Milestones – or a Few Accomplishments over the Last Seven Years!!

Milestones!

Milestone the first:

Today’s post marks a number of milestones! What milestones, you might ask? The first significant milestone is that August 12 marks seven years since The Gemstone Chronicles Book One: The Carnelian publication date! Since that day,  The Carnelian picked up an Indie BRAG Medallion and a Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal. I’ve published the other three books of the series, attended many festivals and books signings, spoke at schools, and learned more than I ever thought possible about writing. I’ve met amazing authors, reviewers, and book promoters. I keep writing (can you believe three WIPs?) and hope to publish my fifth book (the start of a new series) in 2020.

The Carnelian Cover Milestones

Though I haven’t hit the bestsellers list yet, I am eternally grateful to each and every person who took the time to read one or all of the books. My favorite author moment came from a teacher (and former classmate). She told me she struggled to get a student to read. When she told the student she knew an author (me), and maybe he would read my books. I sent her a set. She reported back to me that he loved them and has become a voracious reader! That makes it all worthwhile!

Milestone the second:

I also celebrate reaching the 15,000 Twitter follower milestone! Writing The Gemstone Chronicles made me aware of the various avenues of social media and, after trying most of them, settled on Twitter as my main social media platform. I know it isn’t a huge following, but I continue to grow it and I hope I’m providing some assistance to other authors out there.

Milestone the third:

The final milestone I’m marking is that this post is my three hundredth blog post! That’s right! This blog started on August 12th, 2012 to announce The Carnelian’s publication. What a long but interesting journey it has been! I’ve written posts about my books, book promotion sites, gemstones, duct tape, conspiracy theories, and many book reviews! I’ve even slipped a few posts about submarines and my time in the Navy. I like to post my book reviews and maybe give a fellow author a bit of exposure. I hope my posts reflect my rather eclectic interests both in the different genres I review and the occasional foray into my hobbies and interests.

As always, I’m humbled and grateful for everyone’s continued support and for the readers who’ve taken time to read my books and read and comment on my blog posts. Though I can’t thank all of you personally, please know how much I appreciate you and will try to continue to provide enjoyable content!

Connect with me:

Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Say hi and let’s connect! Don’t miss a post either. Subscribe to the blog!

Children of the Future by Jane Suen – My Review!!

Children of the Future – My Review!!

Children of the Future by Jane Suen hit my TBR courtesy of a Goodreads recommendation. A nice mixture of science fiction and mystery, it was a quick and entertaining book.

Synopsis (from the author):

Where are the missing children?

A small yellow school bus pulls up in front of the little red brick schoolhouse. Telly, the bus driver, discovers all of the children are missing — all except one very frightened Billy who has hidden in a cabinet. Where is everyone? Telly and Billy are determined to find the answers.

The little town of Rocky Flats is stirred into a frenzy. Nothing like this has ever happened before! Where have the children gone? Why? As the clock ticks and the little town rallies together in the search, will they find the children before it’s too late?

What I liked:

Children of the Future was a well-told simple tale. Telly was a good solid character and Billy was a brave little guy. Together, the two of them set out to solve the mystery of Billy’s missing classmates. The story revolves around the search and the clues the two uncover. I enjoyed Telly’s discovery of the truth (though no spoilers from me) and the little surprising twist at the end. Overall, a fast and fun book!

What I didn’t like:

The book was a little simplistic and, aside from Telly and Billy, the characters were one-dimensional. The anxiety shown by the parents of the missing children seemed almost non-existent and unrealistic.

Overall impression:

I enjoyed Children of the Future! The book had nice elements of science fiction and mystery and the tale moved along quickly. I recommend this novella to anyone who likes a quick fun read with a surprise ending.

My rating: 4 Stars

Connect with Jane Suen:

Find out more about Jane Suen and her books on her Amazon Author page. While you’re there, consider leaving her a comment or a review!

Connect with me:

If you use social media, let’s connect. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest! Find me and say hi! If you don’t want to miss a post, please subscribe to the blog!

The Sapphire of Poseidon by Scott L Collins – My Review!!

