The Benefits of a Kobo EReader

Hello everyone,

A few months ago I got myself a Kobo eReader. An Aura H2O second edition that is. There have been rare times where I’m immensely satisfied I purchased an item… Well, this is one of those times, folks.

Here it is (with Never Enough Time by R.T.W Lipkin as background—a great ARC of mine for which you can read the review here):

Now, what about its benefits? Let me tell you I found many!

The Pros:

  • My sleep has improved SO MUCH since I bought this sweet Kobo, no kidding. I used to toss and turn at night for AT LEAST an hour (it was usually for an hour and a half), but now thanks to reading on my Kobo every night before going to sleep, it only takes me 20 to 40 minutes. It’s a wonder!

But why is that?

  • It’s because it’s got ComfortLight Pro! This means you set a time for the screen to become a light orange, thus it’s sweet for the eyes. More importantly (and that’s the winning point here), this feature removes most of the blue lights! So it does make it easy on your eyes and relaxes you. Perfect for sleep!

It’s been a real game changer for me. Or should I say… sleep changer? Please let’s never talk about this joke again.

  • The fonts are lovely and adjusting them is simple. Same goes for the paragraph spacing, a tool I particularly enjoy. I like when there’s a clear distinction between the paragraphs.
  • The search function is very useful.
  • It has Pocket Reader. If you don’t know what it is: a place (or account) where you can store Web pages and other important bits you find while browsing to read later on your account, then come back to it offline. Basically, you can read Web pages, watch embedded videos and other great stuff on your favourite eReader, yes! You can learn more here.
  • The Kobo shows you the percentage you’re in the book and your time spent reading a particular book and in total. It also lets you decide if you wish to see the percentage of completion or the page numbers, which is pretty neat and practical for book reviewers like me who prefer the latter.
  • One amusing thing Kindle doesn’t have, it’s badges (they’re called ”achievements”, but they look like badges!) When you’ve read 10 books, let’s say, you’ll have a full badge on your ”Achievements” page and you can share them on social media. What for? Boasting, I guess. I love checking what progress I’ve made now and then. There’s one problem though… It’s been acting crazy for the last three months. The system doesn’t give me the badges when they’re obviously complete and sometimes they’re filled to a certain percentage, then when I look again on another day the numbers have changed again! In other words, it was high fun in the beginning, but now it’s malfunctioning. And the worst part is they told me I would need to wait for the next update (which could be in months or even YEARS, they told me) to fix this issue. That’s frustrating.

Speaking of bad things, what of its cons?

The Cons:

  • It’s expensive. There,  I said it. If you want good quality and all, it’s approximately $200 CAD and it’s without the official case which costs about $50. Pricey, pricey. There was a $30 discount when I bought it, but then I purchased the official case and it came near $250 in the end.
  • Oh and it’s also a bit slow, but nothing major. I bet the software is to blame because my Kindle contains way more books and it’s faster than the Kobo. Imagine that!

That’s it. There’s mainly one bad thing about the Kobo and it’s its price, in my opinion.

In Conclusion:

Though being fair, I think the price is worth it. I mean, sleep? I’m in! And I like all the control you get and how it shows you everything you need to know about your reading progress and habit.

If you’re looking for an eReader, may I suggest a Kobo one?

And if you already have yours, what do you think of the Kobo?

See you next post, lovelies!

(As a little bonus, here’s my official Kobo case (I’d have chosen the red one, but there was none where I went…))

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Never Enough Time: A Review

40178580

by R.T.W Lipkin

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Goodreads

LibraryThing

Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Fiction, Magical Realism

Pages: 243

ISBN: 9780648056905

Format: Paperback, Kindle eBook

Publication date: June 7th, 2018

Type: Standalone novel

*I was given an ARC of Never Enough Time by Advance Read. Thank you!*

The Story:

What if your entire life passed by in just seven days?

16-year-old Delaney Archer’s mother is always complaining that there’s never enough time to get anything done.

Delaney, on the other hand, always waits until the last moment to do everything.

Nevertheless, she’s the top student in her class. She’s even about to graduate as valedictorian . . .

