Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We Have Moved!


In Rivershore's quest to continually improve, we have moved our blog and website to Wordpress. Please continue following us at blog.rivershorebooks.com.

Thank you!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The King’s Scrolls Cover Reveal

Today we're delighted to be a part of the cover reveal of the soon-to-be released book, The King's Scrolls (Ilyon Chronicles - Book Two). Look for it in early 2015!



About the Book


Following the harrowing events that brought them to Landale Forest, Jace and Kyrin have settled comfortably into their new lives and the mission of protecting those under the emperor’s persecution. The fast approach of winter brings with it the anticipation of a quiet few months ahead. That is until the arrival of four mysterious, dragon-riding cretes who seek aid in a mission of great importance—not only to their own people, but to all followers of Elôm.

Hidden in the vast mining valley north of Valcré, a faithful crete has spent years sharing his knowledge with the destitute miners and their families and is known to possess what may be Arcacia’s last surviving copies of the King’s Scrolls—the Word of Elôm. Joining the cretes, those in Landale must find the crete teacher and bring him to safety, but it is a race against time. Should Daican’s men find him first, execution and the destruction of the Scrolls is certain.

When disaster strikes, all seems lost. Could Elôm have a plan even in the enemy’s triumph?


About the Author


Jaye L. Knight is a homeschool graduated indie author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean new adult fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.


Giveaway

To celebrate her revealing of the cover, Jaye is giving away one of her handcrafted quill pen necklaces and a $5 Amazon gift card! Enter for a chance to win using the form below! U.S. entries only please.



Excerpt

The other younger crete took a swig of his coffee and set his eyes past her. Kyrin peeked over her shoulder at Kaden who, of course, was staring at the dragon. The female creature stared back in mutual interest.

“Go ahead,” the crete said suddenly. “You can touch her. She loves attention, and she’ll only attack if I tell her to.” A sly glint sparkled in his spring-green eyes.

Besides Jace, Kyrin had never seen anyone with such bright and colorful eyes as these cretes.

Kaden looked at him, his brows rising. “You can do that?”

The crete nodded. “Dragons are highly intelligent. You can teach them almost any command. Storm here is young, but she learns fast.”

Kyrin smiled at the delight in her brother’s eyes as he stepped closer to the dragon and ran his hand over her bluish-gray neck scales. A grin split his face.

“She’s so smooth. Kyrin, come and feel it.”

Kyrin stepped to his side and laid her hand on the dragon. The scales were indeed very smooth, reminding her of the polished marble stair-railings in Auréa Palace, but they weren’t cold. Warmth radiated through them. The dragon, still watching them, let out a little rumble, almost like a giant cat’s purr.

“I told you she liked attention,” the crete said, grinning.

Kyrin chuckled and glanced at Jace to see if he wanted to touch the dragon, but he made no move to come closer. This certainly had more to do with the crete than the dragon. He was very fond of any type of animal. She faced the crete again.

“So they can breathe fire?”

“For short bursts, but that’s usually all it takes to deter any threat.”

“That’s incredible,” Kaden breathed.

While he continued admiring Storm, Kyrin observed the dragon’s rider. He appeared to be in his early to mid-twenties—about ten years younger than Captain Darq—though his exact age was impossible to guess. Cretes were said to mature faster than humans, so he could be anywhere from seventeen to twenty-five. He too wore a sleeveless jerkin. Brown tattoos, a little darker than his skin, marked both shoulders. Darq and the other cretes had them as well, but Kyrin hadn’t taken a good look at them until now. This man’s were a complicated pattern of spirals and dots, but the shape of a fox stood out in the center of his right shoulder.

Though she tried to be discreet, he must have caught her studying him and suddenly extended his hand to her. “I’m Talas, by the way. Talas Folkan of the Fox Clan.”

To see the other blogs participating and to visit the author's blog, click here.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Book Review: Made in the USA by Alisa Jordheim




Trafficking is a difficult subject to address. How do you find the balance of showing enough but not too much—of describing the violence without being gratuitous? Made in the USA does exactly that.

The passion of Jordheim and those who helped create the book is evident. The sections each give facts and figures, backed by research and quotes. Each of the five stories presented shows a different side of trafficking. Every mention of a victim or survivor is filled with respect and love.

And all of it is heartbreaking. I recommend keeping a box of tissues beside you as you read. I had to take breaks between each story.

The facts are explained well, the quotes from those working to stop trafficking, those involved in it, and those used by it help give it a personal feel, and the five main stories bring it to life. It’s not something I want to think about or imagine, but it’s happening. Because of that, this book is so important and needed.