The Sapphire of Poseidon – My Review!!

The Sapphire of Poseidon Cover

I read and reviewed the first three books of the Scepter Series by Scott L Collins. When he released The Sapphire of Poseidon (Scepter #4) it immediately went on the TBR list. I’ve finally got to it and I’m glad I did! Read on for my review!

Synopsis (from the author):

With the Emerald and Ruby now reunited with the Scepter of Harmony, the rebellious group of children intent on overthrowing the malevolent King Argyle must face a new challenge: recovering the Sapphire of Poseidon. In order for the full power of the Scepter to be restored, the jewel must be inserted back into the staff.

With Argyle now at war with Queen Kyrie, and his ships scouting the lake to locate her, as well as the realm of the Merfolk, the small band of insurgents must find a way to cross the Great Lake while avoiding not only Argyle’s fleet, but the kraken he’s released in an attempt to draw the Queen of the Lake into battle.

Time is running short as Argyle is sure to figure out their plans for bringing together all the pieces of the Scepter. Once he does, it’ll be a race to recover the remaining gems, and if Argyle finds one first, the fight, and the kingdom, will be lost forever.

What I liked:

As with the other books in the series, following the cast of characters on their adventures is like renewing old friendships. Daniel and his friends travel to recover the Sapphire of Poseidon. Along the way, they make new friends and reunite with old companions. The story is excellent, King Argyle continues to be sufficiently evil, and our heroes’ abilities continue to grow. All in all, The Sapphire of Poseidon is a wonderful addition to the series!

What I didn’t like:

Other than a couple of slow spots, there really wasn’t much to dislike about this one!

Overall impression:

The Sapphire of Poseidon (Scepter #4) is an excellent book! With familiar characters, plenty of action, budding romance, and the evil King Argyle, it kept me entertained! I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good YA fantasy adventure!

My rating:

5 Stars

Connect with the author:

Find Scott L Collins on his Amazon Author page and his website. Discover more about the author and his books and consider leaving a review for The Sapphire of Poseidon (or any of his other books)! I know he’d appreciate it!

Connect with me:

Please leave a comment if you liked (or didn’t like) my review. Connect with me on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You can also drop me an email at bill@williamlstuart.com. I enjoy connecting with new friends. I look forward to meeting you!

Ring of Fire by Stevie Rae Causey – My Review!!!

Ring of Fire – My Review!!

Ring of Fire Cover

My TBR list is all over the place. I have fantasy, crime thrillers, dystopia, and more fantasy on the list. First up is Stevie Rae Causey’s Ring of Fire, the first of her two book series.

Synopsis (from the author): What If Everything You Knew Was A Lie?

Kala’s people have been at war with the Mystics, a group of magical beasts and beings, for as long as she can remember. It was Mystics who killed her parents. Or so she thought.
When an elf saves her life, Kala’s whole world is turned upside down. The line between right and wrong blurs as she finds herself falling in love with the enemy.
Hiding their affair isn’t easy, and when Kala confides in the wrong person, a new war ignites. Can their love unite their people, or are their people doomed to repeat the past? 

What I liked: Ring of Fire had much to like. First, Kala’s character was easy to identify with and her relationship with Azlyn (the elf who rescued her from her kidnapper) was a great backdrop for the story. Cazlyn, Azlyn’s nephew was a great character. Nice world building and the inclusion of the other races added depth to the tale. Overall, I enjoyed the book!

What I didn’t like: Some of the book was slow to unfold and was predictable at times. Other than that, no complaints from me!

Overall impression: Ring of Fire by Stevie Rae Causey was an entertaining read. It had enough twists, turns, and intrigue to keep my attention. With solid characters, good storytelling, and a touch of romance, I would recommend this one to anyone from tweens and older who enjoy a good fantasy!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

Connect with the Author: Find Stevie Rae Causey on her website or her Amazon Author Page and find out more about her books!

Connect with me: Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You can also drop me an email at bill@williamlstuart.com or leave a comment. I’d like to connect with new friends!

