New Release Review–Don’t Judge a Book By Its Magic

REVIEW by A.M. Day
Don't Judge a Book By Its Magic by Kate Policani
Cast inside a world (literally) that she never knew existed, eighteen-year-old Colleen Underhill must quickly adapt to and learn how to survive her new, magical life and her new, magical college, SPRU. And she has to do it without her family around for support. Colleen, values intact, offers up her aversion to casting spells of any sort the very first day of classes. She navigates inside more of the unknown after seeing power shoot from her fingers with the realization that her old life is just that. Her new life is filled with secrets, hot guys, Work Study, brewing romances and magic. All of this because she stumbled upon a mysterious book at the library.
Kate Policani captures some of the slightest details that one could easily miss. Even those tiny human habits we have. Don’t Judge a Book By Its Magic was written in delightful prose. Kate’s wit was spot on. A definite, entertaining read that leaves you wanting more.
~ A.M. Day
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Pass the Links #3–An Author’s Gratitude

A Pass the Links series

Paying it forward with more Twitter author links.

To thank my Twitter/WordPress blog followers for taking the time out to read my tweets and blog posts, I’ve compiled a list of their newly released and upcoming novels and writings.

If you follow me and don’t see your name on the list, don’t fret, I will be posting at least 5-10 author releases regularly over the next few months. So keep a look out for your name in my Pass the Links blog posts series. Also, feel free to leave comments with info on your newly released/upcoming novels and writings for me to post. Here is the third list of titles/authors and links below.

Thanks again,

~A.M. Day

NEWLY RELEASED

Head Rush (Disillusionist Trilogy #3) by Carolyn Crane @CarolynCrane

http://www.amazon.com/Head-Disillusionist-Trilogy-Carolyn-Crane/dp/1609288084/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351263724&sr=8-1&keywords=head+rush

Soul Sisters (Soul Sisters Trilogy Vol. 1) by Janiera Eldridge @LazenBeauty

http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Sisters-Janiera-Eldridge/dp/061568310X/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351264087&sr=1-3&keywords=soul+sisters

Spider in the Rain (Creation Shadows) by Sean Roney @seanroney

http://www.amazon.com/Spider-Rain-Creation-Shadows-ebook/dp/B00982Q1RC/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351264326&sr=1-3&keywords=sean+roney

The Black God’s War (Splendor and Ruin Book 1) by Moses Siregar III @MosesSiregar

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Stand-Alone-Novel-Splendor-ebook/dp/B005FC0MX8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351264436&sr=1-1&keywords=the+black+god%27s+war

Crown of Ash (Blood Skies Book 4) by Steven Montano @Daezarkian

http://www.amazon.com/Crown-Blood-Skies-Book-ebook/dp/B008ZKPD2W/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351264635&sr=1-1&keywords=crown+of+ash

Bitter Harvest (Harvest Trilogy Book 2) by Michael R. Hicks @KreelanWarrior

http://www.amazon.com/Bitter-Harvest-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B009AEIIVK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351264768&sr=1-1&keywords=bitter+harvest

Feral (Godsland Series Book 5) by Brian Rathbone @BrianRathbone

http://www.amazon.com/Feral-Godsland-Book-Five-ebook/dp/B009IAFGXO/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351264914&sr=1-2&keywords=Feral

COMING SOON

The Hoard of the Dodges (Another exciting Quinn Adventure) by Jennings Wright @JenningsWright (Oct. 2012)

http://jenningswright.com/

Ring Girl by A.M. Schultz @am_sch (Jan. 2013)

http://amschultz.com/

Pass the Links #2–An Author’s Gratitude

A Pass the Links series

Paying it forward with more Twitter author links.

To thank my Twitter/WordPress blog followers for taking the time out to read my tweets and blog posts, I’ve compiled a list of their newly released and upcoming novels and writings.

If you follow me and don’t see your name on the list, don’t fret, I will be posting at least 5-10 author releases regularly over the next few months. So keep a look out for your name in my Pass the Links blog posts series. Also, feel free to leave comments with info on your newly released/upcoming novels and writings for me to post. Here is the second list of titles/authors and links below.

