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Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Skean copy As I’ve written before, every time I discover a new review of my books, my hands sweat and my heart thumps quickly. It’s always a little scary to see what a reader thinks of the worlds I’ve created. Perhaps they won’t like my story or fantastical world or language or characters or…

Thanks to those people who part with a few dollars and open the (real or virtual) pages of my books. I’m grateful for readers and for their support, both when they purchase my books and when they take the time to review them.

From Amazon, here are a few reviews of The Enchanted Skean:

“Vonnie Winslow Crist has written a fantastical story that brings the reader along for the journey. Young Beck is sent on a mission by his grandmother to bring his father’s bones back home. In the process he discovers the skean and finds out that it is enchanted. I loved this story. I found that the characters were very interesting and I wanted to know more about them. This book is a fun read for young adults and older.” – April Sue Billings

“Originally, I purchased this book for my nephew but was drawn in by the beautiful cover. It’s a wonderful read and I enjoyed the way the fantasy was presented…the protagonist was believable, and without being preachy, the book sends a good message. BTW, my nephew loved it also, and wants to know when the next one is coming out!”  – Haley’s Comments

“Loved this! Highly recommend for both middle readers and adult alike. I’ve read several of this author’s books, and she’s definitely an up-and-coming talent to watch.” – Katie (Hagerstown, MD)

You can find other reviews of The Enchanted Skean on this blog at Looking for Stars, Lucky Thirteen, and First Reviews of The Enchanted Skean.

Thanks again to my readers. Interested in checking out a copy? Here’s the Amazon link for The Enchanted Skean.

(BTW, if you write a review on Amazon or Amazon UK of one of my books, I might reprint it on Whimsical Words).

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mermaid My story collection, Owl Light, includes several reprinted tales along with brand new stories. In order for a reader to read the reprinted stories in their original versions, he or she would have to hunt for, locate, then purchase various anthologies and magazines.

One of the reprinted tales, “By the Sea,” was an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Honorable Award Winner,  released as an eShort (no longer available) as well as being included in Tales of the Talisman. It was also voted one of the Top Ten SF/F Short Stories in the P&E Reader’s Poll. Though it has been updated, the storyline and mermaid theme remain the same. I thought readers might like to read 2 brief reviews of “By the Sea.”

Author Robin Bayne: “I really enjoyed this lovely tale. The story was short but conveyed an interesting world and characters you could care about.”

Editor/author WH Stevens: “”Ms. Crist’s story, “By the Sea,” will take you to a land of seaside delights and carnival excitement. Bordering on a dreamy current of fantasy and reality, the story of Dusana, the 17 year old sideshow mermaid will keep your attention for a fast, easy read. The characters, so real you can see them, the sights of the neon lights and the sound of the calliope will transport you to Dusana’s world where she dreams of being a normal person. And the poetic, smooth language will engage you and seep into you like the ocean itself. The charm of the merfolk, candied apples and sideshow barkers will draw you to a touching and unexpected conclusion. Welcome to the fantasy world of Vonnie Crist. This is her moment and it is a fine one, indeed.”

Like mermaids, boardwalks, and sideshow? Buy Owl Light, then turn to “By the Sea.” (And if you’re a fan of shape-changing sea creatures, the next tale in the book features a selkie).

 

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tolkien On the pending publication of Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien said: “I am dreading the publication, for it will be impossible not to mind what is said. I have exposed my heart to be shot at.”

As a fan of LotR, The Hobbit, and other works by Tolkien, I can’t imagine him doubting the merit of this trilogy. Yet, I know as a writer when a book (or even a story, poem, or non-fiction piece) of mine is published, there is both joy at seeing the completion of a work and a sense of dread anticipating the less than positive comments and inevitable bad reviews.

Even those best books don’t please everyone, so I know there will be those readers who think my child (my book) is ugly or stupid. And though I steel myself for those critical comments and reviews, I know, I, too, have exposed my heart to be shot at.

I wonder if reviewers and readers who post reviews to Amazon, Goodreads, and elsewhere know how their words effect the author? Do you try to make your comments constructive criticism when you don’t care for a book? Or not?

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Skean copy Whenever the night sky is clear, I look for stars. When I find the first star of evening, I always wish upon it. And now, I find myself hoping for 4 and 5 star reviews for my books. How strange to watch for stars on a website rather than twinkling in the heavens!

Two new reviews of my fantasy novel, The Enchanted Skean, have been posted. Thanks to Ellen Fritz of Books4Tomorrow for her 5 star review: http://bookstomorrow.blogspot.com/2013/06/review-enchanted-skean-by-vonnie.html And thanks to Aimee Brown of Getting Your Read On for her 4 star review: http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-enchanted-skeen-by-vonnie-winslow.html I keep my fingers crossed that more readers and reviewers will enjoy my newest book and give it lots of stars.