 

Amelia Island Book Festival – Are You Going??

Amelia Island Book Festival!

Amelia Island, Florida is a charming town just north of Jacksonville, FL and just south of the Georgia-Florida line. Why am I telling you this? Well, every year in February, the island hosts the Amelia Island Book Festival! This year’s festivities begin on February 15. They end with the Author Expo/Readers Extravaganza event on February 17. For more information of the festival, click on this link! I’ll be there with the Gemstone Chronicles series. I’ll sign books, meet lots of new friends, discover new authors, and connect with readers!

Amelia Island Book Festival GC Covers

Events:

2018 is the 17th Annual celebration. This year’s theme is An Amelia Island Encounter – Romance, Action, and Mystery. I’ll highlight a few of the events, starting with Thursday, February 15. The Kickoff Luncheon starts the Festival on the day after Valentine’s Day. New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani gives the keynote address! Author David Baldacci introduces Adriana.

Friday, February 16 has three great events. First, bestselling author Steve Berry and his wife and business partner Elizabeth conduct a Writer’s Workshop. The workshop focuses on  both the writing craft and the business of writing.

While the Berrys hold their workshop, many authors will visit the 16 area public schools and Volunteer Pre-Ks. They will present to and interact with the students. This outreach program, called Authors In Schools, promotes lifelong learning and literacy!

Friday evening is the Author Face Off Gala Dinner. Jennifer Armentrout, Lee Child, Karen Slaughter, and Sherri Rinker face-off. The event, hosted by Steve Berry, includes a silent auction and much more.

Author Expo/Readers Extravaganza:

Saturday brings the Author Expo/Readers Extravaganza. Held at Fernandina Beach Middle School, this event allows readers and authors to get to know each other and includes book signings and breakout sessions. Famed chef Jacques Pepin will be on hand to sign his cookbooks and Steve Berry, Sherri Rinker, Jennifer Armentrout, Karin Slaughter, and Lee Child all hold breakout sessions. With nearly 100 noted authors, games, arts and crafts, and food trucks, this will be a day to enjoy! I’m looking forward to the festivities!

Are you going? I’ll be in space 105, so stop by! Say hello, grab a book or 4, and pick up a gemstone! I look forward to meeting each of you. If you buy a book (mine or someone else’s) please consider leaving a review. Reviews help authors become better writers. Simple reviews are fine. Just a few words stating how you liked the book is great!

Connect with me:

Want to let me know you’ll be there? Email me at bill@williamlstuart.com or leave me a comment. I can also be found at the following socials: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Contact me and let me know if you’re going!

 

The King’s Ransom by Cheryl Carpinello – My Review!!

The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) – My Review!!

 

 

King Arthur and the legends surrounding him and the Knights of the Round Table are fascinating. Cheryl Carpinello combined the legendary figure with the coming of age story of three friends in her book The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table), and I had to add it to my reading list. Here are my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author): Three Friends. Three Quests. Three Mysterious Predictions

In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith’s apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king’s treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder. Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight’s quest to save their friend’s life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all.

What I liked: Adding a coming of age twist to the King Arthur era was a neat storyline to me. Gavin, Philip, and Bryan all have different fears to confront, and each handled their quest bravely. The idealism each displayed was inspiring, and there was enough action and intrigue to keep my attention. In addition, a few interesting secrets sets the stage for a good story. Lastly, although written for ages 9-12, I enjoyed the read!

What I didn’t like: The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Roundtable) had a few predictable parts, especially during the three quests. Additionally, although I liked the characters, they were a bit clichéd.

Overall impression: The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) by Cheryl Carpinello captured the essence of the King Arthur legends and the idealism embodied in the stories. Good characters, nice plot twists, and a few surprises make the book is an excellent read for ages 9-12 (or anyone who simply enjoys a good book!

My rating: 5 Stars

Connect with the author:

Have your or your children read The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table)? If not, consider adding it to your list! If so, please consider leaving a review. It only takes a few minutes and means a lot to the authors! While you’re surfing around, stop by Cheryl Carpinello’s Amazon Author page or her website and check out all her books!