. . . Until one morning, when she wakes up in a strange place.

Suddenly, she finds herself in graduate school. Seven years of her life have disappeared without a trace since she went to bed last night . . . but how?

It takes a while for Delaney to get used to things. But it’s not all bad, right? After all, she can drink alcohol now, and she’s almost finished school . . .

Then she wakes up the next day . . . and another seven years have passed.

Every day is another brand-new adventure for Delaney as she struggles to adjust. But no matter what she tries, she just can’t seem to break the cycle.

Now she just has to figure out what’s happening . . . before time runs out . . .

 

The Introduction:

This book is my first ARC from Advance Read and it delivered. I had to take Never Enough Time; come on, time travel? Intriguing time travel? With a dangerous deadline?

I couldn’t pass this one up!

 

The Positive Sides:

The most wonderful thing about this book (besides the sheer idea for the story, which was expertly developed) is undoubtedly the teen talk. It’s reminiscent of a teenager’s voice and thoughts. I haven’t been one for many years now, but I felt like fifteen years old again—or at least an insight into a teen’s mind. Also, it was done without slang, which made it even more enjoyable and true.

In the same line of thought, the tone of voice of Delaney Archer (the MC) is clear and sharp. Her humor is sometimes really funny. There are witty bits from all the characters and they’ve all got distinctive, lovable personalities.

The chapters’ endings are worth mentioning too! Most of the times, they leave you guessing for they’re either quite tense or intriguing. Speaking of endings, the last pages of this book are beautiful, kick-ass and full of feels. It’s so sweet—I didn’t expect it. I thought it would end with a small bang, probably an ”ordinary” (a.k.a boring) explanation. Good grief was I wrong! I LOVED it and will always remember how Never Enough Time broke all the barriers of expectations.

 

The Negative Sides:

One aspect of the characterization got on my nerves. Delaney is supposedly a smart girl with extraordinary grades (much like her scientific parents), yet throughout the book she sticks to stupid explanations for what happened. She never ceases to turn them over in her mind—it’s frigging annoying! But the worst part is that she dismisses reasonable options such as amnesia or a psychotic episode. Or perhaps that was exactly the point… Yet it’s not realistic unless the story stated beforehand that she was interested in the occult.

There are way too many swear words to be okay. It took me half the book before I tolerated them. It was that bad. I understand the author meant to show the character’s voice, but it just sounded as though she tried too hard. Several cussing in the dialogue would have been enough to grasp how foul-mouthed Delaney is—but was it truly necessary everywhere in the narration too?

Speaking of exceeding numbers, I found there were too many italicized words. It becomes natural and breaks the ”special effect” it’s used for. It’s the same thing with repetitions. Delaney repeats the same idea or sentence over and over again in very few pages, even in paragraphs. That is unpleasant to read. I think with it being mentioned once or twice would be enough to get the drift.

Last, there’s a friend of Delaney who’s named ”Marie”. So far so good. But the issue here is that she’s Latina… Her name sounds completely French to me (and I would know since it’s my first language)—it’s even written in the French way! To respect the Latino origins of this character, she should have been named ”Maria” or something similar.

 

In Conclusion:

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. However, if I considered only the entertainment it offered me, I’d give it a 5, no kidding. But the excessive swearing and over-the-top voice took half the book to get used to, so I had to take a star out for it was driving me crazy.

BUT just to tell you how much I liked it, I even subscribed to her newsletter on her Web site. Yup! I can’t wait to hear more about her work.

Quatre

If you want to learn more about R.T.W Lipkin, feel free to take a look at her Web site. Don’t forget you can follow her author page on Amazon.com. Last, Lipkin was interviewed in June by Ellen from It’s Write Now about Never Enough Time.

Collages of My Nightshade Series

Hello everyone!

Remember my Nightshade series? With Rosellia Rowland-Lovelace?

Well, I’ve got two aesthetic themes to introduce them to you!

Let’s start with my main character, Rosellia:

img_0486

She looks great and fierce, doesn’t she? All the images you see do relate to her in some ways. 😉

Now, how about an aesthetic theme for the Nightshade series itself?!

