Saturday, October 31, 2015

Author Tips: Crunching Numbers

When it comes to dates, things can start getting really tricky, really quickly.

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Let's look at the biggest problem: Time Zones

If you use the 12/10/15 date format for a poster, you could be causing yourself and your readers real problems. Unless your date is over the #12 then us UK folk are not going to know what the real date for the poster really is.

Remember that everyone on the Internet lasts forever, unless you delete it and even then it might be floating around somewhere. If someone shares a poster with this date format on it, people like me will get seriously confused.

In the UK we put the date first, so 12/10/15 would be the 12th October (yesterday) but for the US it would be the 10th December. Now, those dates are close enough in the year that you could be advertising a December release.

It doesn't take up any more space to write 12th Oct or 10th Dec instead. It generally takes up the same amount of space, especially if you use the right text font and size to make sure it's still legible.

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Problem #2: Cross-Release

Now, this isn't always in your hands. Sometimes the publisher sets the release date of a book, but you can often find that they'll give you some leeway if you really want it.

Look around for blog tour sign-ups and release events, even cover reveals on Facebook or Google for them, for your chosen date. Check to make sure that a similar book to yours or something in your genre isn't releasing on the same date. If it is, you'll be directly competing with that book. It might not seem like it, but trust someone who has gone to many release parties - people don't have time to switch back and forth between 2 or 3 release parties that are happening on the same day. If your book event is in the morning and a competing book's event is in the afternoon, then that's fine. But if you're both at the same time, your readers are going to weigh up who is more well known, which event is offering the best prizes and which book is more interesting. You don't want that. Sure, you might find that your book IS the most interesting/anticipated and giving the best prizes. But what if it isn't? What if this competitor has more money to spend on prizes than you do? You're going to miss out and your party won't be the best it can be.

Solution? One great way to solve this is sometimes to have your release party a week or two AFTER your actual release day. Why? Because this will let you get all of your links and blog tours out the way. If you run them all at the same time, you run the risk of spamming your audience and not benefiting from the surge sales each event (blog tour, release event, cover reveal) should give you individually.

Also, people who are desperate to buy your book will pre-order it or buy on release day, so they're already an automatic purchaser. If you wait that week or two, you can reach people who might not have noticed your release yet. People who don't know you, but want to hang out at your release party to win prizes.

The best reason is to avoid the issue above - having your release event on the same day as someone else in your genre. Having your release event after your release can solve most of the problems with this issue and also remind people of your new release. It's a double whammy!

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Next on the list: Thunderclaps!

Thunderclap is an amazing platform to advertise your book. Now sure how to do that? You can find a post on our site, detailing that.

When setting up your Thunderclap, think about what you've already planned in terms of release events - FB party, cover reveal, release day, blog tour. You generally want your Thunderclap to be an event of its own, so try not to plan it for the same day as any of those other events you've already organised.

Reason #1: it can be considered spam. And - trust me - no matter how good your intentions there will always be someone complaining that your book is clogging their FB/Twitter newsfeed, if you have all this set up for one day.

Reason #2: you won't see the real benefit.

When you're advertising a new release, you want to see which advertising platform is working best for you, right? How can you do that if you have the same buy link for 5 different events that are all happening on one day?

The biggest draw of Thunderclaps is that you can literally see how many people will see your post. It's not an estimated number or just the number of people who have clicked to support you. It is literally the number of followers on FB, Twitter and Tumblr that every supporter will display your message to. Cool, right?

So, if your Thunderclap is going to be shown to 500,000 people, that should be enough of a boost on its own, without other advertising events. In my latest Thunderclap, I had around 50 clicks on my buy link after release day. The next day, my Thunderclap tipped and that number jumped to 370. If you have another event a day or two later, that will also give you a boost.

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Finally: SmartURL

USE SmartURL. I cannot emphasise this enough. If you don't know how, check out this post here.

As I mentioned before, when you've got a lot of release events planned, using SmartURL as your go-to buy link, you can track the effectiveness and results of each event using this site.