Connect with me:

Speaking of surfing around, why not head over to the socials and connect with me? I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Of course, you can email me at bill@williamlstuart.com, too. And, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you won’t miss a post!

Dragon Lightning (Dragon Dreamer Book 2) by J.S. Burke – My Review!!

Dragon Lightning – My Review!!

Lightning

 

I read J. S. Burke’s first book about dragons and octopuses (Dragon Dreamer) a while back. When she released Dragon Lightning (Dragon Dreamer Book 2), it hit my TBR list immediately. As a bonus, J. S. Burke is a Georgia author, so I got to read another of my fellow authors. Here is my review!

Synopsis (from the author): Dragon Lightning is a stand-alone book and the second in The Dragon Dreamer series. It’s a fast-paced adventure with flying dragons, an undersea world, and unlikely friendships. This science fantasy is layered for readers age 9 to adult.

Drakor seems like a normal young ice dragon with a talent for making lightning swords. But he alone feels the changing heart of his island Volcano. It destroyed his beloved sire. Now he foresees their doom, but none will listen. As he seeks proof, the Volcano shakes him off into the frozen sea . . .

Arak was mocked as a worthless dreamer until he and Scree, a fearless undersea misfit, saved the dragons. Now dragons and octopi sail north in search of mythical ice dragons. They find Drakor and a terrifying reality. When Scree enters the abyss to check his volcano, she discovers everyone is in peril. Can this crew of unlikely friends save three realms?

What I liked: Dragon Lightning was an excellent book! The familiar heroes from Dragon Dreamer return with new adventures starting with the search for the ice dragons of legend. Arak and Scree grow as characters and Drakor adds an interesting twist. The undersea science woven throughout provides cool information, and the trials faced by the unlikely friends entertained me. All in all, a good read!

What I didn’t like: I had a couple of minor issues with Dragon Lightning. First, Drakor stuttered at times, and didn’t at others. It seemed inconsistent. Secondly, the battle between Drakor and his leader was too predictable. Other than that, no complaints from me!

Overall impression: Dragon Lightning (Dragon Dreamer Book 2) by J.S. Burke was a great read. Written for ages 9 and above, I enjoyed the characters’ growth, the science behind the story, and the story itself. If you like dragons, octopuses, and the occasional squid, this is a book for you! I recommend it to any and all science fantasy readers!

My rating: 5 Stars

Have you added Dragon Lightning (Dragon Dreamer Book 2) to your TBR list? I hope so! Once you’ve read it, please consider leaving a review. Reviews let authors know what the reader’s think and how their work impacts readers. While you are leaving the review, check out J. S. Burke’s Amazon Author page and her website and say hi!

As always, if you want to leave me a comment on my review, please do! And, if you want to connect on the socials, find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You can also email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. Remember to subscribe to the blog so you won’t miss a post!

The Star Realm by Julie Elizabeth Powell – My Review!!

The Star Realm – My Review!!

The Star Realm Cover

As a fantasy author, I’m constantly on the lookout for that genre. When Amazon recommended The Star Realm by Julie Elizabeth Powell, I gave it a shot. Read on for my review!

Synopsis (from the author): What would you do if you were called to another world…a world filled with seemingly impossible things?

Faced with this choice, Davie, Ben, Anne, Chrissie and Billy embark upon a mysterious quest, finding themselves transported to the spectacular and extraordinary world of Avalon, whereupon they are catapulted into one of the uncountable heptagonal pieces that make up the magical sphere of the Orb of Caprice…namely, the Star Realm question remains…will Time be on their side?

What I liked: The Star Realm has all the elements in place for a great story. 5 friends embarking on a great quest, danger lurking around every corner, help from unexpected places, and a satisfying conclusion made the book an enjoyable read. I liked the talking flowers and the various challenges the children accepted. The goblins were my favorite characters!

What I didn’t like: My dislikes included some of the dialogue, especially from Billy, which was difficult for me to follow. Billy’s constant food obsession irritated me. Lastly, I never really understood Ezrin’s reason for choosing the children for the quest.

