A Letter of Regret From Your Anxious and Depressed Friend

I’ve never read something that puts anxiety both so honestly and so candidly. This a beautiful read…

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Dear Friend,

I was not always this way.

I did not always hide away from the general public for months or weeks at a time. Once I was quite confident. I occasionally felt happy. I had a full time job and I could face customers with no concern. I would chat to people over the phone, make an effort to see friends, be interested in daily life. I could cope with negativity. Overcome it, even. I wouldn’t let anything bring me down because I had something inside me that made me keep going out there, into the world, facing it all.

But sometimes, Friend, things happen. Sometimes just one thing. Sometimes many things. The courage to face these things is strong at first, at least stronger than now. But depending on luck, or coincidence, or fate, or opportunity, eventually the voice of that courage for some people is quieter. Weaker…

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A new look for mylittlebookblog.com

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Good morning,

Just a quick post; it’s looking a little different here at mylittlebookblog. I’m testing out a new theme and working on some new design features and looks for my blog. I think after two years we needed a bit of a freshen up. The content isn’t going to change at all I assure you; still the same content heavy in-depth reviews, quirky quotes and lovely bookish images just a little different looks wise. If I doesn’t go down well we’ll be reverting back but I needed a change and I think mylittlebookblog did too. This is utterly terrifying, but comments as always would be wonderful

Lizzy

The time has come to put pen to paper

Afternoon readers,

Apologies for the lack of reviews recently, there are many scheduled in but I’ve been struggling to find as much time to read in the past week because, (deep breath) I’m finally starting to write a novel I’ve been thinking about and planning for the past year. Yes, I’m finally starting to put my dreams of becoming a published author into motion. I’ve been making up and telling stories as soon as I learnt how to babble away to myself and over the years I have collected notebooks full of ideas for stories and novels but actually putting pen to paper has been both terrifying and overwhelming. I’ve tried a number of times but always found a couple of thousand words in that I’m bored of the plot line, not sure what I’m doing and ultimately give in. I tend to keep my writing projects under wraps because I’m nervous to let people know and then have to admit it’s all failed, but this time I think there might be a real tale to tell.

In the past few days of properly planning and scripting out chapters and characters I’ve become so consumed that all I’ve done is write. Coming home from work and settling down I’ve written a number of chapters and for once they seem okay. A couple of months back I took part in Nanowrimo and it didn’t work for me. I felt pressured by the word limit being reset every single day, and the number just getting higher and higher as I got more and more frustrated. This hasn’t happened so far I’m pleased to say but we’re only a couple of days or so in, so we’ll have to see. I think this time it’s different because I know what I want to say, I know what I want the characters to convey and I think I know the story will ultimately end. I’ve planned for long enough and put it off for long enough so there you have it. Watch this space?

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Q+A with mylittlebookblog

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Good afternoon readers,

I haven’t done one of these for a while but I thought it would be really lovely to do a little Q+A for you basically where you can ask me anything about my reading habits, my thoughts on an author, maybe on my favorite genre of book or maybe just something you’ve been wanting to ask me? Either comment them at the bottom of this post or send me an email at mylittlebookblog2014@gmail.com and once I have a couple I’ll post my responses!

Best

Lizzy 😀 ❤

Happy Sunday Reading

Happy Sunday readers! Hope you’re enjoying the weekend. I am having the laziest day off and it is so wonderful you would not believe. Lots of new reviews are sitting waiting to be read in my inbox and I thought I would bring you a lovely little guest post from the author of one of the books I am currently reading from Rich James. Hope you enjoy!

Guest Post: Rich James discusses his new Ebook!

Or, more to the point, I want to discuss the part you, the reader, play in my new YA fantasy eBook. I want to show you how you can along with my characters help them face up to and defeat their personal and real-word demons … and they can in turn help you face up to and defeat yours.

