Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

From Goodreads:
Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.


Some books just have it, and the Percy Jackson series is one of them.  I had a tremendous amount of fun reading this series.  Rick Riordan created a humorous and exciting set of stories.  I couldn't put the books down.  As soon as I finished one book, I grabbed the next one.  

I've seen a lot of reviews comparing it to Harry Potter, and for a good reason.  It takes an ancient theme (Greek mythology) and brings it into modern times, with modern characters and modern problems.  The entire series engrosses you into the modern world of the ancient Greek Gods.  Percy Jackson was the perfect hero for the series.  He was a little stubborn and spontaneous, which only added to his likability.  No hero can be absolutely perfect, and Percy was just the right mix of passion, adolescence, and wit.  

I loved many characters in the books, and hated the ones that I was supposed to.  It was surprising how much back-story there is in Greek mythology and how many different Gods and monsters they have.  It was fascinating to learn about the ancient civilization and their beliefs while enjoying a good adventure. 

Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Paperback: 1824 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
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Friday, May 25, 2012

The Gentle Let Down.

I feel like my book is pretty successful. I mean, I'm no Stephenie Meyer, and I doubt I ever will be. Let's be honest for a second: I don't want to be her. Even though there is a ton of Twilight Love (myself included), there is a whole stinkin' lot of Twilight hate! I wouldn't want to hear all that bad stuff about my work.

Moving on.

Even though I sell a few copies of The Gifted every month, both Kindle and paper copy, I feel like there is no where to go but up. Being published on Amazon gives me access to readers across the world! In fact, I got my first international payment today, and that felt pretty darn good.

Even though readers practically everywhere can get their metaphorical hands on The Gifted, I still feel like there is so much potential that I'm missing out on by not having my book in stores. Namely Deseret Book, Costco, Seagull Book, Border's, etc.

So, just print off some books and drop them off, right?


Most big name book stores get their inventory from a distributor. The distributor has a contract with the book store, they take care of inventory and pricing and whatever. It's easier that way for everyone.

I sent in my book to a distributor that a lot of authors had personally recommended. I felt like this was it. I didn't even bother shopping around because I just knew this company would read The Gifted and know I was their next best-seller.

After seven weeks of silence on their end, I finally broke the rule and called. You never call! But I called. I should have just known before I called that the answer would be no.

It was a polite no, but it was still a no. They tried to make me feel good about it, but the sting of rejection didn't care how "successful I am on my own."

Now I feel like I'm back to square one. It's OK. I'm just disappointed. I will be moving on though and trying to find a distributor. If I don't find one, I'll just keep writing and maybe someday someone will say, "Hey, this is pretty good. We ought to put this in our store."

Wouldn't that be the dream?

I keep reminding myself that I don't write to make money and become famous (though my neighbor says I'm a celebrity at their house). I write because I have stories that deserve to be told. Pin It

Friday, May 18, 2012

Review: Witch and Wizard by James Patterson

Witch and Wizard (Witch and Wizard, #1)

From Goodreads:

The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they'd never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents--and maybe the world?


I wanted to like this book, and to tell the truth, I almost did.  I read the sequel, "The Gift", and I attempted to read the one after that, "The Fire".  This book graces a list on Goodreads called "Books You Hate but Read Anyway."  That pretty much sums this series up for me.  By the time I got to the third book, I was just disappointed that I had sat on the library waiting list for 4 months.  It was really not worth the wait.  

The first book was okay.  The story was just getting started and so it was mildly entertaining and interesting.  I quickly got tired of the predictable action scenes where Whit and Wisty get caught in the cross-hairs of The One and manage to narrowly escape.  The main characters, bother and sister wizard and witch, don't seem to have much of an agenda.  They just run around as catastrophic things happen, all the while shouting sarcastic remarks at everyone.  

Teenagers have been given a stereotype of being edgy, cranky, and sarcastic.  This series took that stereotype to the extreme.  While most teenagers do harbor these characteristics, they tend to surface on occasion, not every minute of every day.  I got very tired of the continuously poor attempt of an author trying to connect with a much younger audience.

But by all means, if you have nothing else to do with your time, give this series a try.  You might love it.

On a side note, I absolutely love the covers for the entire series.  They make the books look much better than they are.

Reading Level: Ages 10 and up
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Holy ketchup. I mean catch-up.

Hey everyone!

First of all, my deepest apologies to anyone who still reads this blog. I've been wrapped up in life the last few weeks. We've had some tragedies in the family and in our neighborhood. Then I went out of town for a week. It's not like there wasn't internet way out in the middle of sunny Utah, but I just didn't feel like blogging while spending time with my awesome sister-in-laws. That's right. Us girls got together without our husbands. Now that's real sisterhood.

Now I'm back and I'm crackin' my knuckles, ready to get back to it.

We've had two giveaways end here on Deborah's Books.  All of the winners have been contacted and have responded. If you weren't contacted, you did not win. I'm sorry I didn't do a big announce post. I hope the winners enjoy their prizes. Don't forget to leave reviews on Goodreads or Amazon.

And there are a few of you out there who still haven't read The Gifted. Am I condemning you? No way! I'm just sayin' you might want to get on it. If you really think about it, I'm just looking out for you. I don't want your TBR pile to reach the ceiling, then topple over on you in your sleep. You might get a concussion and have to go to the ER. So I'm trying to keep you healthy. To make that goal a little easier to obtain:) , Amber at Jade Louise Designs is giving away THREE copies of The Gifted. A paperback copy and two Kindle versions. That makes this an international giveaway. Head over, check out her awesome review, and enter to win a copy of The Gifted.

In the mean time...has anyone else been sucked into the Pinterest vortex? I just barely clawed my way out, and I'm now down to spending about 15 minutes on Pinterest a day. That's saying something, considering part of the reason I haven't been around for the last month is because I got lost in there. Wow.

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