Overall impression: I think this book would appeal to middle grade readers and maybe very young teens. The Star Realm has fun characters, touches on many of the issues in the world today, and enough action and adventure to hold the reader’s attention.

My rating: 3.5 Stars (rounded to 4 stars)

Connect with the author:

What do you think? Will you  read The Star Realm by Julie Elizabeth Powell? I think you should give it a chance. Visit Julie’s Amazon author page to see the rest of her books (and maybe buy 1 or 2)!

Connect with me:

Do you like my reviews? If so (or if not), leave me a comment and let me know. If you would rather, send me an email at bill@williamlstuart.com. And, don’t forget to connect with me on the socials! I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe to the blog! I enjoy meeting new friends!!

Reflections of 2016 – My Year in Reviews!!

Reflections of 2016 – My Year in Reviews!!

Now that Christmas and New Year’s Eve have come and gone, I wanted to spend a few minutes reflecting on 2016 and the books I read. I didn’t read and review as much in 2016 as I did in 2015, and I need to do a better job in 2017. Still, in keeping with my belief that writers want to know what readers think about their work, I managed to read and review 32 books last year. Without further ado, here is a roll call of my reviews from 2016!

January 2016:

I started 2016 with my review of The Ruby of Helios by Scott Larson. This book is the 3rd installment of the Scepter series. If you are looking for a good fantasy series, check out this one!

Reflections Ruby of Helios Cover

I discovered many new authors last year. One of my favorites was Tamie Dearen. I read the first book of her Alora YA fantasy series aptly titled Alora: The Wander – Jewel and gave it 5 stars!

Reflections Alora Cover

Iron Mike by Patricia Rose rounded out my January 2016 reads. Aliens and the dystopian aftermath of an invasion of Earth entertained me!

Reflections Iron Mike

 

February 2016:

My February reviews kicked off with a cool YA fantasy from L. R. W. Lee called Blast of the Dragon’s Fury. Book 1 of the Andy Smithson series, it was a blast to read!

Reflections Blast of the Dragon's Fury Cover

Tacenda by Christine Vann was the next February read. A sci-fi novel with a unique set of characters made this an interesting read.

Reflections Tacenda Cover

February’s last book was Blott (The Canvas Chronicles Book 1) by Daniel Parsons. I thought the concept of this novel was brilliant and enjoyed the read immensely!

Reflections Blott Cover

 

March 2016:

I was happy to read a short prequel to Doug J. Cooper’s Crystal Series as my first book in March. I read the first 2 books of the series in 2015, and Crystal Horizon gave me more background on the characters. Give this series a try if you like sci-fi!

Reflections Crystal Horizons Cover

Switching reading gears, I picked up the second book in Terry Maggert’s Halfway Witchy series. Book 2 is Halfway Bitten and was a wholly satisfying read!

Reflections Halfway Bitten Cover

 

April 2016: 

April found me reading outside my normal fantasy genre starting with Lorrie Farrelly’s DangerousWhile romance novels aren’t my thing, this book is a Reader’s Favorite selection, so give it a try!

Reflections Dangerous Cover

I moved to another genre to wrap up April. This time, a thriller by Bill Ward finished out a month. Deception (Powell Book 3) was a good read. My only regret was that I didn’t start with Book 1 so I had a better feel for the characters!

Reflections Deception Cover

 

May 2016:

Greek mythology inspired my first May read. Author C B Pratt created Eno the Thracian as a Hero for Hire and The Stone Gods  is the second book in the series. I completely enjoyed Eno’s second adventure and look forward to reading more!

Reflections The Stone Gods Cover

I wandered back to the fantasy genre and was pleased to be able to finish David Wind’s amazing series Tales of Nevaeh. The third and final book is Trinity: The Battle for Nevaeh. As with the first two, it didn’t disappoint! Read this one if fantasy is your thing!

Reflections Trinity Cover

My fantasy reading continued with the second book of Laura DeBruce’s YA fantasy series The Quicksilver Legacy. The Temple of Paris was a good read and I’ll be reading the next installment!