#1: you can see how many clicks you've had on your buy link at a glance. If you have 1 event every day or week, you can note how many clicks you have on each day and calculate which event got you more clicks. Easy!

#2: you can see stats about WHO is clicking on your link, e.g. male/female and age ranges.

#3: you can see which countries have given you the most clicks

#4: you can see which platforms (social media and mobile/computer) people have used to click from.

Why is all of this important? Because it helps you figure out your target audience and advertise effectively. If you see that you're getting more clicks from a mobile, you can make sure that most of your social media sites are properly set up for a mobile platform (places like Wix.com let you check this and re-arrange how it looks). It you're getting more women clicking than men, then you can target your posts to that, or vice versa if men are your main clickers.

Also, as I said before, you can view which social media sites were used most. That lets you see if it's worth doing an ad for that site, on another date, or whether to boost another social media site with an ad there.

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In total - always think ahead!

When it comes to a new or re-release or even a sale, it is VITAL to think about your timing and how you're going to keep track of progress and sales. Utilise all of the information above, to make sure that your advertising is effective and doesn't waste you time or effort. Or, more importantly, money.

From experience, I can tell you that if you have your Cover reveal on your FB page on the morning of your release, have your release event all day and then have a Thunderclap that tips later that afternoon, you'll probably end up with a few angry/frustrated/disinterested comments in groups (that you may or may not see) about how a certain book is spamming their news feed, or you'll end up with barely any clicks, because everyone who was at your event already clicked the buy link, so why would they click it on your cover reveal and your Thunderclap too?

Spread out your advertising and you'll see the benefit. Clunk it all together and you'll find that your book falls into those nasty little cracks of forgetfulness and inattention, because people have seen your book advertised so much that they've lost interest.

You want to be interesting and encourage people to read your story, not alienate potential readers.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cover Reveal Sign Up: The Killer Contract Agency by Jessica Samuels!


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TOUR DATE: November 4th

YA Bound Book Tours is hosting a cover reveal for: The Killer Contract Agency by Jessica Samuels This cover reveal is scheduled for November 4th.  If you would like to participate in this cover reveal, please fill out the form.  Participants will receive everything they need for the cover reveal 1 day before the reveal.  I will also send out an HTML-ready post if you prefer, feel free to personalize this as you wish to best fit your blog design/layout. 

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The Killer Contract Agency
Release Date: November 30th 2015

Blurb:

Salina Sinclair hunts Malians, an alien species that preys on weak teenagers, making them crazy enough to kill themselves. But after being nearly burned alive by one, Salina is contacted by The Killer Contract Agency. Wielding the powers of The Bracelet and with her mentor, Carter, by her side, she exacts her revenge by taking out the Malians responsible for her near death.

But something big is happening with the Agency and operatives are dying. Will she find out what it is before it's too late, or will the Agency be destroyed?

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About the Author


My name is Jessica Samuels.I am an author addicted to caffeine, and I have imaginary friends that keep me up at night begging for me to tell their story. I love writing in my spare time a long with reading books since I have been an avid reader since elementary school.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Teaser Tuesday

#TeaserTuesday #WMP #YA #Romance

The Awakening of Agnostos, by Jennifer Paquette


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Zeus is at it again and his latest trollop, Hecate, the Goddess of Magic, pays the price. Hera, Zeus’ wife, banishes her to Agnostos—The Triangle of the Unknown—the only place on earth where the gods of Olympus have no power. Once imprisoned, Hecate stumbles upon a gateway to the center of the earth, and uses her discovery to bargain her way out of Agnostos. But the night after the Council meeting to decide Hecates fate, Athena is visited by a Titan who reveals the real story of the mysterious portal hidden beneath the waters of Agnostos. A god more powerful than the Olympians await them at the Earth’s core. To maintain their status as supreme rulers of Olympus, five gods must enter the abyss and fight this unknown god. Can the gods of Olympus learn to work together and save the Earth?