That’s a lot of bang for your buck for a YA fantasy novel! My new eBook, Fearbreeders tells the story of three young, hip “psychic channelers” fighting all sorts of monsters, ghosts and ghouls in the modern world. As the story progresses, the kids realise that, in fact, the monsters they are fighting are the physical manifestation of their own worst fears, given shape and form by their psychic powers. They realise that to overcome these deep-seated fears, they’ll need to first take a look inside themselves. Only once they’ve defeated their personal demons will they be able to defeat the very real evil they inadvertently created…

I developed the idea as much in response to the creative process as the idea I was creating. Think about it: the creation of effective villains in books and other entertainment is achieved by making the antagonist a representation of something inside the hero that the hero doesn’t like about him or herself, and doesn’t want to confront. (All you story-savvy readers out there already knew this, of course!) Usually this means creating a villain and instilling in him, her or it these negative hero traits and then letting the hero do battle with the villain. Thus, in a metaphorical sense, when the hero defeats the villain he or she is overcoming the negative traits within him or herself.

That’s how villains have worked since Aesop and Homer – and it’s why it feels so good to defeat a well-constructed baddie! My core innovation was to simply make the manifestation of these fears literally real. At first, when I broached this idea with friends and other writer colleagues, the general consensus was that if I made the characters’ fears literally, physically, tangibly real then it wouldn’t be much of a story. After all, if your worst fear literally walked into the room right now and struck up a conversation with you, you’d immediately recognise it for that it was, correct? I mean it would be so obvious, right? … Right…?
Wrong. And that is my point. We as human beings developed the fear response in order to transfer our fears to the external world as a sort of predictive survival mechanism. That is why the scariest fears are actually those hiding in the places we don’t dare look: and those places exist not in the outside world… but inside of ourselves.

So go on, download my book and take a peek at that dark place inside yourself where you dare not look. Trust me, it’s a lot easier if you don’t have to face it alone, hence why I write what I do and reach out to others. Have fun!

Here’s the jacket blurb…
What if your darkest fears were made real? What would they look and sound like? What form would they take? Would you want to hear what they have to say? More terrifyingly, what would you say to them?
For twelve-year-old psychic channeler, Billy Bickster, his worst nightmares come true – literally – when he discovers that the terrifying monsters pursuing him and his two friends in their dreams are real. Worse, glowing green with demonic red eyes, these creatures – known as “Fearbreeders” – are actually the summation of the children’s darkest, hidden fears.

Welcome to a new world of entertainment! Click on the in-text links as you read, and explore the same sites the internet-savvy characters in the book are using to solve this puzzling tale. But be warned: take up this challenge only if you dare find this evil before our heroes do… otherwise you risk it finding you through your eReader and the internet.

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Links:


Author Website
Author Twitter:
Publishing Push:

Amazon:

My thoughts on writing reviews

Yesterday I found this lovely post on savidgereads.wordpress.com which is a blog I’ve been following for a while now and I liked the idea of writing a post on reviews as a whole. My blog revolves mostly around reviews but as like Simon, sometimes I struggle with them. My inbox is over-flowing with promises to review, review requests and guest posts that need tweaking and then posted up online. I have been tempted these past few months to close my review requests page to catch up with the backlog but I have stopped myself because of the wonderful requests I’ve been receiving. however I took inspiration from Simon and thought I would write my own thoughts on reviews! So something a little different for you here at mylittlebookblog.

I find writing reviews a lengthy process

Even though I have been reviewing for around a year and a half now, book reviews still take me an awful amount of time and sometimes they can be really hard work. It seems odd that an 800-1000 word review could be so tough but there’s so much to squish in and so much content to discuss. If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while you’ll know that I go overboard on my analysis of the book I’m reviewing and although this is praised by a lot of you (which often makes me blush) it is time consuming. I love writing reviews, otherwise why would I run a book review blog, but sometimes capturing the true essence of a book can take a week to fully process and get into words on a page. I also have a book with all my notes and ideas so I can write down my favourite passages, events or sentences however this often means a re-write after the initial review. It’s worth it to bring authors the best review possible but sometimes I feel I’m struggling to fit everything in.

