Sunday, January 22, 2012

Indie Book Reviews

Last week I spoke about my fresh perspective on Raging against the dying of the light after reading Crossed by Ally Condie. One of the things I said I was going to do to help stave off the dying of the light was encourage the good in those around me, and for this post, more specifically, supporting Indie authors.

One of the ways I intend to support them is the obvious; buying their books. But I also want to take that a step further, because as an Indie author I can tell you having your book purchased is awesome, but there is nothing that compares to hearing from a reader who loved your book and thought enough of it to tell the rest of the reading world their opinion in a review.

A review is a two-fold gift, it provides us as authors that warm fuzzy, day making feeling, but, and this is incredibly important and helpful for an author, it gives other readers who might be considering reading/purchasing the book a vote of confidence, or in the case of a bad review, a cautionary warning.

I look at reviews if I’m on the fence and not sure I want to pay the cost for the book, but more importantly do I want to invest the very little extra time I have to read in an untested author that I know nothing about other than the blurb on the description page. So, for Indie’s, it very literally helps sell books. Reviews can make or break them.

So, in my long winded way, and hopefully informative way, what I’m trying to say is that I plan to invest a minimum each month of $6 to buying and reviewing Indie authors books. ($6 because most self pub’d books are priced at $2.99 give or take. That affords me two books at the typical Indie price per month.)

I already have two titles which I’ve purchased or picked up for free during a promotion.

I was going to start with these two titles, because I have them and I have a secret love for werewolf/shifter stories, but I’m a two-thirds the way through my own shifter novel. To avoid influencing my own works in any way I don’t read books that are in the same theme as the one I’m writing at the time. So these two will have to wait.

Here are the two I’ve chosen for this month.

Winter by C.B. Cole, was found by searching through Amazon ( A tedious process that leaves much to be desired. ) and the other, Belle Notte by Jesse Kimmel-Freeman, was a recommendation from another writer friend. She hasn’t read it but said the author is a real sweetheart, and it fit my parameters. I read the first page or so and the writing style works for me, even though I’m not big into vampire novels. But the point of this is to give authors I wouldn’t normally try, a chance.

You can find my reviews on my writing blog.

I’ll post my reviews there, GoodReads and Amazon and if the author is on Barnes and Noble, there also.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


This week I’ve finally gotten a few minutes to start reading Crossed by Ally Condie and in the first pages I was reminded of one of the reasons I loved Matched so much. Printed in the front of the book are two poems, one by Dylan Thomas and the other by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

There is a line in the first one that most people know, or at least they should: Rage, rage against the dying of the light. It was this line that had me thinking about my own situation when I read Matched. Both the book and the poem seemed to be speaking directly to my situation at the time. I was working a job that, for me, was doing the opposite of what the poem said. It was doing what Society was doing; draining the light from me slowly.

Upon finishing Matched I had to really examine my life and how I have the freedom to make my own choices. A question I found myself asking was: Was the freedom I have being wasted on me? It was a question that nagged at me mostly because I believed the answer to be yes. But what was I to do about it?

Well nearly a year later, I haven’t done anything dramatic like Cassia did, but small shifts have brought my life more in line with my goals. But as with all resolutions, with time the fire has faded, I’ve forgotten the feelings that motivated me.

Having read the poem again a year later, I’m seeing it with different eyes, ones that have a new perspective. Because I’ve changed, I’m different now. It’s one of the many reasons I love books. The message they deliver always speak to me, but the same book can convey a different message depending on where I am in my life when I read it.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light. I thought deeply about this and what does it mean to me now, as I made the long trek from work to home. And I find that now, with my new eyes, rather than it being about me, I find that I’m looking outward.

I’m seeing the good things that with time and the wear of life are ground down till they fit the mold that society has set of them. (funny – I wasn’t aiming to parallel it with the book at all.) And those words replay in my head, thinking Rage against the dimming of a love of writing by those who would tear down, rather than build up. Rage against the turning away from a dream because lack of support led to a sense of failure. Rage against the decay of kindness because of disillusionment and lack of appreciation.

I don't usually make New Years resolutions, but this year, though it isn't New Years day. I have a resolution. I intend to rage against the dying of the light in the form of the loss of, or the dimming of the good things that I see in the people around me.

How will I Rage? By telling those I love how much they mean to me. Thanking them for their contributions to my life and my happiness. By supporting those who share my dreams of writing, whether that be through a purchase of their book, a review, or for those closest, being there for them when they need me. By giving words or encouragement as often as I can to those who surround me.

Will you Rage with me?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Reading List

I've been a member of for a while now. And this year I set up a reading challenge, which I failed at because many of the books I've read I can't claim since I read a lot of unpublished books. This year was also the year Chosen and Children of the Gods were published.

This year, I adjusted my goal to allow for these circumstances, but in 2012 there will be no such allowances. My original goal was 60 books. That is only 5 books a month. Easily doable.

So for my first post of the year, I thought I'd take the goal setting one step further and share some of the books I hope to read in 2012.

Books I already have:

This is just a small sampling of my TBR (to be read) stack.

Here are a few that I want and will be purchasing in 2012:

Again, these are just a small sampling of what I am looking forward to. If you want a more in depth look, you can check out my books read/tbr on GoodReads. ---> Click on the widget on the right hand side of the page.

(Yes those are all YA because that is what I mostly read, but not all of my TBR pile is YA)

What books can't you wait to get your hands on in 2012??

*I had these books all listed with just pretty cover art but for some reason even though in preview they looked beautiful, when I published they were huge and blurry. So, had to go this route. :(


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Monica Millard's books on Goodreads
Children of the Gods Children of the Gods (Chosen, #1)
reviews: 34
ratings: 44 (avg rating 3.91)

Chosen - A Children of the Gods Short Story Chosen - A Children of the Gods Short Story
reviews: 4
ratings: 17 (avg rating 3.47)

The Fall The Fall
reviews: 7
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.83)

Monica's bookshelf: read

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Blood and Feathers
The Rithmatist
Forbidden Blood
Last Blood
Out for Blood
Bad Blood
Flesh and Blood
Blood Rights
Girl Parts

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