The Month of July

Recap time! July was an excellent month for me, especially with working on my manuscripts. I edited a whole book (Freelance Writing Guide), wrote 15,800 words in Chronicles of a Troubled Girl, and wrote 2,700 words in Freedom from Fat. On top of that, I published 22 blog posts (between my two blogs), was interviewed by a book cover designer, edited two of my colleague’s articles, published five book reviews, participated in a Goodreads Giveaway and mailed out two copies of My Not-So-Ordinary Life to two winners, read four books, and contributed to a writer’s blog post. I also got my very own, really nice office chair after working hard as a writer for over 14 months. I still felt – and feel – privileged to have this chair.

August is going to be really busy, I can already tell, because I plan to do the final edit of Freelance Writing Guide and publish it, which also means that I’ll be sending out copies to my blog tour participants. Organizing a blog tour is like communicating with 20+ colleagues through email – it’s quite fun and keeps me busy! I will also be reading and reviewing three books, and posting to my blogs to keep you all updated :), as well as my other daily duties.

I hope you will all have a good month and stick around to see what’s happening next!

Review of “The Chaosifier”

The Chaosifier by Mike Evers is an excellent fantasy novel with an adventuresome plot. It is well-written, with lots of description for the characters, background, and setting. Reading the book was an enjoyable experience.

The main characters are called bifurs. They are miniature people that cannot be seen by humans. Their purpose is to balance out the chaos of the world with moments of good luck. They do this by sprinkling a special dust on certain humans that are specially chosen based on their need and what they can accomplish.

The chaosifier is a machine that causes chaos in the world. That is the main reason the bifurs use the special dust. Usually, the chaosifier is set at a normal level, but it is not in the present time of this story. The bifurs are low on special dust and must find out what is causing the excess chaos in the world.

I definitely recommend this well-written novel to readers of fantasy. The story has a slow build up to the climax, but once there, I was hooked.

It is available in kindle format here. Now, go grab your copy!

Book Blogs and Publication

I recently joined Book Blogs – an interactive, lively community for bloggers and authors. On the website, bloggers get the benefit of promoting their blogs, gaining followers to their blogs, and finding authors to host on their blogs. Mostly, the bloggers have “book blogs,” which means they publish book reviews, giveaways, and author interviews on their blogs. While, authors can promote their books and find bloggers to host them. During my short time there so far, I have been using the website for both purposes, since my blog is part book blog and I’m an author.

I have also been organizing my blog tour. Getting a blog tour together is a lot of work! I have found a few people that will be reviewing my book (thank you!); plus others that will be reviewing my other books, which is wonderful. I am still waiting to hear back from other bloggers I have contacted about my September blog tour, so I’m hoping for more opportunities. If you would like to host me on your blog in September, I can provide a complementary ebook copy of my book, Freelance Writing Guide, for a review or an interview. I’m really looking forward to the blog tour and the publication of my book.

In fact, I will be starting the second (and final) revision this week. It looks like mid-August is when I’ll be creating the cover and formatting the book for publication in various formats. It will be available in paperback and ebook from Lulu, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and Smashwords (who also distributes to various retailers). The ebook will be available before the paperback, since I have to approve the paperback’s proof copy, which Lulu will be sending to me to review (and as you may know, shipping a product takes some time compared to electronic transactions).

It may sound easy to self-publish a book, but it’s very time consuming. The last time I self-published (in January of this year), I came out with second editions of three books, and I worked on the publication for days. Hopefully, this time will be a little easier, because I will only be publishing one book and I’ll be familiar with the formatting guidelines for the different publishers from last time (I will have to create multiple versions of my book, one for each publisher, because each publisher has their own formatting guidelines).

But, that is still weeks away! For now I will be taking care of blog tour communications and reading, as well as my other normal online activities. Starting  Thursday, I will be focusing on reading, editing, and posting updates on my progress. Lots to do!

Review of “Red Leaves and the Living Token”

Red Leaves and the Living Token by Benjamin David Burrell is a well-written, fast-paced adventure that takes place in a fantasy realm. The book is descriptive and easy to read, which is fitting for readers of various backgrounds. The characters are optimistic, compassionate, and strong-willed.