Reflections The Temple of Paris Cover

 

June 2016:

Paranormal romance isn’t normally my thing, but Jada Ryker’s Carr-Maah Consulting Agency series seemed like a good place to give the genre a try. Dog Days of Karma was a pleasant surprise!

Reflections Dog Days of Karma Cover

I returned to fantasy for Andi O’Connor’s SilevethielAn excellent start for The Vaelinel Trilogy!

Reflections Silevethiel Cover

Readers of this blog know I have a thing for mysterious things and conspiracy theories. I think Bigfoot falls into the category and I also read my first Bigfoot-inspired novel in June. Revived (Snoqualmie Valley Sasquatch Book 1) by J. M. Northup was an interesting read and one that I recommend to Bigfoot (or Sasquatch, if you prefer) enthusiasts!

Reflections Revived Cover

 

July 2016:

July brought another first for me – English cozy mysteries. Point of No Return by Diana J. Febry was my first read in the genre. While not my favorite genre, it was nice to branch out and explore something new.

Reflections Point of No Return Cover

Though I read mostly Indie authors now, occasionally I return to the traditionally published authors I’ve read for years. In June 2016, I attended a Brad Thor book signing and picked up Foreign Agent. Brad Thor’s event was excellent and he is a nice guy. The book was great, too!

Reflections Brad Thor Foreign Agent Cover

 

August 2016:

The second book of the Ben Whittle series started August for me. Eyes of the Accused by Mark Tilbury continues the excellent (though dark) thriller mysteries!

Reflections Eyes of the Accused Cover

Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past got me back to the fantasy genre. Written by Paul Cude, this engaging start to the Bentwhistle the Dragon series was a fun and refreshing read!

Reflections Bentwhistle Cover

I stayed in the fantasy genre for my next read. Mary Anne Yarde’s The Du Lac Chronicles follows Lancelot Du Lac’s descendants and their battles. Good stuff!

Reflections The Du Lac Chronicles Cover

In yet another first, I reviewed a non-fiction book. Written by Daniel Parsons (remember my Blott review above), #Art of Twitter provides valuable insights into using Twitter to grow your author (or other creative) platform and meaningfully connect with others on social media.

Reflections #Art of Twitter Cover

 

September 2016:

Jada Ryker made my TBR list for September with the second Carr – Maah Consulting Agency book Equi Knocks of Karma. As with the first book, this was a fun read!

Reflections Equi Knocks of Karma Cover

Gordon Brewer’s Shield of Skool was my final September book. An old school (no pun intended) fantasy that is a good start to the Clovel Sword Chronicles, give this one a try if fantasy is your genre!

Reflections Shield of Skool cover

 

October 2016:

Artifact by K. T. Bowes was a different book for me. Again a romance, but with distinct New Zealand and English roots. Different, but an excellent story!

Reflections Artifact Cover

I’ve read a few of Jada Ryker’s books and when I found out her novel Take the Body and Run was a candidate for the Kindle Scout Program, I wanted to read it and cast my vote! As with her other books, I completely enjoyed the story!

Reflections Take the Body and Run Cover

November 2016:

To start November, I went back to the fantasy world and read Vanna Smyth’s Protector (Anniversary of the Veil Book 1). Another good start to a series I will continue!

Reflections Protector Coer

Doug Cooper released the 4th book of his Crystal Series and it went straight to the TBR list. Crystal Rebellion was an excellent continuation of the story!

Reflections crystal rebellion cover

 

December 2016:

December was a busy month, but I managed to get a few reviews in to end the year. I started with Suzanne Burke’s Acts Beyond Redemption. A disturbing dark thriller filled with twists and turns, it held my attention for sure!

Reflections Acts Beyond Redemption Cover

A friend challenged me to once again read outside my favorite genre. Challenge accepted and I read Lorrie Farrelly’s action romance The Guardian’s Angel. As with Lorrie’s other books, this one was an entertaining read!

