much away, I’m a warrior of sorts. Most similar to your Samurai of the pre-industrial Japan, I think. Just thinking of me as a bad-ass with a sword 😉

Justin: That’s awesome! I wish I knew sword fighting…though I am pretty handy with a Taser and a stake. [wry grin] So, what’s it like to keep your identity secret? I mean, I have this tattoo that tells everyone what I am—an Anemie—so I can’t hide it, but you, I can’t tell what you are. So cool.

Nesy: I’m fortunate because I can hide in plain site most of the time. People don’t often think of pretty teenage girls as hardened warriors, which helps. A lot. Still, most of the things I battle against can see through my disguises, so I have to be vigilant and careful.

Justin: [clears throat] I wanted to ask you…have you ever lost something so important you’d give your life for? My sister, Sammie, was kidnapped by the Vie, and I have to get her back…I’m just not sure how to do it. And I kind of feel like an idiot hiding in the forest, but…I don’t have weapons like you and we don’t have a strong enough army to take down the Vie. Do you have an army?

Nesy: [deep sigh] I’ve lost many things. Important things. I have never been one to hide if someone I [cough] “love” is in danger, army or not. Of course, I have training you do not possess. Have you ever considered asking for help in some way? I mean, through your prayers, I guess you’d call them. You never know, maybe help will come. Especially against the forces of evil.

Justin: Um, yeah, I don’t know. The closest I got to praying was when I had to join a cult for safety. Not something I like to remember. [shudders] Okay, one last question. What’s it like where you’re from…Celestium, right?

Nesy: Yes, my home is Celestium. And it is beautiful. Colors – indigo, emerald, ruby, and gold, seem to fill the sky, glistening off of the towers and citadels that make up my world. It is like nothing you have seen other than in your dreams. There is a calm, a peace, I long for, especially when I have been away for long periods of time.

Justin: Cool. Sounds like an awesome place. Way better than here. I wish I could bring Sammie there. Maybe someday, right?

Nesy: Oh, I have a feeling you will both come to know it one day.

Justin: Thanks for meeting me. Good luck with your mission. I hope to see you again.

Nesy: You will Justin. You will.


Such a great interview! Thank you to Laura and Justin.

Ready for the last part of my reading of Chapter 1? Be sure to check out Michelle’s post on Operation Awesome tomorrow. And be certain to check out the entire schedule for the tour here – there are special giveaways throughout the tour…

including the EPIC Nesy Prize pack filled with her favorite things:

Just complete this form.

You can enter up to twice daily (through the tour and my blog).

And there’s more – collect the daily clues to enter the EPIC grand prize giveaway that includes books, swag and a special surprise.

Today’s clue – DUTY

Short Blurb for LACRIMOSA

As if casting out demons isn’t hard enough, five-hundred-year-old Nesy has to masquerade as a teenage girl to do it. Nesy is the best of the warrior angels called Sentinals. She never makes mistakes, never hesitates, never gets emotionally involved. Until she meets Aydan.

He is evil incarnate; a fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate. But she can’t, because he’s also the love of her former life as a human girl—a life that ended too soon, tying her to emotions she was never supposed to feel.

Now Nesy must choose between doing her duty—damning Aydan to the fiery depths of hell—or saving him, and condemning herself.

Author Endorcement(s):

“LACRIMOSA reaches out, grabs readers by the heart, and takes them on an emotional journey from the first page to the last. The last novel you’ll need to read to understand true sacrifice.”

~Elana Johnson, Author of POSSESSION



ISBN: 0984786368 (ISBN 13: 9780984786367)

Hardback and Digital formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and fine retailers.

Kindle buy link– http://www.amazon.com/Lacrimosa-Requiem-Series-ebook/dp/B007HEVTS4

Nook buy link – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lacrimosa-christine-fonseca/1109329729?ean=2940013923256

Additional Titles in the series include DIES IRAE (a Requiem Novella), LIBERA ME (Oct 2012) and REQUIEM (March 2013).

The book trailer can be seen by linking to YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwTQoOFKEZg

About Christine Fonseca

School psychologist by day, critically acclaimed YA and nonfiction author by night, Christine Fonseca believes that writing is a great way to explore humanity. Her debut YA Gothic series, The Requiem Series, including DIES IRAE and LACRIMOSA, examines the role of redemption, sacrifice and love. Her nonfiction titles include 101 SUCCESS SECRETS FOR GIFTED KIDS and EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS.

When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can be sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or playing around on Facebook and Twitter. Catch her daily thoughts about writing and life on her blog.

For more information about Christine Fonseca or the series, visit her website – http://christinefonseca.com or her blog http://christinefonseca.blogspot.com.

I totally enjoyed this book when I first read it and I can’t wait to read it again!!!! CONGRATS, CHRISTINE!!!!!!! *hugs*

Check out Sarah’s response (today), then Lydia’s response (next week) to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog topic of: Prologues–Love ’em or hate ’em?

Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog–To Prologue Or Not To Prologue

This month, I ask:

The Prologue: Love It or Hate It? Are there times when it’s necessary to have a prologue?
Before I started writing for realz, I actually LOVED prologues. I didn’t care if they were directly connected to chapter 1 or note. It didn’t bother me if the narrator was completely different from the main character. Hell, I didn’t even mind if the prologue captured a different century, planet, or plane of existence!
Then I learned about the RULES.
And The Prologue (to me) died.
They weren’t allowed. Agents didn’t want to see them. Writing forum members swayed newbies away from them.
I was like, “Okay, no prologue. No harm, no foul.”
(I try to go with the flow.)
Then I saw newly published books (touted by the writing world as AWESOME! FANTASTIC! MUST READ!) WITH prologues!!!
I was like, “HUH? I thought they were a no-no!”
Listen, when I read a book for enjoyment, I still like prologues. I don’t skip over them. I don’t “tut-tut” them.
But I don’t include them in my stories. And I don’t really know why.
What about you? Prologues: Love ‘Em Or Hate ‘Em?
Tune in next week for Lydia’s take on Prologues.