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Wonder of Harry Potter - Part 7

Guest Author: Elaine White
This article is by Elaine White. All opinions are her own.
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This is the final evaluation of a Harry Potter book...but that's not my fault. It's the persons fault who stopped writing them ;) Keep a look out, I may also be doing an evaluation of the James Potter series, by G. Norman Lippert, which is a continuation of the HP world told from Harry's son, James' POV.
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For once, everything comes together in the Book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. You get answers to questions you never knew you had, all the life lessons that Harry, Ron and Hermione have faced so far in the series, are put into practice. And yet, I find myself continually frustrated with Hermione in this book. I actually wanted to shake some sense into her for most of it. It just goes to show that just because you are book smart, it doesn’t mean you’re life smart. She’s very annoying and selfish in this book, continually convinced that she’s right and Harry’s wrong. What Hermione seems to have forgotten, is that the quest is Harry’s, not hers. She’s a sidekick to her hero, not the leader.

This is also where Kreacher really shines. He and Dobby have always been fabulous at easing a little of the tension of the previous books, and each being as devious as the next. But The Deathly Hallows is where they come into their own. It’s just a shame things have to turn out for them they way they do.

Finally, Harry gets to face his fate. He knows, instinctively where to go, what to do and how to do it. If he was on the journey alone, it might have been over quicker because he wouldn’t have had to argue his point to Hermione all the time. But also, he might have died, a few times. Godric’s Hollow, the Lovegood’s, the Malfoy’s, and in the lake, would all have been disastrous moments for Harry had he not had his friends with him.

The lessons of the Deathly Hallows are, basically, the lessons of Harry Potter. It might be tempting to have the most powerful wand, to be invincible to harm, but in the end, someone is always going to want what you have and go through you to get it. It doesn’t mean you can’t die. And it might be great to see your deceased loved ones again and get to talk with them but it can’t last forever. Nothing dead can ever come back to life. And maybe it’s fun and exhilarating to be invisible for a while, but do you want to spend your whole life alone, with no love or friendship in your life, because no-one can see you? Together the Deathly Hallows may be powerful, and they may keep Harry alive, but that’s only because he understands something He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named can’t. Something that the third brother understood. That you can’t run from death forever. One day, everyone must die. Harry knows and accepts this; he accepts that if his death will kill He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, then he is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good of the entire world. Muggles and wizards alike.

Overall, Harry has no preconceptions about himself. He’s never grown up as the Boy Who Lived, and therefore, he thinks he’s nothing more than any other eleven year old when he arrives at Hogwarts. Because of this, and because he makes friends with real friends not those who would exploit his fame, he becomes a real man in the end. Not one obsessed with power and destruction and ownership. But a man who can love, who can feel, who can hurt and who understands the important things in life. Loyalty. Love. Friendship. Compassion. And he understands pain and loss and heartache just as well. Because Harry understands that no matter what your fate is, you have a choice in how it ends.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

How to: use SmartURL

SmartURL's can be an incredible tool to use in a million different ways. First off, they can be used on Facebook without causing those dreaded Captcha's. Secondly, they're saved on the SmartURL website, so that you don't have to save them elsewhere. There's a really quick and easy "Copy" button that you can just sign in to access.

Let's take a closer look.

Start here at the SmartURL website.

Here's your homepage.



Now let's sign in/register and take a closer look. You can do the quick and easy option of signing in with your social media account or register to sign up the long way.

This is how your homepage will look, once you've got a few links added.


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Now, click on "Create SmartURL" and we'll go to the page for how to create a link:


This is the most important part that you'll need to keep an eye on. If you're using an Amazon link, then this will be only 1 or 2 parts that you'll need to use.

First, let's look at the top options:


Now, I'd normally say that you should choose Country or Events, because it's a book that you're advertising and promoting to various countries. But, in this case, I've noticed that when you choose the Music tab, Facebook doesn't bother you with Captcha's or Unavailable links. Often, using other options above, you might run into these problems. But, these tabs have never made a difference to how well viewed or advertised the links will be. There is no SmartURL "database" like Thunderclap etc (post coming soon) to show you everything under that tab.

I use Music, because it's the least problematic, but feel free to play around and see which one you prefer to use. There's no set rule here.

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Next, onto creating our link.