The story is about a world where the beings are unique species. There is the botann – who are made of trees, the petra – who are made of rocks, and the zo – who are hunched-over furry animals. The botann, petra, and zo have conflicts with each other because of their differences (but occasionally they intermingle). They each have their own areas of the world and do not allow trespassing by other species.

Emret, who is a young zo boy, has a terrible illness and will die if he doesn’t get cured soon. His father, Raj, doesn’t know what to do, but needs to do something soon. Emret’s nurse, Moslin, a female botann, takes good care of Emret, and they think highly of each other.

Emret likes it when Moslin reads to him. One book in particular inspires the two of them to go on an adventure to the other side of the world, which encourages Raj, and others, to follow. Emret is in search of a cure for his illness. Their travels become a wild adventure in which their inner strength and dedication to each other will be tested. Will Emret find what he seeks?

Burrell has a talent for creating lively characters that his readers will grow to care for and love. His book demonstrates his skill of knowing what will satisfy readers’ needs for plot description and clarity of storyline.

I greatly enjoyed this book. The ending left me hungry for more. There is a sequel that will be released in the near future. I recommend this book to readers of fantasy and adventure books. You will not be disappointed!

You can get your copy here. Happy reading!

Blog Tour and Blogroll Links

Hi Everyone,

As you know, Freelance Writing Guide: What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer is nearing publication (August 2012). As such, I have begun contemplating the book’s release, and what I can do to get the word out about my upcoming book. One of my ideas is having a blog tour in August or September. For those of you who have writing or reading blogs, I can offer a free ebook copy of Freelance Writing Guide in exchange for a book review on your blog. I am also available for blog interviews at that time (also for a free copy).

I recently (today, actually 🙂 added more links to my blogroll (a list on the right side of the blog when you scroll down). The links are my favorite writing or reading blogs and websites (except for my health blog, which I added to the list because it’s my other blog). Check out the links on the blogroll, and if I haven’t added yours already, please comment on this post with a link to your writing/reading blog or website, and I’ll add it 🙂

Have a great week!

Making Progress!

Hello all!

I’m pretty excited about what I’ve been accomplishing. Usually, finding motivation is a struggle for me, so I’m rather pleased about what I’ve done lately. As you know, Freelance Writing Guide is sitting on the back burner for a couple of weeks until it’s time to begin the second revision. In the meantime, I’ve been working almost every day on Chronicles of a Troubled Girl. I now have only two (out of fourteen) journals left to transcribe. Today I worked on the manuscript for more than 3 1/2 hours. As I’m typing up my journal entries, I find them really interesting, and I hope you will too.

It looks like Freelance will be published in August. I’m thinking about what type of cover I will do for it. I want it to look really sharp and professional, as it is a reference guide for professionals. For the ebook cover I recently did for My Not-So-Ordinary Life, I found the image on Dreamstime, so I will consider them for my next cover.

I do not know when Chronicles will be published yet, as it is larger than Freelance and a completely different kind of book. When I edit it, I will have a better idea about the publication date.

I’ve been flying through my reading as well. I published reviews for the two books I had scheduled for this month by July 19th, so I started a third book that I picked out myself. It is called The Chaosifier. It is a fantasy book that is well-written, descriptive, and creative. I really like it so far. The review will be posted next week.

I hope to keep my productivity up so that I can get my books out to you. Plus, I really would like to wrap them up, because I don’t like loose ends. And I have other books I plan to write, and I would like to write a fictional novel sometime. I’m thinking of taking a class in fiction writing, since I’m not skilled at it and don’t know what I’m doing 🙂

Have a great Sunday!

Review of “You Are a Writer”

You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins is a very helpful and informative book, full of advice from a professional writer, and written for the writer who enjoys writing but hasn’t called him or herself a writer (yet). That is where the book starts; it ends with tips for success and publication as a professional writer and author. It covers a lot of material simply, and is a good user guide for new writers.

Goins’ shares a few personal stories that relate to the information in the book, showing that he has been there and lived to tell it. The book is instructional, and subjective from the author’s professional experiences, but the information provided is still sensible. The majority of the book is solid advice about taking yourself seriously as a writer, building a platform, establishing a brand, making connections, building relationships, and pitching (to magazines, blogs, etc.).