The stories are graphic. The violence isn’t sugar-coated, but it’s also not gratuitous. Some of the more explicit content is heavily implied but not shown—it’s very well done. By the end of each section, after all the facts, stories, and quotes, the reader is left with both a strong sense of injustice and a feeling of hope for the future. These girls and boys got away. Others can, too.

This is a cause I’ve cared about for many years, since I first learned it was happening. I knew there was trafficking in America, but this book showed how prevalent it actually is. It gave me a renewed desire to help. As someone who wanted to get involved but didn’t know how, I appreciate the list of resources at the end of the book.

This is an excellent book, a difficult read, and it includes stories that need to be heard. Jordheim is helping bright to light a subject that has been too much in the dark.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.

Want to learn more?

Justice Society - Alisa Jordheim's anti-trafficking organization

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A New Resource

The website itself may not be new, but it's new to me. Maybe it's new to you, too!

I'm always on the lookout for quality artwork and fonts to use on covers and in book layouts. That's exactly what Creative Market offers. They have fonts, photos, graphics, templates, illustrations, fonts, web themes, and Photoshop add-ons (brushes, actions, layer styles, &c.).

The prices are reasonable, and the use license is generous - the purchase of one license gives you (but only you, of course) access to the item for as many commercial or personal projects as you'd like.


Here are some products I've been eyeing...




By the way, I should tell you I enjoyed the site so much that I signed up as a partner - all links included here and in future posts are affiliate.

Enjoy!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Review: If One Falls

If One Falls by Elaine H. Baldwin


One of my favorite parts of the book is the way Esa and Wynn's friendship develops and grows slowly throughout the book. There was never a jarring point of “now we’re friends” as there sometimes is in stories like this. Rather, as they realized they were friends, so did the reader. It happened bit by bit – as it would in real life. The author did this beautifully.

The evil characters throughout the book are clearly bad - all bad. There seemed to be something missing, for me. In my experience, people are complex. I didn’t see the motivation behind their actions. Maybe that’s something book two will dive into more, but I was hoping for some insight within book one.

The character development of both Esa and Wynn is excellent. They both grow realistically throughout the book. It was interesting to see their ways of speaking (mainly using contractions or not) change as they entered different circumstances, too. 

As a small note, I love Pax!

Some of the secondary characters were more 2D than they could be. With the main story told from Esa and Wynn’s perspectives, that’s natural, but I did feel their characters could have been developed more. By the end of the book I knew a lot about Wynn and Esa, but very little about many other characters.

I really enjoyed the periodic reveals of characters' pasts (particularly Wynn’s) and the slow disclosing of magical elements throughout the story. 

The grammar could use another pair of eyes. In addition, the use of diction within dialog was sometimes distracting. I’m not opposed to making dialog unique like this – in fact, it’s often a very good thing – but sometimes it felt like too much. A distinctive phrase here and there goes a long way.

The ending, while it does lead into book two, felt anticlimactic to me. I was left with a feeling of “wait, what?” It seemed a little rushed, especially since the rest of the book progressed steadily (not too slow, but savoring in the right moments). There is also a point (I’m being vague here in an effort to avoid spoilers) where I had to blink and reread, and I still wasn’t sure I believed it.

The sadder parts in the book were written well. I really felt for the characters as they dealt with what sometimes seemed like struggle after struggle. The emotions they feel are universal, and I appreciate the way the author handled them.

If One Falls has a lot of potential. The plot is one I haven’t seen done often, and I appreciate the focus on friendship, rather than romance. The book could use another round of edits, though, and the ending could come to a more satisfying close.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Rivershore's overall winner, Lydia F.!

She is the winner of 30% off any Rivershore service (or 5% off one, 10% off another, and 15% off a third), $30 in gift cards, and all five of Jansina's ebooks (plus a bonus surprise)!

Here are her winning entries:




Thank you to everyone who participated in and shared about the giveaway!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Giveaway: Two Days Left!

Two days left to enter the Book Lovers' Giveaways!

Many entries can be done with a simple Twitter, Facebook, blog, or Pinterest post. I finished this entire post (worth 12 entries!) in just a little over an hour.

Even better? One person could win all three giveaways - a combined total of 30% off, $30 in gift cards, and all five of my ebooks (plus a sneak peek at my WIP, since I don't have a sixth book to give)!


The more you do, the better chance you have of winning, but even just one entry could get you a prize (that's the beauty of raffles).

Medium

3. Write to an author whose books you enjoy: I wrote to Kathryn Elizabeth Jones, author of Conquering your Goliaths (among others), to let her know how much I enjoyed her audiobook.

4. Write a book review: I reviewed Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke.


5. Check out an indie author whose books you haven't read yet: I got an ebook version of David Bergsland's newest, Designing ePUBs With InDesign.