I'm using the Amazon link for one of our company's books - Touched by a Vampire. I'll be using the Amazon UK links, to show you how you can make a SmartURL that will enable anyone in the world to click it and then be taken directly to their Amazon site. So, for example, if a person who lives in America clicks your SmartURL they will be taken to Amazon US. If someone from Australia clicks on your link, they'll be taken to Amazon AU.

Here's how.

This is your long link - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Touched-Vampire-Eternally-Yours-Book-ebook/dp/B00OFGAWD0/ref=sr_tc_2_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1444766395&sr=1-2-ent

Now, insert this into the box "Default URL". This is what you'll see. Remember: all I've done is insert this ONE link into ONE box. What SmartURL does next is what makes it so smart.


The list goes on to detail the following countries for this book, on Amazon:

BUT...there is the option beneath that, where you can add further countries. So, if you click this button, you can add the direct link for MexicoAustraliaChinaBrazil. (<- these are the links to the main Amazon site, not the site to the individual book. This is in case you want to save them.) Also, you can find a list of ALL worldwide Amazon links here.

Now, let's name your link. I recommend that, if you're doing your own book, go ahead and give it an individual name. If that name is taken, it will tell you.


 So let's name this Touched, for Touched by a Vampire.


With the name taken, let's try adding in a full stop and put SophieSlade at the end.


With that approved, we can go ahead to the next part. However, this part here ↓ is not something I would suggest messing around with, unless you know what you're doing. I won't pretend that I do, so let's skip onto the next part.


When you're happy with that, click "Save" and you'll see this:


See those three little orange circles? Those are really important. To "EDIT" your link, click the little pencil on the left. In the middle, you've got your "TRY" button, that will take you to your page. On the right, the little clipboard is your "COPY" button.

CONGRATULATIONS!
You can now use your link!

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Every time you sign in from now on, you'll be taken to your SmartURL page (see above). As you can see in that post, you can quickly view how many clicks your link has had in its history. If you want more detail, click on the Stats button.

These are the stats for my book "Decadent", which has the most clicks and therefore the most stats available:


As you can see, you get a heck of a lot of information from one link. This will help show you where to keep sharing your link, where to focus your audience and where you're getting the most results.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Teaser Tuesday

#TeaserTuesday #WMP #YA #Romance

Angels Among Us, Anthology


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ANTHOLOGY OF FICTIONAL ANGEL STORIES. Guardian angels, warrior angels, humans acting as angels. Angels protecting us, guiding us,never leaving our sides … stories reminding us of the Angels Among Us.
Featured authors: : Monica Blanton, Susan Burdorf, Ashlea Burns, Callie Cool, Sky Diamond, Sara Drake, Stephanie Greenhalgh, Beth Hoyer, Theresa Oliver, Jennifer Paquette, Dana Piazzi, Nikki Shah, Melissa Somoza and Kim Stevens.

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Follow Us on Wattpad

Here's a list of all Write More Publication Authors who are on Wattpad. Feel free to follow us, send us messages or just read and vote on our stories. Every story on Wattpad is free to read for anyone over the age of 13. Please note that some authors have stories that are not Young Adult or Teen appropriate, so always check the rating of the book before reading. Wattpad are great at pointing out 'Mature' books, so that you can avoid them if you wish to.

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Most popular stories: Faithfully and The School of Second Chances



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Stories: Wolf Girl and the Children of the Moon, and Dracon's Revenge


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Stories: Fur and Fang of Love and Blood, Fire and Moon Watch

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Glow


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The Awakening of the Raven - A Moon Series Short


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Don't forget to also follow The Watty's, where awesome authors enter their stories to win awards. Some of Elaine White's stories are there, so feel free to read, vote and share to your heart's content.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Wonder of Harry Potter - Part 6

Guest Author: Elaine White
This article is by Elaine White. All opinions are her own.
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By the time we reach Book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the series is clearly drawing to a conclusion. Everything now is about destroying He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. In the movie series, this was the one I was most disappointed in. There was nothing about the Half Blood Prince, who and what or why about it in the movie, other than the name of the film and the name in a potions book that Harry used. Surely it wouldn’t have taken that long for Hermione to claim she had found information in the library and explain that Prince, was Snape’s mothers’ wizard family’s name. It’s not that hard.