I find writing constructive reviews difficult

Writing ‘negative’ reviews is one of the less pleasant things about book blogging. When writing a review that brings up the lesser points of the book I am in constant limbo on how to write it critically whilst being fair but honest to the reader. I’m always honest and often candid and this has lead me to lose a few authors who haven’t spoken to me again but I will not compromise my reader base. I always try and write a sandwich review which encases the ‘negative’ points between the good points to give a real feel for the book as a whole. Sometimes it is cruel to be kind, and when I write a good review those authors know I’ve enjoyed it because I would say otherwise (and I do, often.) I always get a sinking feeling when I realise a book isn’t going to suddenly turn around and be sublime but I also can’t lie and risk my integrity as an honest book blogger. However it is incredibly horrible thing to do and often leaves me feeling a little miserable.

I panic when I haven’t reviewed a book for a while
Being a book blogger who started her blog only writing reviews I panic if there has not been a review for a while. As my blog has grown and grown I have started adding new features, such as the 101 things to do in 1001 days. Although it’s the only non-book related feature on my blog it worries me sometimes that it takes over the running theme throughout and I always make sure to distance them so that there has always been enough reviews before and after as this is the main purpose for my blog. I still do post a lot more reviews than anything else but I do have to make sure the ratio is right.

I need to go back and edit my old reviews
When I first started writing reviews I was quite terrible at it. I put my hands up, and if you don’t believe me read some of the earlier ones. I have definitely improved and I definitely get more of my personality into the reviews whilst talking more in-depth about the essence, effect the book has on me, the character build up and the writing style and pace as a whole. A lot of my reviews focus on the character build up as it’s something that is important to my enjoyment of the book as a whole, and I am always striving to get more into my reviews and really give the reader a good a picture as possible.

I need to be more definite in my deadlines for reviews
I have to admit I’m one of those terrible people who never say no and it has meant this past year that I have let my requests inbox go out of control. It is overflowing with manuscripts waiting to be read and although I know that almost all authors are very happy to wait for reviews, I feel terrible not being able to say exactly when they will be. Starting my full time job has really affected my time for blogging. I really want to be more structured in my deadlines for reviews and start scheduling them properly.

I will review almost anything I get sent (so far)

One of the big things about me as a reviewer is I don’t turn anyone away and this is something I hope to keep up for the coming year. This blog is as much for the authors that I review for as it is for me, and although at some point I might think about readjusting the balance for now I’m happy with how it sits as a whole. Ultimately it is for the readers though, in terms of finding new books, telling them of exciting stories and of interesting characters and I hope to keep doing that through reviews for a long time into the future. Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming because there are so many people I want to help out with reviews, guest posts, Q+A’s and press releases but for now I’m just going to take it all in and keep doing my very best for unknown authors.

My reviews will always be me

I have been getting a lot of positive comments on my reviews recently and lots of emails saying they want me to review books because of the quality and the in-depth nature of my reviews. I will always be striving to improve this and to refine my grammar, spelling and my ability to get the nature of the book down on paper. However, it will always be how I want to approach the review. I prefer not to give star ratings and I sometimes I focus almost all the review on one section of analysis but it’s just the way I am as a reviewer. I’m a little haphazard and a little unsystematic in the order of my reviews, but they will always be honest and they will always be sincere because I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So just a little insight into my review thoughts, do you have any thoughts to add, or any questions? Feel free to comment below 😀 ❤

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Two Sons: A brief insight into a new book review from mylittlebookblog

Good afternoon bloggers, hope you’ve having a wonderful day whatever you are doing on this gloomy Wednesday. Today I have a little bit of a teaser for you; I am currently working with Authoramp on a number of their releases and this will be a book reviewed in a little while so here’s an insight into the book and the author.

Two Sons: The story of two families divided by war and united in grief

It’s 1932 and Hitler and the Nazi Party are threatening to take control of Germany. There is a growing fear of another war.

Two families from vastly different backgrounds make their way to visit their sons’ war graves in the Flanders region of Belgium. John and Annie Williams are on their annual trip from England in memory of their son, Herbert, who had been killed while fighting at the battle of Passchendaele in 1917. Erich and Martina Lehmann have travelled from Germany to pay their respects to the memory of their son, Kurt who died in the same campaign. During their visit, the couples meet and in the wake of such devastation, confrontational events take place.