Thanks again,

~A.M. Day

NEWLY RELEASED

The Stranger by Chris Martin @TheChris_Martin

http://www.amazon.com/The-Stranger-A-Novella-ebook/dp/B008XQ2Q0U/ref=pd_sim_kstore_2

Zeke by Wodke Hawkinson @WodkeHawkinson

http://www.amazon.com/Zeke-ebook/dp/B008J9DH2M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350672820&sr=1-1&keywords=wodke+haw

Trauma Junkie #3 by Tom Hobbs @Tomhobbs

http://www.amazon.com/Trauma-Junkie-Blackout-Blues-ebook/dp/B009JR51EK/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350672959&sr=1-5&keywords=tom+hobbs

The Road to Gray Lake by David Bain @davidbainaa

 http://www.amazon.com/The-Road-Gray-Lake-ebook/dp/B0095WL058/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350673073&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=the+road+to+graylake

House of Grey #5 by Collin Earl @CollinEarl

http://www.amazon.com/The-House-Grey–Volume-ebook/dp/B009H77UPU/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350673280&sr=1-9&keywords=collin+earl

COMING SOON

Enhanced by Courtney Farrell @CAFarrell

http://www.courtneyfarrell.com

Once and for All by Amy Durham @AmyDurham

http://amy-durham.blogspot.com/

Pass the Links #1–An Author’s Gratitude

A Pass the Links series

I initially got the idea to Pass the Linksfrom fellow blogger Kate Policani’s post High Time for Some Links. Thanks Kate! In that same spirit, I am paying it forward on this #FF. To thank my Twitter/WordPress blog followers for taking the time out to read my tweets and blog posts, I’ve compiled a list of their newly released and upcoming novels and writings.

If you follow me and don’t see your name on the list, don’t fret, I will be posting at least 5-10 author releases regularly over the next few months. So keep a look out for your name in my Pass the Links blog posts series. Also, feel free to leave comments with info on your newly released/upcoming novels and writings for me to post. Here is the first list of titles/authors and links below:

Thanks again,

~A.M. Day

NEWLY RELEASED

Undaunted Love by Jennings Wright @JenningsWright

http://www.amazon.com/Undaunted-Love-Jennings-Wright/dp/1479250287/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350064505&sr=8-1&keywords=undaunted+love

Heart Song by Samantha LaFantasie @SamLaFantasie

http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Song-Samantha-S-LaFantasie/dp/1478323507/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350064729&sr=1-4&keywords=heart+song

Heart Search: Lost by Carlie M.A. Cullen @carlie2011c

http://www.amazon.com/HEART-SEARCH-book-Lost-ebook/dp/B009MWXU40/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350065828&sr=1-2&keywords=heart+search%3A+lost

Wicked Tears by Amy Blaze @ablazebooks

http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Tears-ebook/dp/B009HZO9YC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350066171&sr=1-1&keywords=amy+blaze

Spindles (A Short Story) by L.B. Gale @LBGale

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/spindles/

COMING SOON!

Shaken, Not Stirred by Aaron Cooley @fleming17f Nov. 2012

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15995128-shaken-not-stirred

Broken Pieces by Rachel Thompson @RachelintheOC Nov. 2012

http://rachelintheoc.com/2012/09/light-an-sneak-peek-excerpt-from-broken-pieces/

Don’t Judge a Book By Its Magic by Kate Policani @KPtwitrnovel Virtual Release Party October 26th 2012

http://katepolicani.com/books-for-sale/dont-judge-a-book-by-its-magic/

Uprising by Jessica Therrien @JessicaTherrien Feb. 2013

http://jessica-therrien.blogspot.com/p/children-of-gods.html

Protector by Joanne Wadsworth @JoanneWadsworth Jan. 2013

http://joannewadsworth.com/books/

I Know Where the Muses Play

by A.M. Day

Recently, while on a river walk, I stumbled across something huge—the undeniable urge to write about what I rediscovered…Muses. Like other writers, I sometimes have more than one. They tap and hammer and hone in on my frequency, sometimes all at once—especially, if I’m ignoring them to quiet my mind. And I have been ignoring them lately…my own Muse included. I found a way to silence them when needed. My Muse had been resting comfortably during her forced hiatus as I began to reflect on this year so far. She usually shows up when I’m truly in need of some Muse musings, inspiration.

But the last couple of months…nothing. Not a peep out of her or the other Muses. I searched deep within the walls of my mind, my heart. She wasn’t there. This dragged on, forcing me to do whatever I had to in order to revive her spirit. I walked and ran, hoping she’d pop in with her regular chatter and rattling off as the endorphins opened me up. And still, no Muse or Muses. She was snubbing me, giving me the cold shoulder, like I had been doing to her.