Reflections The Guardian's Angel Cover

The third book of Terry Maggert’s Halfway Witchy series caught my eye and I wasn’t disappointed. Halfway Hunted was a wonderful addition to the collection!

Reflections Halfway Hunted Cover

My last review for 2016 was Dragon Dreams (The Chronicles of Shadow and Light Book 1) by Dusty Lynn Holloway. Dragons, elves, and the fate of the world makes this the start of a good series I will continue to read!

So, there you have it. Reflections – my reviews for 2016. Despite not reading as much as 2015, I will strive to do better this year. Join me and review the books you read. The reviews don’t have to be long involved analyses. Simply saying things like “I enjoyed this book and recommend it to others” is sufficient. I know I enjoy discovering what readers think of my work and I do my best to return the favor to other authors!

Connect with me:

Do you have recommendations for me to add to my TBR list? If so, leave them in a comment, or send them to me in email at bill@williamlstuart.com. You can also connect with me on the socials and tell me there. I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe to the blog!

Happy New Year and happy reading!

 

 

 

 

 

Book Marketing Update – New Sites I have Discovered!

I wanted to provide a book marketing update on some new sites (at least new to me) that I have discovered and how things are going on the marketing front. I hope some of this will be helpful to you, too!

The first new site I want to talk about is YA Books Central. I found the site through a tweet that showed up in my feed. Since The Gemstone Chronicles is written for middle grade/YA and up, I decided to check it out to see if I could reach more of my target audience (not that I mind getting reviews from adults). I was impressed by what I found. Here are some interesting things I found out about the site:

  • The site has a ton of books and it has a separate place for Indie books. It makes it easier to find works by Indie authors
  • @yabookscentral has over 33K followers on Twitter
  • The site does offer reviews for traditionally published authors, and may review Indie books on occasion
  • YABC on Facebook has over 14000 likes
  • YABC is on Tumblr, too!
  • Once you submit your book and it is approved (it cost me $3.99 to list my book), it is listed on the site with a cover photo and a link for sales. In the 3 days (as of April 3) since I posted my book, I have had over 50 views of the book.
  • They also have a separate page for Kid’s books

Update! All four of The Gemstone Chronicles are now on YABC! In fact, Book One: The Carnelian is HOT on the site.

If you are a YA or Kids author, this might be a great place to list your book! To give you an idea of what the site looks like, here is a link to my book: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yaindie/17879-the-carnelian-the-gemstone-chronicles-series-1

IndieBRAG: I found this site after seeing a fellow author’s BRAG medallion. BRAG stands for Book Readers Appreciation Group and they will award a BRAG Medallion for books that have passed the rigorous standards for their reviews. Here are some facts about IndieBRAG:

  • IndieBRAG is not a free site to submit a book. It costs $20 for a book to be considered for a review. Since I made a little money from the Augusta Literary Festival, I decided I would submit. We will see what happens!
  • IndieBRAG has over 9400 Facebook Likes
  • IndieBRAG has over 5300 Twitter followers

Update! I did submit my book to the site and guess what – The Carnelian was awarded a BRAG Medallion!

THE-GEMSTONE-CHRONICLES-BRAG-for-Web 1

The last new place I want to tell you about is Cold Coffee Cafe. I stumbled across this site on Twitter. It’s a free site for authors to join and list their books and trailers. I signed up and haven’t finished setting everything up yet, but I do have The Carnelian listed and its trailer is linked there, too. More information on Cold Coffee Cafe:

  • Just over 600 Twitter followers
  • Just over 650 likes on Facebook
  • Offers promotional packages

My page link at Cold Coffee Cafe is: http://coldcoffeecafe.com/profile/WilliamlStuart

As far as my marketing efforts are concerned, things have picked up since I have been implementing my own marketing plan. I continue to refine my strategy and, once I stumble on the key(s) to successful (and low-cost) book marketing strategies, I will share!

In conclusion, here is my Book Marketing update! I don’t know how well any of these might work within your advertising and promotional budget and strategy, but give them a look!

Connect with me:

If you want to connect with me, I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, or send me an email at bill@williamlstuart.com. Feel free to connect!!