‘Two Sons’ moves from the war on the western front to the domestic lives of both families over a period of two decades. Having lost their sons in one conflict, both families fear that they may have to make further sacrifices in light of the growing threat.

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About the Author

Stewart Gill Owen was born in Blackburn and grew up in Lancashire. After art school, his career was in design and advertising, and as a lecturer in further and higher education. He now lives in Somerset with his wife Jessie. Their two daughters often visit, bringing the five grandsons with them. Stewart is a keen historian. It is the most immediate and ‘living’ history that has inspired Two Sons, which is his first book. Many of us still have links with the First World War. Stewart lost an uncle in Flanders and one of his ancestors was the poet Wilfred Owen. Something that happened so long ago is in many ways still with us.

Reviews

“This is a very engaging story with rich characterisation, a roller coaster of emotions and excellent period detail.” Bruce Payne, Amazon UK.

“I really enjoyed this read, and would congratulate the author on the way he handled such a sensitive subject and told the stories of two separate families intertwining the past with the present.” Weeki, Amazon UK.

“This book is a sensitive reminder of the impact the war had on both sides. A very good read, which I highly recommend.”  JR Hold, amazon UK.

“One hundred years on this is a very relevant book for young and old. Read it. You will giggle and cry, and be glad you did.” H P Johns, Amazon UK.

Background

“Some of my family history forms the basis of this book,” says Stewart, “I changed some of the characters, added to the detail of events and changed the name of the family. I wanted to tell a story that promoted the experiences of joy, pride, despair, love, grief and the fear of loss. Two Sons is about those emotions, it’s about the passion and the feelings that many of us share, regardless of nationality, class, faith and status.”

It’s a story about the consequences of the battle of Passchendaele that took place in Flanders in 1917. The book is based on a number of confrontational encounters that takes place between a British and a German family in Belgium in the summer of 1932.

“I chose the date because, in July of that year, Hitler and the Nazi party were threatening to take control of Germany” says Stewart, “and there was a growing fear in Belgium of the possibility of renewed hostilities.”  During the visit, heated disagreements and arguments take place. The story moves from the battlefields of the Western Front to the domestic life of the families over a period of two decades.

The choice of the battle of Passchendaele as the main campaign theme of the story was very deliberate. “Passchendaele or as it was also known, the Third Battle of Ypres,” explains Stewart, “became it’s known, not only for the scale of the carnage and the high level of casualties, but also for the mud and the creation of a desolate landscape that is so recognizable as a typical image of World War One.”

“Although it’s a work of fiction,” continues Stewart, “I wanted the detail to be as accurate as I could make it and this involved considerable in-depth research. My view is that this is a story that has never been told in any depth before. This is my first novel I know it wont be my last I’m already working on a sequel.”

Hope you enjoyed a little sneak peak into an upcoming review for mylittlebookblog, look out for the review coming soon!

New page on mylittlebookblog

Hey everyone,

I was supposed to do this months ago now, but I have finally compiled a list of alllllll of my reviews, (and there are quite a few of them!) I hope it makes navigation of my blog a little easier and you can see the books I am reviewing and have reviewed over the past nineteen months. Just a quick note; some of my reviews at the beginning of my blogging days are a little tired and immature and I am working on giving them an uplift, so please excuse my slightly odd writing style! oh and here’s the link: https://mylittlebookblog.com/list-of-reviews-by-mylittlebookblog/

Let me know what you think! 😀 ❤

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A little help for Jonas Lee

Hi readers, a slightly different post today but it comes from a serious starting point. Jonas Lee is a dear blogging and writing friend of mine and I’m currently reading and reviewing his book ‘A Time To Reap,’ so it came as a little bit of a surprise to see that Jonas had already written the sequel however money is tight and getting the book finished and published is a bit difficult so Jonas has set up a crowdfunding page to get the ball rolling! I wanted to help out as much as possible so I devised a little Q+A to let you see what the books are about and show you the page if you would like to help out a lovely and very talented author!

1) So give us a brief overview of the books?