6. Organize your bookshelf.
My newly-organized (little) shelf of books:


Expert

1. Create a new cover for a book you love. I picked Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.


2. Paint a scene from a book. Anne's unpleasant hair-dying experience from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. "She said it would be a beautiful, raven black!"

(I'm not an artist, so I "cheated" with Photoshop and stock photos. Feel free to do the same!)

Original artwork by Morgan LaRue

3. Rewrite a famous book scene: Lucy discovering Narnia in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
Lucy stepped into the cold, wishing she had thought to bring her coat. But how would I have known? I certainly didn't expect it to be winter here when I was just playing in the warm sun! The door she'd gone through was the same one she had come out of an hour before, wasn't it?
Her curiosity grew as her eyes focused upon a man with furry legs. I would give my left shoe to have a snowsuit like his! Maybe he'd accept it, too, since he didn't seem to have any shoes of his own.
Are those...hooves?
4. Draw a character who interests you: Foehn from Toxic by Vicki V. Lucas.
(Again, I "cheated.")

(Yes, it's thilly.)

5. Create a "movie" poster based on a book: When It Rains by C.M. Stewart isn't yet released, but I've had a chance to get to know her characters and her writing style, and I know it will be wonderful!


6. Write a newspaper article about a book you loved or hated. Treat it like a news release.
Debut author makes a big splash! Monster by Mirriam Neal arrived in online stores everywhere on June 30th, 2013. Already a fan favorite with at least one award to its name, this is sure to be a classic. Get your copy today! Just $3.99 on the Kindle.
8. Are there any author signings happening in your area? On September 7th, there is a book signing for Nathan Johnson's book, Legendary Locals of Pine City. I hadn't heard of this book or author before, but I'm intrigued!

9. Act out a scene from your favorite book - on your own or with friends. I acted out a scene from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night when I was in England. Yes, this was years ago. It still counts! (The same goes for you, of course.)

(That's me on the far right, playing Viola.)

I have just two entries left! (Go on a book tour and create a fort with your books.) I can't promise they'll be done before the giveaways end, but they will be done soon!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Review: Reasons My Kid Is Crying


Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke


About a year ago, I came across Greg Pembroke's blog (Reasons My Kid Is Crying) and was hooked. For those who enjoy the blog, if you come to the book knowing it will be much of the same, it won't disappoint. It has many of the same images and reasons as on the blog. There still are some I hadn't seen - that could be because I don't regularly read the blog, or it could be because they're new. I also appreciated the "Reasons I'm Crying" sections, which have more amusings situations the author has found himself in.

The book is very short - I finished reading it in about a half hour - but it's also very fun. I'll read it again, and I'm looking forward to sharing it with friends.

For a paperback book, it's surprisingly good quality. The pages are glossy and feel like those in a magazine, though they would (like a magazine) be easily ripped.

There were a couple pages where the light background mixed with the white text and made it difficult to read. For the most part, that wasn't an issue, but I would have chosen a darker background or black text on those (pages 15, 107, and 134).

At the back of the book, there are blank picture frames with the intent to include your own photos and reasons. I like the idea behind them, but in practice I'm not sure it works. I haven't tried, but I imagine it would be difficult to attach a photo (double-sided tape, perhaps?) and find a pen that would write well on the glossy paper.

I'm not a parent, but I do spend time with kids whenever I can and I've seen a few meltdowns. The pictures and reasons in the book and on the blog are funny and accurate. This would make a great gift for a parent, aunt or uncle, or anyone who loves kids.

The ebook probably isn't worth the investment, since much of it can be found on the blog. The paperback version is nice to have, though, and will make a great conversation piece for my coffee table.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

To Learn More...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Book Review: Conquering Your Goliaths

Conquering Your Goliaths by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones


(This review is for the audiobook version.)

I definitely would listen to this book again, and I plan to. The story had so many Truths in it, and I would love to sit down with a notebook and just soak them all in.

The scene that sticks out to me most is when the trust stone started to sink into Virginia's couch. It paints such a clear picture of the effect doubt can have. There are similar metaphors throughout the book. None of them felt too obvious or forced, but the meanings were clear.

I loved the part when Virginia met with God and began to wonder why she never saw anyone else there. His response was that He always would have time for his children, no matter when, and no matter how many of them needed Him at once. He'll always be there to listen to us, and that scene was an almost tangible reminder of that fact.

A close second favorite scene is when God asked Virginia how she feels about being single. As someone in a very similar situation, I appreciated her response and His answer. It really is all about trust.

There was a good mixture of happy, sad, and tender moments. There were parts that made me giggle and parts that made me wish I could give the characters a hug. I didn't have any extreme reactions, but the entire book was calming and gave me a sense of peace.