This, however, is where the book took off. The story was great, the expansion and evolution of characters was just as good as the other books. Harry struggles to separate his desires and choose what is more important, a dilemma echoed in the Deathly Hallows. What is more important? Following Draco and discovering what he’s up to or getting a memory from Slughorn? In Harry’s mind, Draco’s actions are enough to cause suspicion and warrant immediate investigation. Turns out, he was right. However, Dumbledore knew things that Harry didn’t, like his fate after his hand was blackened, and so he needed Harry to focus solely upon the memory, because he didn’t have much time left to help him decipher it and give him all the information. This, if any, would have been an instance for using a time turner. Be with Dumbledore and the Pensieve one moment, turn the time turner and then go back and follow Draco. Unfortunately for Harry, this wasn’t possible and Dumbledore didn’t have enough time to explain everything to him that he needed to know.

The fact that Harry has to stand idly by, never knowing or fully understanding the things he sees throughout his whole Hogwarts career, but especially when Dumbledore dies, is tragic. If he only knew and understood what he was seeing, as he understands at the end of the Deathly Hallows. To me, Ginny is the shining light in this book. Her relationship with Harry is lovely and you know that she’s the one for him, as she’s always been, he just never knew it. I love how strong she is, to let Harry go off and do what needs done, without questioning him. She lets him break up with her because she knows it’s for the best, because she knows it’s his way of keeping her safe. The whole book just breaks my heart.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Teaser Tuesday

#TeaserTuesday #WMP #YA #Romance

Impassioned, by Molly Bryant


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Jesse meets an intriguing young man with brown eyes, messy-blonde hair, and dimples that set his smile out of this world. As their relationship grows stronger, Jessie learns that she is in danger. Her college life at Boise State University becomes anything but ordinary in a world she never knew existed.
 
With college students being recruited like puppets into the arms of fallen angels, Jessie has the guardians to keep her safe. In this compelling story of love, loss and betrayal, will Jesse choose the love of eternal damnation? Or will she choose the love of eternal harmony?

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Character Casting: The School of Second Chances

When authors write books, the first thing we think of is who is going to be in it. Who will be the lead characters, who will be backup and, in the case of a series, will each book be about the same people, or will each new book focus on a new main character.

We very rarely ask ourselves who will play these people, if it becomes a TV show or a movie. But this is something I like to do, for the fans, who want someone to visualise. Or fans who have read the book, loved it and wonder what it would look like in the world of Hollywood. It's a fun nugget, so that's what we'll be exploring here.

This cast is for 'The School of Second Chances', book one in my new series 'Evander's School for Enchanted Personage'. This is a trilogy, so this means these people would play these characters through all 3 books. But later, when the next two books come out, I'll reveal the main cast for that novel, as although the plot flows from one book to another, new characters are introduced in later books.

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Now let's meet some of the characters:



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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Book Review: The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky

Guest Author: Elaine White
This article is by Elaine White. All opinions are her own.
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Daughter3D




The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky by David Litwack has launched! This fabulous title is available now on all online retailers and in your local book stores. You aren't going to want to miss this new literary journey exploring the clash between reason and faith, and the power of hope and love.

The Book

After centuries of religiously motivated war, the world has been split in two. Now the Blessed Lands are ruled by pure faith, while in the Republic, reason is the guiding light—two different realms, kept apart and at peace by a treaty and an ocean.
Summary: A mysterious nine-year-old from the Blessed Lands sails into the lives of a couple in the Republic, claiming to be the Daughter of the Sea and the Sky. Is she a troubled child longing to return home, or a powerful prophet sent to unravel the fabric of the Republic? The answer will change the lives of all she meets… and perhaps their world as well.
Author: David Litwack