Here you go:

image1

All these elements will have a big impact on the events of the story or its essence.

I just want to point out it’s not a love story at its center, but a real adventure. However, romance and true feelings do play a large role since my Rosellia isn’t all nice and fair about it…

Also, I keep working on it and it’s going pretty well!

I’m almost done with the outline of the first book. All that’s left to do is finding out what the concepts really mean and how things work in the Nightshade world, then it’s time to draft and bingo!

Please note that I posted these images two weeks ago on my Twitter, but due to my computer breaking (yes, again) I couldn’t post them on here. I hate writing on my cell phone… The screen is so tiny as well as the keyboard. It’s just not for me.

If you want to follow me on Twitter, here’s my account!

I will post them on Instagram soon too. Here’s where it’s at!

Thank you for reading, lovelies, and I hope you enjoyed it!

See you next post.

Mwah!

 

 

Wings of Blood: A Review

40105659

by Miranda Martin & Nadia Hunter

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Goodreads

Genre: Fantasy, Adult, Shapeshifter, Romance

Pages: 194

ASIN: B07D1CVKMG

Format: eBook, Kindle

Publication date: May 10th 2018

Series: The Phoenix Wars #2

 

*I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.*

The Story:

Rising from the ashes isn’t as easy as it sounds…

Finding out just how special my bloodline is wasn’t the best thing to ever happen to me.

The Phoenix Clans are on the verge of open war. As the Consort of the Phoenix King, I’m sheltered, protected on all sides. It’s frustrating because I should be helping. When two flocks have a skirmish, I’m the only one with the skill to solve it.

Or so I thought.

Things aren’t working out quite the way I hoped. It’s about to get bad, so bad I’m not sure even my miraculous blood will save me. Or if I’ve seen my King and love for the last time.

The Introduction:

I chose to read Wings of Blood by Miranda Martin because 1) I was in awe with the cover 2) Phoenix stories are so rare and I love the concept! It looked like a story I would enjoy.

Only downside was a mistake on my part: I didn’t see it was the second book in a series, so I was a bit at a loss, although it didn’t stop me from having a good time reading it.

The Positive Sides:
Generally speaking, the humor and light tone used are very enjoyable. Moreover, the cover is quite beautiful and eye-catching (it’s what truly got me interested in reading the summary.) There are a few phrasing gems sprinkled in the story that made me either impressed or emotional. The point of view switches between Adara and Sven are good and entertaining to read. However, the best point of Miranda Martin’s Wings of Blood is the undeniable tension and seemingly never-ending conflict either underlying the story or just plain to see! It made me notice I actually care about Adara and Siro and the fact I want to see what happens next. And isn’t this just what an author wants?

The Negative Sides:
Unfortunately, this book also has a few notable flaws. While there are a few phrasing gems like I mentioned above, most of the vocabulary is simple. Too simple. Since this is obviously an adult book (it’s not in the children’s/teenagers’ section and it has at least one sex scene), the words used to convey the story should be more mature or elegant. I read Young Adult stories with more developed and complex vocabulary! So, I think it could be improved for the target readers (adults). On the same topic, I’ll mention the explanations of actions and thoughts (even emotions) are too numerous and there’s a lot of “telling” instead of showing, which makes me feel like a child again. I’m sure the author simply wants the story to be extra clear and doesn’t mean any harm, but it should be more subtle in order to be excellent. Also, I hope it went through one last round of proofreading because I saw several mistakes that made me cringe. But that is not the main flaw, so if you don’t mind them, go ahead.

In Conclusion:

Overall, the characters are sweet and lovable and the story keeps me on the edge of my bed (I read mostly in bed, it’s so comfy what with a good book). Nevertheless, the negative sides are too important to me to overlook. Honestly, I give Wings of Blood a rating of 3 stars for the emotional attachment I feel towards the characters and the constant conflict I so love, taking into account the easy vocabulary and too much telling.