Goins’ talks highly of starting a blog, publishing traditionally, and being persistent. He says that being a writer is hard work and takes perseverance. He basically says that if you do everything in the book, you will no longer have to pitch to publishers – the publishers will come to you. Though, he does mention that you should still pitch occasionally to maintain your platform.

I recommend You Are a Writer to writers new to the scene. The book will give you courage to take the steps to becoming a successful writer, and will provide a lot of information to help you along your journey.

You can get your copy here. It is a great book!

Review of “Hell”

As the sequel to Pray by John Prescott, Hell delivers just as well, if not better. There is more adventure in this one, if that’s even possible, since the first book was excellent and action-packed too.

Hell is climactic the entire book. It starts off with news broadcasts about the three years after nuclear bombs ransacked the earth at the end of Pray. Eventually, the core group makes their way to Jerusalem to do what God has planned for them. A lot of people die in this book, as Samouel (the Antichrist) issues forth an assortment of evil creatures from hell to kill innocent individuals on earth in order to get the rest of the human race to oblige to him as God.

Within the darkness of hell on earth, there are some positive parts, like when nonbelievers become believers, how the core group is able to carry on with doing God’s will for them, and the spiritual connection and care shared amongst the believers. The core group remains optimistic, because they know God will look after them because they believe in Him and as long as they are performing according to His will.

Hell is full of vibrant descriptions, is fast-paced and full of action, and has an edge that kept me intrigued until the very end. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in being entertained by the Book of Revelations from a creative perspective, as well as readers of dark fantasy, paranormal, horror, and action/adventure. Prescott is one hell of an author (pun intended)!

I can’t wait to read the third book, which will be coming out at the end of 2012! You can get your copy of the first book, Pray, here and the second book, Hell, here. You won’t be disappointed!

New Ebook Cover for “My Not-So-Ordinary Life”

Hello all,

I found the ability to create my own book covers recently, so I redid My Not-So-Ordinary Life‘s epub and pdf covers. The book with the new cover can be found at Lulu, Barnes & Noble, and the iTunes iBookstore. The new cover has not shown up at B&N and iTunes yet, but it is showing up at Lulu already. You can also view the cover and a description of the book on the “books” page of this blog.

I like the slogan: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” which is the reason why I chose the cover design. It’s a simple cover, and I love how it is so easy to read, which helps people when they are searching for ebooks online. Here is a sneak peek of the new cover:

Ebook cover

And here is what the old cover looked like:

Old ebook cover

I liked the abstract design of the old cover, however, it didn’t have meaning to me and the text was hard to read. I hope you like the new cover!

Editing “Freelance Writing Guide”

I am currently in the editing stages of Freelance Writing Guide: What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer. I have to admit that the manuscript is coming along nicely, as far as what I can see as I’m editing. It is pretty structurally sound and well-written. It mostly needs edits in grammar, formatting, and sentence structure. I’m glad I put in a little extra time when I wrote the first draft to make it less of a rough draft, because now the subsequent drafts are easier. I’m up to chapter 13 out of 22, so I’m more than halfway through the second draft (or first revision, as I like to call it). I’ve been editing at a rate of 2-3 chapters at a time, which takes me 1-2 hours.

My initial plan was to have the book published in September, but it could happen in August by the way things look right now. I need to set the book aside for a couple of weeks between edits. I can’t wait to have it complete so that I can work more intensively on Chronicles of a Troubled Girl to get that one wrapped up as well. I just don’t like loose ends laying around. I’m currently working on Freedom from Fat as well, which is an ongoing project, since I am working on accomplishing the feat I am writing about. Once I reach my weight loss goals, I will be ready to edit and publish that book. It will probably be in 2013.

I am reading a lot every day. I am currently reading Hell by John Prescott. I am enjoying that book, which is book 2 in a trilogy (Pray was book 1). I have stopped taking on new books to review, as I have a large pile already and want to get near the bottom before I take on any more. I am booked up through October, and like I said before, I don’t like loose ends.

Well, that’s about it. Things are going smoothly and I’m happy about that. To hear more frequent updates on my progress, “like” my Facebook page: Christine Rice – Writer and Author.