Friday, May 22, 2015

A to Z: Kirkus


One of, if not THE, biggest, most influential reviewing companies around.

Some interesting info I got from their site...

For starters, I love that they have an indie program! Kirkus has been reviewing as a trusted and influential source of reviews since 1933. Virginia Kirkus started reviewing for the publishers and sending it out to only bookstores, but a couple years later to libraries too.
It's been 82 years now and their distribution has grown to over 5000 of the industries influencers.

I'm not 100% sure when, but some time after 2011 they began accepting works by indie authors!!!

"Today, Kirkus reviews more than 7,000 books published by traditional houses and more than 3,000 self-published books every year." - Kirkus Reviews website.

To get a review from Kirkus, as an indie author, it's steep. Over $400. Still, if you have a good book and they give you a good review, it's more than worth it. The influence they carry in the industry definitely makes people sit up and pay attention when they really like a book.

If you're fortunate enough to get a starred review... wow... what an honor that would be.

Another interesting thing is that they don't consider the cover when reviewing. It's completely based on the content, how well it's written. This is great for those that don't have the best covers.

What is a Kirkus Star? What does it mean? Well, I went looking for info on it and I found a blog post of an indie author who earned one. Her link is below. Here's what she said in her blog about the statistics of a Star review:

"A Kirkus Star, according to this Washington Post article, is awarded to about 2 percent of the 3,000 independent books it reviews. That's 60 books." -- taken from Louise Esola's site. Her entire post is great, as is her book apparently! Definitely go read it. 

You may be wondering WHY I'm writing about Kirkus Review... Well, I've submitted a book (To Eris - Human) and I'm waiting anxiously for the review. I'm trying to stay positive, but much like Louise, I'm worried it will be a bad review despite the responses of those who have read it and told me.

My review is due on or before July 13th.... Yes, that is the first day of my blog tour. SO, I'm keeping my fingers crossed, which is why it's taking me so long to type this post. LOL. 

Today's picks for blogs I've found are....

  1. Louise Esola writer - Found her in a search about Kirkus Starred Reviews. Congrats!
  2. Claudine Carmel - Another Starred review winner with a blog. Congrats!
  3. Kirkus Reviews - This is a link to another author's review (not a star, but it caught my eye and I can't find anything other than this review and the amazon page with it listed)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A to Z: Jewels for Juveniles


It's amazing and wonderful how enormous the children's book industry is! I'm proud to say I'm part of that. These are the formative years of our lives -- when we learn the basis of everything in our lives.

These books are gems hidden in words and colorful pictures. Just as precious, if not more so, than any jewels you'd put on your finger.

How many of us, no matter what age, still remember our favorite childhood stories? I'm certain everyone does.

Do you remember a specific book or time when some special magic happened and your love of books took on a new level and dimension in your hearts? Opened the doors to your endless imagination?
We need to make sure quality books reach the hands of our young people. Reading is an essential skill that is honed by practice. The more we read, the more we learn. Our language skills increase. Our mind is our greatest tool and books are my weapons.

Today's three blog choices are: (drum roll please)

  1. Escape into Words - Not a huge site, but I like it. Very honest feeling.
  2. I am a Reader! - Adorable site! Lots of reviewers and reviews!
  3. Just One More Chapter - Love it! All levels of children's books covered. Very cute graphics too. (love the butterfly review ratings!)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A to Z: Inspiration to Ink

nspiration to Ink

YAY!!! My first meet and greet. It’s not until June 20th, but I’m so excited about it! Inspiration to Ink is the meet and greet organized by the MidAtlantic SCBWI. I’ve been thinking about becoming a member, but want to see first-hand and talk with others passionate about books!

The event is in Richmond, Virginia and a friend of mine is going with me because my husband has to work that Saturday. It should be very interesting and informative and I hope lots of fun. Do any of you have experience with SCBWI or any other industry organizations that you can share?

It’s an amazing time to be in children’s books. At least for me it is. I feel liberated and invigorated with a feverish desire to write more and make them come to life.