Genre: Fantasy/Speculative Literary Fiction
Publisher: Evolved Publishing

AmazonB&N
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My Review

Book – The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky
Author – David Litwick
Star rating - ★★★★★
Plot – captivating, beautiful, nicely plotted
Characters – lovable, diverse, relatable
Movie Potential - ★★★★★
Ease of reading – very easy to read
Cover - 
Suitable Title - 
Would I read it again - 


** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **


First off, let me start by saying this book is something special. I don't say that often, but there is something un-pinpoint-able and undefined that is wholly beautiful, endearing and magical about this book and the story. I'm going to lay this at the author's feet. If this author bring out another book, you can bet I'll snap it up as soon as it's in print, because I can tell from this one alone that me and David's books are going to be lifelong friends.
When I saw this book was up for a blog tour, I knew I had time in my blog calendar to fit it in, so although it didn't sound like anything I'd read before, I snapped up the chance to read something new. And I'm glad I did. This may be one of my favourite YA novels, ever and it's probably the biggest surprise a book has given me since I started reading at ye high.
I'm always nervous about starting a new book, especially one that I didn't technically choose for myself. With Read4Review books, I tend to take a bigger chance and hope for the best, so when a new one comes along, I always worry that I'm not going to enjoy it and I hate to turn that first page and be proven right. This time, I was proven wrong.
From page one, this story sucked me in. The start was intriguing, and held a lot of promise for what would come next. Then, we got whisked away into the future and saw Helena and Jason's story, which only caught even more of my attention. Helena is, to me, broken during the majority of this novel and a lot of what she goes through is a test to see if she can cope, if she can finally be honest with herself and if she's willing to take a risk. All of that is down to Jason. And let me just admit right now that whether the author planned it or not, Jason is kind of my perfect guy. He doesn't disappoint. Not once, throughout the story, do I fall out of love with him.
I don't want to go into too much detail about what I loved about this story because I could be here all day. It's safe to say that I want, no, NEED you to read this book. And trust me, you NEED to read this for you too. I'm not going to include spoilers, so let's get down to what I thought about what I can talk about.
The story itself is original, and somehow familiar. Not in the way that I've read anything similar, but in a way that it's comforting and sort of similar in a dream sense. Like when you have Deja Vu and you swear you've felt a certain way before; that's how this book makes me feel. All warm and fuzzy and slightly disorientated and not sure if I'm dreaming. It's a good feeling.
I didn't have a lot of time to read this book, but I started early enough that a few hours at the end of each night, I'd have enough time for a chapter before bed. Well, that chapter turned into 20% of the book each time I sat down to read it. I even spend four hours, one day, just reading it when I first started it because it was so good. I don't even care that I'm completely sleep deprived; it was more than worth it.
This author is a new favourite of mine. Yes, it's only one book and it may be a fluke, but the writing isn't. This is a great author with a talent for storytelling. Litwick weaves an intricate, but not complicated tale into a book that would seem long if not for the fact that it was easily devoured in not a lot of time. Overall, it took me three days, which is pretty good for a book this size.
The characters are all real, lovable people, relatable and with vast personalities. There are no two characters alike in this story, as far as I can tell. Each one is an individual that is enjoyable to read. Even Benjamin, because although he's sometimes overbearing, scary and often unhinged in my opinion, he's still a complete mystery that, as a read, I want to solve. The same goes for Martha. I spent most of the book believing both were as dangerous as each other to little Kailani, our MC, but I was surprised by what really happened.
Kailani herself, the Daughter of the Sea and the Sky, is adorable, too cute and beyond words for me. She is the character the book is about, but we're shown her story through other characters, which is pure genius. She's a character you want to know and hold and love, and tell everything is going to be okay. At the same time, you wonder about her fate and the effect she has on others, whether she'll get back to the Blessed Lands or have to stay with the Soulless.
I also really like that the author gives different characters the chance to show their side of the story. This is a method I fell in love with years ago, because you get such different angles on the same story, and it's done excellently here.
The ending is, in one word, perfect. I couldn't imagine a better ending. Not everything is wrapped up in bright red ribbon, wrapped up for convenience and a nice tidy finish. But we get the story we want and asked for when we opened the book. And that's pretty perfect to me.
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