Now, would I recommend it? If you don’t mind a simple vocabulary, sex scenes (I wish the author had mentioned there was one in the book’s description), and a few mistakes, but crave lovely characters and tension, then please do read it! I’ll just say I won’t read the sequel, but I welcome anyone to try it for it’s not bad. It just needs more work in my opinion, because the story at its core is great!

Création sans titre

If you want to learn more about the authors, Miranda Martin and Nadia Hunter, and their books, please visit Martin’s Web site. You can also add Wings of Blood to your Goodreads shelves and follow her Goodreads author page!

Beta Books and Beta Readers (Tip + Update)

Hello, peeps!

I hope you enjoyed my last book reviews. As always, it’s a pleasure to read and give my opinions of them to you.

Don’t fret: I’ve also got news!

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « i have news gif »

I’m still a long way from publishing my Nightshade series; however, I now have TWO beta readers for my short stories and Nightshade in particular! One of them is my best friend, but don’t go thinking he’ll be soft with his critiques… Trust me, he’s not. And it’s a very good thing for me!

As a tip for you guys and gals, here’s what I use to manage the beta reading:

BetaBooks.co

I found this cozy site months ago in its infancy. It wasn’t even open to the general public, imagine that! So I waited… But it sounded like such a great idea! So I waited some more.

Then, it opened. Admittedly, I didn’t sign up until two weeks ago because I thought they were charging even the basic features. I was surprised! You can still create a free account. Isn’t it neat?!

If you do, you’ll be able to upload ONE story and invite up to THREE beta readers and some “fancy” features are locked like the inline comments. Nevertheless, most of what a budding author needs is handled pretty well with the free account, let me tell you. If you go over the limits, you’ll enter the first paid subscription tier (which, I think, is reasonably priced, $14.99.)

Want to know what else you can do with a free account?

Here:

  • Track reader progress
  • Collect reader feedback
  • Reply and discuss feedback in-app
  • Triage and categorize with our feedback marking system
  • See all your feedback in one screen
  • One Book
  • Up to Three Readers

Again, if you want to test this lovely service, sign up at BetaBooks.co for a free account.

Did I mention all of the feedback given and received is private when you invite your beta readers?

See you next post, lovelies (it will be a book review)!

 

Updates on My Writing

Follow my blog with Bloglovin (P.S.: I just created it, so I hope you’ll check it out and help me over there! :))

Ahum.

Hello, lovelies!

I hope I find you all well and happy. Several major updates about my writing are coming your way!

Let’s start:

  • I’m currently working on three poems I’ll soon send to a poetry journal in Ireland. The first two are nearly complete (only a quick revision and they’re done) whilst I still need to write the third one. But I should be finished at the end of the weekend, so I can send them next week. Yay!

 

  • Speaking of literature magazine, I’m working on a short story that I find rather entertaining and poignant. Once it’s done, I’ll send it to two Canadian literature magazines (yes, they do accept simultaneous submissions). I’m excited!

 

  • As for my main writing project, I’ve finally found the big plot and ending of my Nightshade series! Moreover, I’ve even got a few extra ideas about the settings, powers, creatures, worlds, etc. featured in it. I’m so powered up and I am working hard at writing it all down and revising (a.k.a editing) what I’ve already done! If I didn’t do that, let me tell you there would be major plot holes and stuff like that for my beta readers to… not enjoy, that’s for sure. Once I’m done revising the first 7 chapters, I’m going to… WRITE! YES!

Here is a picture featuring an interview with Rosellia’s father, Ryan Lovelace:

  • Surprise: I’ve decided to write a free novella for you! Yes, I’ll distribute it for free on via sites like Instafreebie, etc. once it’s ready. You’ll have nothing to purchase. Nada. Exciting, isn’t it?! I ran a poll on Twitter (The Novella Poll) in order to know which story idea between two I had people prefer. The answer was straightforward: the two of my poll participants voted for a retelling of Persephone’s kidnapping! Yes, the Persephone from Greek mythology. I’ve always been a huge Greek and Egyptian mythology nerd, so I was quite surprised and immensely overjoyed they chose that particular idea (I promise, I didn’t sway them! Otherwise, what’s the point of a poll?)