I killed my Muse! I remember thinking. A feeling of loss came pouring in as I sat on one of the nearby benches. The river rippled and something gushed from underneath, pushing bubbles to the surface. As I took off to finish my walk, a song played out against nature’s tapestry, enticing me to take a closer listen. Every step felt as if something were touching me, playing tag with my soul. It danced a circle around me, in front of me and behind.

Something was with me the further I walked through the lushness of the tree-lined path. My ears became hyper-aware as the droopy tree branches on either side of me began to sway synchronously. The soft, colorful fall leaves and the stiffened, brown ones blew underneath my feet, racing me, as I lifted one foot after the other. There was a lively jolt further in that became dormant when I passed the thicket, toward the opening to the end of the path. I turned to go back the way I came, only to find that my Muse had warmed up to me again and invited a few of her Muse friends to play.

“She’s not dead! I didn’t kill her!” I sputtered inside. All the joy came flooding back to me. Gleeful whispers passed my ears, and then I heard it…loudly, distinctly. “You would not like it if someone tried to quiet your voice. Why would you quiet our voices? Never turn your back on us again or we might have to leave you for good…for someone who will appreciate our gifts and who enjoys playing with us.”

“I have learned my lesson well, Muse. And I will never turn my back on you again,” I replied.

If you lose the Muses, remember, they play all around us and within. We just have to be willing to pay attention, respect them or begin-the-begin.

Guest Post: Views From Another A.M.–Write the story you were meant to write, not the one you think you are expected to write!

Today you will be entertained by a fellow blogger, another A.M. who refers to me as other A.M. And no, another and other A.M. is not any of my extra personalities. This is a guest post as promised in my last post—Riding the Wave, so without further ado, A Novel Perspective welcomes guest blogger, A.M. Schultz.

It’s never been easier for anyone to become a writer than it is today. Really, it’s a quick-punch, instant ticket to supreme coolness. You work a crummy 9-5 job, or a minimum-wage weekend gig? It’s cool, because you are a writer. A month of moderate effort, and you could be sitting on the next big potential vampire saga, or fantasy series, or horror story. Or you could be driving yourself batty trying to find a new take on a genre that is already beyond cluttered.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of the terminology gets muddled and wires get crossed—I’ve found myself trying to taxonomize the different genres, which have almost become ambiguous due to trends. There’s erotic fiction, romance, paranormal romance, occult romance, and so on. A couple powerhouses strike it big in a sub-genre, and within weeks, there are knockoffs, parodies, and a thousand new submissions that are more stale and flavorless than gas station-brand tortilla chips. There’s a ton of paint-by-number recreations out there, and I think the “art” of writing is being compromised by the money-driven genre gluttony.

Seriously, how many books are out there by first-time authors that have been directly influenced by Twilight? 50 Shades of Grey? Two franchises, THOUSANDS of knock-offs. Throw in Hunger Games and Game of Thrones (yes, Game of Thrones, because the show is PHENOMENAL), and there are thousands more.

That said, these are the major markets right now. YA is huge. Paranormal is huge. Epic Fantasy is on the rise. Thrillers and Crime novels are, have been, and always will be big sellers. Some people truly love these genres, which is awesome. Others become slaves to the trends and bigger slaves to the numbers.

If your venture into writing is solely based on bringing home the bucks, then yeah, stick to what people are definitely reading. The ones who write it well, market it well, and churn out book after book without a break will rise to the top. They’ll pay some bills, maybe take a nice vacation, and carve a niche for themselves. There’s nothing wrong with that if the venture is taken seriously.

However, for the writers who struggle for months trying to shoe-horn a vampire into a story that doesn’t really require a vampire (see me, June-August 2012), then maybe genre is not for you. Or a particular genre is not for you. You can’t write convincing fiction without real passion.

For me, the genre-scene is all muddy water. I never considered myself a “horror” writer, but my short stories are tending to drift into that territory, and I’m totally fine with it; however, I don’t label myself a “horror” writer, or a “satire” writer, or a “comedy” writer—the limitations do more harm than good sometimes. Let your audience decide what you are. If you write about vampires who play hop scotch while eating yard gnomes while training for the Olympics, let that be “your” genre.

Ultimately, I think the goal of every writer should be to CREATE a demand for their product. If your desire is to write about three-armed monkeys, then write the best story you can about three-armed monkeys and give people a reason to buy into the new genre. Make your three-armed monkey story the Twilight-esque catalyst that fills up an entire row of shelves at Books-a-Million in three years with knock-offs.

Write the story you are meant to write, not the one you think you are expected to write.