The narrator was an excellent choice for this book. It was almost always clear who was speaking, just based on her tone, and she captured the characters' emotions perfectly.

When the book first began, I didn't relate much to Virginia. I'm not too interested in makeup, I love my job, and I tend to look at life positively. As the book progressed, however, her character grew and I began to see the similarities in our lives. Some of the things she deals with, I deal with now or I have in the past (and likely will again). By the end of the book, I loved her.

This was a great book, easy to listen to, and I would definitely recommend it.

I was given an audiobook copy of this book for this unbiased review.

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Easy #4, plus Medium #1 and 2

Easy

4. My modern-day version of Edith Adelon from The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott. (If you haven't read that book, I highly recommend it! It's very sweet.)

Created with http://www.dolldivine.com/mega-winter-fashion.php


Medium


1. I requested Monster by Mirriam Neal at my local library.


2. Favorite book characters...and why:

  • Mr. Tilney (Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen)
    • He reads novels, is witty, and is altogether charming. What's not to like?
  • Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery)
    • She's so unpredictably quirky and fun! The scrapes she gets into are humorous but filled with real emotion. Plus, she loves books.
  • Foehn (Toxic by Vicki V. Lucas)
    • Such a sweet, flawed-but-trying character. I just love him!
  • Freckles (Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter)
    • He's hard working and honest, and I can't think of two better traits. Could be considered too perfect, but it's never bothered me. (I've read Freckles multiple times.)
  • Klaus (A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket)
    • What reader doesn't relate to an avid book lover like Klaus? I also love the relationship he has with his siblings and the way they combine their strengths to work together.
  • Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)
    • I love how spunky she is! She's also very realistic and her growth as a character is clear.
  • Edith Adelon (The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott)
    • She's almost too perfect, but her sweet nature and kindness to everyone around her - especially considering her circumstances - won me over.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Launch: Raising Little Kids with Big Love

This isn't one of Rivershore's books, but it looks like a good one!


Are you the parent or grandparent of a toddler to 9 year old? If so, hop over to Amazon and order Raising Little Kids with Big Love. You will discover how to bring the 15 LOVE attributes (found in 1 Corinthians 13) to life in your parenting and in your family. Practical and easily applicable strategies that work are generously shared throughout the book.



Lori Wildenberg & Becky Danielson are the founders of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting; a team of family, faith, and education experts. They are the authors of three parenting books including Raising Little Kids with Big Love and the soon to be released, Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love. Their warmth, realistic approach, and expertise make these moms and licensed parent-family educators favorite speakers at parenting events. The Wildenbergs reside in Colorado. Minnesota is home to the Danielsons. For more information go to www.1Corinthians13Parenting.com.


My #3

A book I own but haven't read yet: All the Wrong Questions, book 1 by Lemony Snicket.
#rivershorebooks
http://www.rivershorebooks.com/book-lovers-day-drawing.html

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My #2

Just two weeks left to enter the Rivershore drawing!http://www.rivershorebooks.com/book-lovers-day-drawing.html
My #2: I'm reading To Kill a Mockingbird. It's so good!#rivershorebooks

Friday, August 15, 2014

Book Review: The Fit Bottomed Girls' Anti-Diet

The Fit Bottomed Girls' Anti-Diet by Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead



The Fit Bottomed Girls' Anti-Diet was just the motivation boost I needed to get back on track.


Since I want my change to be a lasting one (and who doesn't?) I knew the change needed to be mental just as much as physical. And I know, about myself, completely removing food items doesn't work. I crave them more. 

With that in mind, I appreciate the book's "nothing is off limits" approach. They allow junk food—in moderation. They encourage exercise—but not so much that you’ll feel overwhelmed. The same is true with their view of healthy foods: eat what your body needs, and know when to stop. That's nothing new for me, but it's great to see it reaffirmed.

I especially appreciated the practical tips, both throughout the book and at the end of each chapter. There are exercise routines, motivation and attitude-changing suggestions, and healthy recipes, to name a few. 

There were a couple things in the book that bothered me. The main issue I saw was the blocks of information. Often, where they were placed would interrupt a paragraph or even a sentence. The reader has to choose whether to skip the info box, let it interrupt the current paragraph and try to get back into it on the next page, or turn the page to finish reading the current section, then turn back to read the info box. Interrupting the flow of reading is never a good thing. 

A much, much smaller issue was the grammar. There were tiny grammatical mistakes (missing or extra commas, strange wording, &c.) throughout the book. They may have been author choices, or they may have been missed during proofing. As an editor, they stuck out to me, but I doubt they would to most readers. 

While it didn’t seem like either author had been overweight (so it wasn’t easy to relate to them on that level), they did bring in personal stories to help give readers a better picture of who they are and what emotions we all share.