This is my first time dealing with the issue of finding and working with an illustrator. I knew there are many, many artists and styles, but when it came time for me to begin my search and try to relate my vision with the illustrators I’ve met…. WOW, what a challenge.

One of the wonderful parts that I’ve discovered is when you find an illustrator whose art inspires you to write more and stirs up the embers of the imagination. I’ve narrowed it down to two illustrators and it’s not an easy task! They’re both amazing! How do you do it?

Well, I’m hoping to get more insight and support when I meet those at the Inspiration to Ink event.


For those of you following my journey with this A to Z Challenge, don't forget to enter again in the contest under Goodreads & Giveaway! For those of you just finding me, follow the link and enter!

Today's pick three blog choices!

  1. YA Novel Reader - More promos then reviews from what I see, but a nice reference site. 
  2. Katie Lynn Johnson - Nice list of reviews,an entire page of YA Indie Bloggers, and her books look interesting too.
  3. The Crazy Bookworm - If you only check one of these, I recommend this one. Love the tagline too! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cover Reveal - Evanesce by Cassia Brightmore

Title: Evanesce
Series: The Darkness #2
Author: Cassia Brightmore
Cover Design: Mayhem Cover Creations
Release Date: June 29, 2015


If your soul has been plunged into the dark depths of despair, how hard would you fight to claw your way back to the surface? Can the life you lost be restored, or is it destined to be forever phased out of existence? Fated to dissolve into a distant memory.

The Black Market—a ferocious, starving beast. An endless sinkhole of precious valuables; the playground for blood-thirsty power seekers. Only one thing feeds its hunger like no other…human life.

A sinister criminal ring has descended on the small town of Norton Springs, instilling fear in the residents. A vicious wave of disappearances coupled with the gut-wrenching horror of infants being ripped from the arms of their helpless mothers has the town quaking in terror.

When Gabe Thornton strolls back into his hometown, his main goal is to claim the one woman that has always denied her feelings for him—Nora Jacobs. The last thing he expects is to be thrust into a storm of devastation and chaos. Will his strength be enough to save them from the dark souls that threaten to destroy their chance at happiness?

Broken futures. Shattered dreams. Mind-numbing loss. When your heart has been ripped away from you—how do you find the will to go on?

No one is safe. Everything you thought you knew is about to change in this second installment in The Darkness Series. Warning: Due to adult content and graphic situations, this book is intended for readers 18 and up.

Pre-order Links


Available Now (book 1)



Everyday like clockwork, a meal tray arrived to her chamber. Her immaculately decorated, spacious house of horrors. The large, sinister looking man covered in tattoos and body armor would saunter into her room and deliver a tray of the most delicious meals. The aroma was always so hard to resist, even though every fiber of her being screamed at her to grab the tray and launch it at him, and then run like hell for the door.

The nightmares she had witnessed while being in this godforsaken place was the only thing that kept her sitting frozen, watching him approach with careful eyes.

Dropping the tray on the dark wood table a few feet from the bed where she sat, he leveled her with a look.

“You will eat it.” It wasn’t a question, it was a cold command from the brick wall pretending to be a human. In the first few weeks of her captivity, she had learned what happened when she tried to remain stubborn and starve herself. Shuddering, she shook off the horrific memories.

“I want to see him.” She spoke out of nowhere, surprising herself as much as him. He cocked a brow at her, his displeasure at her demand evident.

“He will come to you when you are more ripe.” With those words, he turned and stomped out of the room, the finality of the lock clicking sounding as loud as a bullhorn. She dropped her head in defeat, her hands moving to splay across her belly protectively as silent tears tracked down her cheeks.

I will find a way to free us, little one.

Author Bio

Cassia Brightmore is a new indie author. Her debut novel, Malevolent is the first book in the Darkness Series and can be read as a standalone. 
Writing has always been a passion of hers and publishing her first novel is truly a dream come true. She enjoys writing dark stories that she hopes will thrill the reader.

Cassia lives in Grimsby, Canada with her two furbabies, Harley and Molly.

Author Links