-A.M. Schultz

A.M. Schultz is a student, pseudo-scholar, writer, closet-nerd,
and philosophy junkie. Predicted to become either a college professor, a full-time author, a part-time Buddhist, a selective pescatarian or a total recluse, he enjoys sporadic fits of writing in between meditation sessions, kickboxing workouts, Greek yogurt/sushi indulgences, drooling over the works of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, scribbling in his Moleskine notebooks, preparing to battle the dreaded GRE, underachieving and spontaneously traveling across the eastern United States in search of high adventure and low-country cuisine. He is set to release two novels in early 2013: RING GIRL in January, and CUSS April.

Thanks for reading. When A.M. is not busy working on custom book covers and other stuff, he can be found unleashing his ever-witty, informative insight on writing at his HEADSPIT blog  http://amschultz.com

A.M. Schultz shared his perspective. Now, share yours!

Riding the Wave–Genre Hopping Part 2

by A.M. Day

Writers dive headfirst in the craft daily. Plugging in, banging out and picking away at the habitual utterances of what is left of the conscious mind. Once creativity takes over our psyches, transporting us into the chosen themes and plots…game on. We ebb and flow endless ideas. They can come at us like a battering ram when we least expect it. We’ll scrawl illegible phrases and sentences on napkins, bills, mirrors and so on, with anything from pen to marker, to lipstick or eyeliner in a pinch. But, do we write what’s currently popular? Or, do we write what really inspires us?

The erotic romance sub-genre took on a new role this past spring when the Fifty Shades trilogy was thrust upon us, selling more than 10 million copies in record time. This caused an ongoing spark of erotica to flood bookstore shelves and the internet from well-known authors to unknowns. Sylvia Day’s erotic Crossfire series has been “all-the-rave” on social media platforms lately. Fans anxiously wait to see what happens with young Eva and the Dominant Gideon Cross this fall. Of course, these weren’t the first ladies to write erotic romance novels, but they lit a fire to the backside, giving the market a huge boost. Ann Rice, the Queen of Vamp’s, had an erotic romance trilogy first released in the 80’s, now resurfaced. And I’ve heard it’s quite steamy. I’ll be picking that trilogy up soon.

I must admit, the thought crossed my mind to put out an erotica novel and maybe I will, but for now, I’m comfortable with modern twist/Greek myth. For one, I have two due out anytime now (fingers crossed) and 1-2 more left in the series to complete, not to mention the YA spin-off series with the teens from the first few novels. But I can switch it on and off while I’m working on my screenplays.

Once again, I enlisted the help of fellow tweeters/bloggers. Melpomene Selemidis @Melpomuse concurs like most writers I’ve spoken with, citing that, “I definitely write for me, what I’m inspired by.” @Melpomuse also writes love poetry inspired by Neruda, Rumi, Homer and Greek myth. She writes YA stories as well “…because it’s a time full of passion and promise and I write adult stories to explore relationships. I love to include magic realism like, Marquez, Allende and poetic prose like, Winterson and mix genres like A.S. Byatt.” We can take from Melpomene that her inspirations come more from various authors’ styles as opposed to the new hotness covering the front-shelf displays in bookstores.

Kate Policani @KPtwitrnovel writes what inspires her also. “Without inspiration it isn’t really fun fiction.” Right you are, Kate. And without the fun, writing is a drag. Kate’s upcoming novel, “Don’t Judge a Book By Its Magic” is due out this October.

Fellow blogger A.M. Schultz @am_sh feels, “A month of moderate effort, and you could be sitting on the next big potential vampire saga, or fantasy series or horror story. Or, you could be driving yourself batty, trying to find a new take on a genre that is already beyond cluttered.” With much elaboration, as I welcomed and expected, from Schultz’s engaging prose, he brings up some really interesting thoughts on the topic that I think you guys will find enlightening and entertaining as well. See his full post on my anovelperspective.wordpress.com blog as my guest blogger this week.

Last week, I created a poll to get writers’ views on the topic of riding the wave. It was no surprise that the votes came in at 100% that those 5/5 writers write what inspires them. Thank you for your votes. With that said, in the end, it really doesn’t matter whether a writer gets inspiration from popular genre/story lines. To be inspired to write anything is inspiration in itself.

There is no right or wrong answer. We write what we write, most, with no indifference to genre/story lines. Do we do our stories justice when we write them, in order to receive a strong following from our target audiences and beyond?

I think that should be the question and one we ponder regularly as we write. This is A Novel Perspective. Share your thoughts!

Thanks to fellow tweeters/bloggers for contributing. As always,You Rock!