Overall, this is a good book with practical thoughts and motivational insight. It never felt judgmental or forceful, and I appreciate the gentle tone throughout. It seemed as if the authors truly want to help others succeed in their goals—whatever those goals may be. (It’s not all about weight loss!)

To learn more...

Read the press release
"Like" on Facebook and "follow" on Twitter
Find more info (and buy, if you'd like to)

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book Review: Ransomed




This is one of the most beautiful books I've seen or read. I fell instantly in love with the illustrations throughout. The detail in them is incredible even in black and white, and they fit the story so well.

But what really makes Ransomed a treasure is the story itself. This short book captures real, true love like only a few others (with more words) have managed to. It isn't a sappy story. Coming from a Christian (so take that as you will), I don't feel it's a preachy story. It's a gentle and honest story of betrayal, pain, hatred, hope, sadness, and love.

The language is poetic, the allegory is subtly clear, and the message is lasting. I've already recommended this to friends, and plan to keep it as a "coffee table book" to pique the curiosity of even more.


Unlike most books I review, I bought a (signed) copy on my own.

Monday, August 11, 2014

My #1...

Because I would rarely ask others to do something I'm unwilling to do myself, I will be participating in the list of 20 things to do on Book Lovers' Day (or...any day). I hope you'll join me!
Today I'm reading "If One Falls" by Elaine Baldwin and drinking - what else? - coffee. What about you?
#rivershorebooks
http://www.rivershorebooks.com/book-lovers-day-drawing.html

Saturday, August 9, 2014

20 Ways to Celebrate Book Lovers' Day (Bonus: A Giveaway!)

Today (August 9th) is Book Lovers' Day!

To celebrate, Rivershore Books is holding three drawings! Entries close on August 31st.

The following 20 ways to spend Book Lovers' Day have been divided by difficulty. The higher the difficulty, the bigger the prize!



Easy To Do
  1. Curl up with a book and your favorite drink.
  2. Reread your favorite classic. (My choice: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.)
  3. Find a book you own but haven't read yet.
  4. Using www.dolldivine.com or something similar, create a "doll" of your favorite character - or ten!



Medium Difficulty
  1. Visit the library. Put in a request for a book they haven't heard of. (See suggestions in #5 if you're not sure what to recommend.)
  2. Make a list of your favorite book characters and what you like about them.
  3. Write to an author whose books you enjoy. Most author's emails can be found by a simple web search, and fan mail is always appreciated.
  4. Write a book review. They are valuable to both readers and authors!
  5. Check out an indie author whose books you haven't read yet. (Not sure who to read? Mirriam Neal, Vicki V. Lucas, LA Ramsey, Elizabeth Ender, and any of our Rivershore authors are great!)
  6. Organize your bookshelf (or, if you're like me, bookshelves).



Expert Book Lover
  1. Create a new cover for a book you love. (Don't have Photoshop? Gimp is free and works very well.)
  2. Paint a scene from a book.
  3. Rewrite a famous book scene.
  4. Draw a character who interests you.
  5. Create a "movie" poster based on a book.
  6. Write a newspaper article about a book you loved or hated. Treat it like a news release. ("Extra; extra! Read all about it! Reader enjoyed new novel by an up-and-coming author!")
  7. Go on a book tour. There are iconic scenes in almost any book: recreate those in your area. Double the fun: Film it! Send your video to me (Jansina@rivershorebooks.com) and I may post it on here in the future.
  8. Are there any author signings happening in your area? Find one to go to - whether you've heard of the author or not. It could be how you discover your next favorite read!
  9. Act out a scene from your favorite book - on your own or with friends.
  10. Create a fort with your books. (Suggestion: Use a sheet as a roof to avoid books falling on you.)



Important But Boring Info 

To enter: On Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest (your choice!), post a photo, video, or description of what you did with #rivershorebooks or www.rivershorebooks.com somewhere within the post.*

Copy the URL of your post, and enter it in the corresponding Rafflecopter giveaway!

Winners will be announced on September 1st! Some entries may be included on this blog throughout the month. Please email me (Jansina@rivershorebooks.com) if you don't want yours shared.

*Not applicable for book reviews.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Book Review: Mom's Little Black Book


http://www.amazon.com/Moms-Little-Black-Book-Graduate/dp/099168334X


The story behind this book is so sweet: the author created it as a gift for her graduating senior. I know I would have appreciated a book like this when I was graduating.

Some of the advice came across as preachy, but it would have been hard to avoid that within this format. It doesn't take away from the Truth behind it. I especially appreciate how the author has taken advice directly from the Bible and constantly guides the reader back to that.