I intend on using a new angle—something we’ve yet to see done with Persephone’s kidnapping. Oh, and it’s not a romance story! I didn’t want to do what most of the other authors are doing with it. It’ll be more an adventure/drama story. I already have the main storyline, so I just need to come up with a few scenes and the outline, then I’m on my way!

 

I’ll keep you updated about all this, don’t you fret!

Pinky swear!

What do you all think of my progress?

Are you as interested in the free novella idea as I am?

Please tell me in the comment section!

See you next post, lovelies. Muah!

 

Breaking Order: A Review

39027890

by Catherine Kopf

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

B&N

Goodreads

Genre: YA, Dystopian, Fantasy

Pages: 244

ISBN: 9781981781324

*I was given a free e-copy of Breaking Order by the author. Thank you!*

The Story:

Dreams, Creativity, and Magic are all gone under a single order.

Banned from the things that make you different, people must conform to a dull and practical lifestyle.

The daughter of The Regime’s Head Executioner is expected to follow in his footsteps, but fourteen-year-old Calista Knight is curious about creativity and dreams. It doesn’t help that she is isolated and bullied at school because of her asthma. When the new boy, Wes, encourages Calista to stop taking the medicine preventing dreams and introduces her to creativity, a new life opens up to her. Magic becomes very real, and with dreams and creativity intertwined, limits are endless.

But the Regime wants no one to dream.

Calista is a threat to the order, and she only has two options:

Overcome her own personal fears of dreaming…

…or end up just as compliant to the Regime as others around her.

The Introduction:

Read that summary? That’s what got me greatly interested in reading this book as well as the gorgeous cover! All about this book screams creativity and dystopia and I so wanted to see how it was dealt with. Also, you said magic? Here I am! I must say Breaking Order delivered. How about we review it together?

The Positive Points:

Let’s start with the positive sides. This story introduces us to a terrifying and very controlling dystopian reality in Fortress (that’s the city’s name. Lovely, isn’t it?) Creativity and ambition (a.k.a dreams) are outlawed and their penalty is death, no less. In other words, you mustn’t stand out in a crowd nor think much for yourself. What’s better is that Calista’s own father is the Head Executioner. Now that makes for drama! Also, I’ve got to say the villain in this story is quite vile and cruel, which makes them totally my style. I didn’t think they could go to such lengths but… Yes, and it was wonderful (in a gasping, shocked-sort of way).

Their dreaming confers the Dreamers, the radicals and rebels who dare to dream and be creative, powers from the likes found in fantasy stories. How interesting is that?!

As for the writing, it is smooth and the vocabulary quite developed, which is a delight. Moreover, a few foreshadowing moments are woven into the exact words the author chooses to describe the story. It shows Miss Kopf really thought it through and gave it the attention it deserves!

Honestly, I spent days either wanting to go back to reading this book or flipping through its pages, engrossed in the story! The reading is eased by the good writing and ongoing action and drama.

The Negative Points:

As for the bad points, there simply are two. A few mistakes and typos, but nothing too troublesome. Also, there’s the issue of fighting being way too easy for the children against trained adults. I know the kids have military training, but two of them (those who don’t have offensive powers) can take down several guards without batting an eye or at least much of it? That’s the only weakness of this story.

In Conclusion:

You’re probably expecting an excellent rating for this one and you’d be right. I give it a rating of 4.5 stars because it’s amazing but too easy for the teens’ gang. Besides that, I can assure you you’re in for an entertaining ride! The villain, the mysteries, and the sheer creativity of the story are worth it, in my opinion.

I recommend Breaking Order without hesitation and now I’m patiently waiting for the sequel, i. e. I want it. Right. Now!

Is it out yet?

If you want to learn more about the author, Catherine Kopf, and her books, please visit her Web site , Twitter and Wattpad accounts (where you can read the first draft of the sequel, yay!). You can also add Breaking Order to your Goodreads shelves and follow her Goodreads author page!

P.S.: You’ll notice on Web sites where there are no half points possible that I’ve given this book 5 stars. I think it deserves more a 5-star rating than the loss of a whole point. Thank you.