A Time to Reap is the beginning story of Carter Gabel, a teenager living in a future where there is a rare genetic disease. His version of ailment causes him to spontaneously travel back in time. He has no control over his “leaps” and because of that, has to be prepared for anything. Carter attends a specialized school where kids afflicted by this illness are allowed to learn in an environment while trying to learn how to control their symptoms.

As Carter learns quickly, his disease has many more complications and potential once he stumbles across Mo. Mo is a girl in his class who has a varying form of genetic illness that allows her to use telepathy. When the two are together, their powers increase and likewise, so do their risks of finding trouble. They will soon learn that their school is not only there to help them, but research them. Things go from bad to horrible quickly as areas of Carter’s past come back to him and more twists unravel while searching for the truth.

The sequel, A Time to Live, takes place a year after the initial book. Carter and Mo are living on the northwest coast of a town called Temple Falls and trying to maintain a sedentary life not using their abilities. Before Carter succumbs to the madness of home-schooling and working as a barista, a new pair of characters enter the scene showing off powers Carter hasn’t seen and bringing him news about David who has been put into a coma. The terrorist group known as the Pirates are behind it and Carter and Mo find themselves back in Lincoln Square. In typical Carter fashion, things escalate from bad to horrible in no time and now Carter isn’t fighting for answers, he’s struggling to save a city from being destroyed and a country going to war.

2) Did you always know you would write a sequel to your first book or was it because you enjoyed writing the first so much?

When I first started writing A Time to Reap, I was honestly just trying to keep my brain occupied while providing a story to people following my blog. I had written another, much larger, book and was looking into representation. As the story progressed, I found it easier and easier to write. Pretty soon, I had over half of a book completed and decided to abandon my previous efforts and focus on this. About midway, I developed ideas and scenarios that would take this story out another two books. Like the subtitle states, the first book starts off in what will become the legend of Carter Gabel. The sequel goes further into the choices he makes and sets up a volley to prepare readers for the spike of what will conclude the series. But who knows? There may be other legends…

3) who’s your favourite character in the book?

It’s hard for me not to love Carter, coming from his perspective, we get to know his inner thoughts and mistakes a lot more than anyone. But I’d have to say Mo. She starts off a little quiet, but as her powers grow, we see this subtle confidence and playfulness emerge. She has a way about her that stuns Carter and her ability to hear into his thoughts has him stumbling over himself that I find hilarious.

In the new book… I’d have to go with Scarlett. She’s this little five-year old who completely has Carter enthralled. She’s like the little sister he never had and the interaction between the two of them is always a blast to write.

4) where did the idea of Crowdfunding come from?

Crowdfunding was a humble attempt to see if there was interest in people getting their hands on a copy of the next book sooner rather than later. In my opinion, nothing was going to stop another book from coming out. Alas, self-publishing and being the newest kid on the block leaves me in a sea of other authors. So sales, trickle in until the book catches fire. And with the second book complete, I just wanted to get that momentum happening now instead of next year.

5) What does the Crowdfunding ultimately go towards when publishing your second book?

Crowdfunding will go towards cover art, editing and formatting. If the full amount gets raised, I plan on it going towards the branding of the series, which rolls into the marketing aspects of merchandise, web development and so on. Additionally, everyone who takes part gets the option to receive the story, so it’s not like throwing your money out the window. The more money that gets raised, the faster the book develops.

6) Did you always want to be an author or was there another pursuit you thought you would end up doing?

Honestly, as a child I wanted to be a garbage man. Luckily I never went that route, but I got into writing in the 4th grade and have always felt at home creating characters, scenarios and ideas. Writing is a part of who I am and have been no matter what job I had at the time. I’m living my dream right now as best as I can and one day I home I can live it full time.

7) Finally, sell your book to my readers in one sentence!

Time-travel, telepathy and sandwiches…a winning combination. – A Time to Reap

As with most crowd funding there are many different ways to get involved from a simple donations of a couple of dollars, or pounds if you’re like me and based in the UK to getting your name in the acknowledgements. If you’ve read the book or you’re a follower of both me and Jonas, or just if you’re interested in how the book pans out, I implore you to give a little to this wonderful author, it only takes a second and I cannot wait to read the second book! If you are interested check out the link here!

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