I read the ebook version, and while that format didn't lessen the value of the content, I would opt for the paperback version if I were buying it as a gift. This is the perfect flip-through, coffee table book. It's not designed to be read in one sitting. It works to read it from start to finish, but it can also be read out of order, reread, bookmarked, and highlighted.

There is so much excellent advice packed into this little book - from practical advice about doing laundry to spiritual wisdom - any young adult just venturing out on their own can benefit from it.

I was given a copy of the book in exchange for this unbiased review.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review: Toxic



I was given an ebook copy of Toxic for this review. As I neared the end, I asked the author if I could buy signed copies of both this book and its sequel. I have a small collection of signed books and knew this was a set I wanted to add to it.

One of the main things that drew me into the story was the way Lucas introduces the characters. Foehn is a special favorite of mine - I love how the author gave a personality to something normally not seen as sentient.

The main characters are both flawed and virtuous, brave and deceptive, naïve and wise. There is the perfect balance of "good" and "bad" traits, which makes the characters easy to relate to and realistic. (Realistic is my goal as a writer, so that's the highest compliment I know how to give.)

There is less of a balance when it comes to the evil characters - I can't think of many redeeming qualities in them. This works well within the story, though. There is a firm distinction between good and evil; no gray areas. I appreciated this aspect.

That isn't to say that it's always clear who the evil characters are. In some cases, things are revealed to the reader around the same time they're revealed to the characters. More than once I found myself questioning the true motives behind the character's actions and wondering if my first assumptions were incorrect. This was brilliantly done.

The good vs. evil also comes through in the author's use of magic within the story. I'm one of those readers who sometimes objects to magic in a story, but Lucas portrayed it well and made it very clear who the magic was coming from.

The narrative jumps in and out of several different characters' perspectives, which could be confusing if it wasn't handled as well as it is. Between the picture before each switch in narrator (a different picture for each character) and the unique "voice" of each character, it was always clear whose perspective was being shown. Seeing the situations through different eyes added a deeper understanding to the story.

The book is long - over 400 pages - but it never felt like too much. The plot kept me interested till the end, and beyond. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, Rancid, and I'm sure will read this book again.

I was given a copy of the book in exchange for this unbiased review.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Book Review: Spoken For



The word that comes to mind to describe this book is "beautiful." It's like a warm hug. There was nothing in Spoken For that I hadn't heard before; there was nothing I didn't already believe. The way it was presented wasn't overwhelmingly unique.

But it was needed. It was an expression of God's love and of His promises, and it was...beautiful.

One thing that bothered me was that pronouns about God weren't capitalized throughout the book. Of course, it's proper not to capitalize them (so the authors did this correctly), I just prefer it when they are. It shows respect. Note: This probably wouldn't have bothered me nearly as much if they weren't capitalized on the back cover - making it inconsistent.

The personal stories from both Alyssa and Robin - of both difficult times and joyful times - add a lot to the book. They serve as reminders that God really does do what He says He will, even when it seems bleak. The stories also make it seem like the authors are having genuine conversations with you, the reader, and they add a tenderness and a genuineness to the narrative.

Spoken For is a wonderful book for teens and young adults. There were only a couple places where it felt preachy. For books in this genre it can be difficult to avoid that, so I was glad to see the majority of the book was more of a gentle reminder than a heavy-handed teaching.

 I will read this book again, and I have already started recommending it to others.

Want to learn more about Spoken For? Consider visiting some of these sites:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blog Tour: A Year in Prayer With Jesus by Marilynn Dawson

A Year in Prayer With Jesus is not one of Rivershore's books, but we received a request to feature it and we are more than happy to!

Welcome to the second stop on Author Marilynn Dawson's virtual book tour for her soon-to-be-released book, “A Year in Prayer With Jesus.” Today we feature an excerpt from the introduction of her book:

The Sermon on the Mount. . . Matthew chapters 5 – 7, could be described as Christ's dissertation on how the one who follows Him will live and carry out their daily activities. While the Apostle Paul at that time was Saul the Pharisee, he would echo Christ's teachings quite decidedly in the years to come through his various letters to the churches across the region.

Included in Christ's dissertation that day, was a talk on how to pray. Prayer in the life of a Jew was very much part of everyday life. The more devout the Jew, the more they prayed. This was particularly true of the Pharisees who not only thought it important to pray, but important to be seen while doing so. Piety was deemed something to be flaunted, rather than hidden under the cloak of humility.

Fast forward 2000+ years into our time period, and we still have people and clergy thinking it necessary that everyone knows their piousness. The need for long public prayers eloquently spoken in loud, solemn voices is somehow evidence of that person's elevation above the common man and an indication of how he has God's attention. This behaviour can be seen anywhere from the pulpit to the prayer room. But does it truly show the piety of the person praying? Do they really have that much of an “in” with God?
If we take Christ's words at face value, the answer is NO!

Matthew 6:5-8 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

So if the wordy prayers are out, if we are not to pray in a manner that showcases our pride, and if God already knows what we need before we ask, then how exactly do we pray? What exactly, do we pray for? Both of these questions are given to us in the form of “The Lord's Prayer”.

Click this link here to get your fourth single day prayer guide outline.

http://songdove.fa-ct.com/stuff/YPWJ/YPWJ-day83.pdf

Be sure to stop by Marilynn's blog (http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusing) on June 30th for your next single day prayer guide free download. Be sure to sign up for her monthly newsletter for yet another free gift! Don't you just love FREE?

In addition to these free downloads, Marilynn is giving away a complete one-month sample of her next book via the rafflecopter app below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Book Review: The Word Changers




The description of the story had me intrigued; the first chapter had me hooked. Posy finds herself drawn into a book - literally. For a book lover like myself, this is the perfect plot.

Following that, throughout the book there are references to words, pages, margins, and other book-related terms. The word play around these is delightful. The author has a writing style that is creative and flows naturally. It never felt either too simple or too complex. 

There were very a few grammar mistakes in the book, but they were minimal (i.e., "Oh." The king said. It should be "Oh," the king said.) As an editor, I'm nit-picky, but they didn't trip me up as I was reading and there were only a few instances. (I actually debated mentioning them here - especially since, as I was given a pre-release copy, they may have been caught and fixed already.)

For the most part, the characters are unique and believable. Posy has a mixture of faults and positive traits, and felt easiest to relate to. Our situations may not be the same, but the feelings behind them are. The other characters are a mixture of believable and slightly flat (meaning, mainly good traits or mainly bad traits). There weren't any that stuck out to me as a problem, but some that could have been fleshed out much more. The way the story is written, though - mainly from Posy's perspective - there wasn't much chance of that and the author did a good job with the characters that were shown more. I did feel the change in Kyran was a little too abrupt, however it worked within the plot.

The romance was sweet, but I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it. I'm a hopeful romantic, so it definitely didn't bother me - aside from their ages. (Okay, as older teens, romance is natural, but I prefer it when characters are older. Old fashioned? Perhaps.) Near the end it started to bother me for a different reason, but I won't say more to avoid spoilers.

The overall plot is imaginative and kept my interest. The story begins almost immediately, and it brings the reader right into it, in the same way Posy is brought into the book. There is adventure and pain, goodness and mercy, evil and joy.

Other reviewers have called this an allegory, and it is one. The similarities to Christianity came through clearly even at the beginning of the book, but especially as it nears the end. From the perspective of a Christian, it wasn't preachy or overdone, and it was great to see the Truths throughout the book. More than once, I had to stop and reread a sentence to truly take it in and commit it to memory. The wording is that beautiful.

There is magic throughout the book. Magic brought Posy to the story, and magic guides many things within it. Although I am sometimes against magic in books, it didn't bother me in this one. I think the reason it didn't is because it wasn't shown as a positive thing. It wasn't necessarily shown as a negative one, either; it was just there.

Ashlee Willis is a talented author and I look forward to her next books. Although this book wraps up naturally and works well as a standalone, I would love a sequel! 


I was given a copy of the book in exchange for this unbiased review.

Connect with the author:




Buy the book: 
(Available as an ebook now; in paperback tomorrow, June 23rd)



There's a Goodreads contest to win a signed copy of this awesome book - but it ends tomorrow, so hurry! Click here to enter.

Monday, June 16, 2014

"A Year in Prayer With Jesus" Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Next week, we are excited to participate in a blog tour for Marilynn Dawson's A Year in Prayer With Jesus. This is not one of Rivershore's books, but we're happy to be a part of the release.

As the tour continues, you'll have a chance to collect excerpts and PDFs of Dawson's book. Here's an overview of where the tour will be:

Week one - Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn's blog ( http://ow.ly/y8Dhz): June 17th - tour stop: June 19th - Pamela Rose Williams -http://christianityeveryday.com
Week Two - Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn's blog ( http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusings/): June 24th - tour stop: June 26th - Jansina Grossman - http://rivershorebooks.com

Week three - Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn's blog ( http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusings/): June 30th - tour stop: July 2nd - Jim Hughes - http://cthroughmarriage.blogspot.com/p/christian-authors-page

Week three - Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn's blog ( http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusings/): July 3rd - tour stop: July 5th - Lorilyn Roberts - http://LorilynRoberts.blogspot.com

Week four - Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn's blog ( http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusings/): July 9th - tour stop: July 12th - Margaret Armanious - http://www.ministryinwords.wordpress.com/

Week Five - Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn's blog ( http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusings/): July 14th - Tour stop: July 16th - Jansina Grossman - http://thilly-little-nothings.blogspot.com/

Week Five - Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn's blog ( http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusings/): July 17th - Tour stop: July 19th - Madeline Duffy - http://www.shaneflynn.com/blog

Week Six - Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn's blog ( http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusings/): July 20th - Tour stop: July 22nd - Rebekah Beene - http://rebekahbeene.wordpress.com

Week Six - Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn's blog ( http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusings/): July 23rd - Tour stop: July 24th - Amanda Taylor - http://www.soaringeaglepublicity.com/

Week seven - Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn's bog ( http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusings/): July 28th - Tour stop: July 30th - Jim Hughes - http://www.cthroughmarriage.blogspot.com

Week seven - Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn's bog ( http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusings/): July 31st - Tour stop: August 2nd - Jeannie Pallett - http://jeanniepallett.com

Week eight - Author/blogger feature over at Marilynn's bog ( http://songdove.fa-ct.com/wordpress-mu/songdovemusings/): August 5th - tour stop: August 8th - Jansina Grossman - http://blog.iandfmag.com/

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Publishing: How Long Does It Take?

(Note: This scenario assumes Rivershore is doing everything for your book. The actual timeline would be shorter if fewer services were needed.)


How long until my book is available?

Most authors I've worked with have asked me this question. The short answer: One to three months, depending what's needed. Now I have some follow-up questions.

You've written your book; it's the best version you can make it. 

Have you had it edited by someone else?

No.

All right. Editing takes me three weeks to a month. I'll give you some time to look through my edits and decide which you'd like to keep. 

Time lapsed: 1 month

Are you ready for formatting?

Yes.

It takes me one to two weeks to format. If you'd like special fonts, scene break designs, or specially formatted chapter titles, we'll take some time to discuss that and come up with pieces you love. (That usually takes about a week.)

When the formatting is done, I'll send you the file. If there are any changes, I'll take care of those for you.

Time lapsed: 2 months

Do you know what you want for a cover?

Yes.

It takes about a week for me to take the picture you're imagining and create the cover. I'll send it to you for feedback.

Time lapsed: 2 months, 1 week

Does everything look the way you'd like it to?

Yes.

Now I'll upload the book to CreateSpace (paperback), Lulu (hardcover), and/or the ebook distributors. It will be up to 5 days before the paperback is on Amazon; up to 3 days before the ebook versions are available. Hardcover will be available on Lulu immediately, but it takes another 2 months to appear on Amazon.

Total time lapsed: 2 months, 2 weeks

Are you ready to see your book in print? I'd love to talk to you about it. You're welcome to email me at Jansina@rivershorebooks.com

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Book Spotlight: Resistance

This book was not published by Rivershore, and we haven't read it (yet!). We recieved a request to spotlight the book for the author.

About the Book


“Don’t you know? Animals like you have no soul.”
Could God ever love a half-blood all of society looks upon with such fear and disdain? Jace once believed so, but when a tragic loss shatters the only peace he’s ever known, his faith crumbles as the nagging doubts he’s tried to put behind him descend on his grieving heart. With them come the haunting memories of the bloodstained past he longs to forget, but can never escape.

Taken from home at a young age and raised to serve the emperor, Kyrin Altair lives every day under a dangerous pretense of loyalty. After her unique observation skills and perfect memory place her into direct service to the emperor, Kyrin finds herself in further jeopardy as it becomes increasingly difficult to hide her belief in Elôm, the one true God.


Following the emperor’s declaration to enforce the worship of false gods under the penalty of death, many lives are endangered. But there are those willing to risk everything to take a stand and offer aid to the persecuted. With their lives traveling paths they never could have imagined, Jace and Kyrin must fight to overcome their own fears and conflicts with society as they become part of the resistance.

Available for purchase on Amazon May 20th!
View book extras at
www.ilyonchronicles.blogspot.com.

About the Author


JAYE L. KNIGHT is a 25-year-old independent author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean NA (New Adult) fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God's love shines as a light to offer hope.

Jaye is a homeschool graduate and has been penning stories since the age of eight. She was previously published as Molly Evangeline. You can learn about her latest writing projects at www.jayelknight.com.


Social Media Links




Book Giveaway!


Immerse yourself in the world of Ilyon! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win an autographed copy of Resistance (Book 1 in the “Ilyon Chronicles” series), a Resistance-inspired necklace crafted by the author (Jaye L. Knight), a Better Homes “Warm Rustic Woods” candle, and a wolf paw leather bookmark from Lodgepole Leathercraft. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.