River of Stars fc But I can’t leave my readers with such a meager blog post – so I’ll share the poem, Orion, from my 2nd book of myth-based poetry, River of Stars. Enjoy!

Orion

At the Science Center poetry reading,

the projectionist

activates the planetarium’s dome,

focuses on Orion:

the Great Hunter strides across the heavens,

arms flung wide, ever questing

after that which he cannot have.

Lepus the Hare, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Taurus…

one constellation after another flashes

above us till the roof is a picturebook

filled with celestial allegories.

In the dim planetarium after the show,

seven poets share their work.

Six choose to remain earthbound —

while I, a mere storyteller

inspired by star fire and mythology,

pick up an astronomy book

and begin the journey.

Afterwards, I shake a few hands,

wander into the Baltimore streets,

find my car, glance up.

Even in the city,

Orion appears large and formidable

as he reaches, like humankind,

across the gulf of distance and time

and tries to pluck

the stars from the sky.

©Vonnie Winslow Crist

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Skean copy The first reviews of The Enchanted Skean are in, and I couldn’t be happier. Now, I know that not all the reviews are going to be as positive, but I’m delighted that so far readers are pleased with my young adult fantasy novel.

First Amazon review: “5 Stars – What An Imagination. I loved this novel. It transported me into a three dimensional reality full of rich details and memorable characters. I only wish the second book were already published so that I could continue with the characters for the next phase of the journey. P.S. I really want a dragonet of my own!” – Dawn C.

The first review of The Enchanted Skean by Douglas R. Cobb appeared in New Yorker Times. It’s quite long, and I won’t include the whole thing here, but here are a two excerpts:

“Once you begin reading The Enchanted Skean by Vonnie Winslow Crist, you won’t want to put it down.”

The Enchanted Skean… is a remarkable fantasy novel that will have your enraptured from the opening page to the very last one. If you love reading epic fantasy novels filled with magic, myriads of cool characters and races, and plenty of warriors and action, I highly recommend you check out [this book]. I’m very much looking forward to reading the next book in the Chronicles of Lifthrasir, and you will, also, once you read The Enchanted Skean.”  To read full review: http://newyorkertimes.com/2013/04/theenchantedskean/ (Sorry, site has been taken down).

Curious about the book?  Here’s a link to The Enchanted Skean’s book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-8C9OkyJCU and a 3-chapter excerpt: http://vonniewinslowcrist.com/books/the_enchanted_skean_excerpt

Thanks Douglas R. Cobb and Dawn C. for your reviews. I hope other readers like the book as much as you.

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Skean copy The book world has changed enormously since my children’s book, Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales, was published. Yes, I had to do school visits and storytellings, but most of the promoting was done by my small press publisher. The Vegetarian Resource Group secured reviews and in-person interviews, placed ads in print publications, and listed the book in their printed catalog. Brick and mortar stores, both independents and chains, carried the paperback and royalty checks were issued when sales were good.

Nowadays, authors with small press publishers are often responsible for securing their own interviews and reviews. And those interviews are usually done via the internet, whether later published on a blog or offered as a podcast. Advertisements in print publications have been replaced by book trailers on YouTube, online ads, and excerpts read on a computer screen. Online book stores have grabbed a huge share of the book market, and if profits are realized, an online deposit is made in an author’s electronic account.

So what’s an author to do? I say, “Embrace the changes and learn the new world of books!” And that’s what I’m trying to do with The Enchanted Skean, my just-released fantasy novel from Mockingbird Lane Press. For better or worse, the book world is changing, and this writer is trying her best to take advantage of the new technologies and the wide support network offered by the internet.

So please check out the following, and let me know what you think.

Alesha Escobar’s Blog Interview of Vonnie: http://www.aleshaescobar.com/feature-friday-the-enchanted-skean/

Larry Matthew’s Podcast Interview of Vonnie: https://soundcloud.com/larry-matthews/vonnie-winslow-crist-talks

Book Trailer for The Enchanted Skean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-8C9OkyJCU

Online 3-chapter excerpt of The Enchanted Skean: http://vonniewinslowcrist.com/books/the_enchanted_skean_excerpt

And giving credit where credit is do, thanks to Alesha and Larry for doing the interviews, Jamie at Mockingbird Lane Press for the book trailer, and the readers who’ve bought the book. It takes lots of support to become a successful author, and I appreciate all the support I’ve received.

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Hooray! The Enchanted Skean is now available from Amazon.  The 7-year journey from first words jotted on paper to completed novel has finally yielded a published book!  And I hope you like the cover using my painting and the art director skills of Jamie Johnson. Below is the cover blurb:

Skean copy “The Enchanted Skean – Book I of The Chronicles of Lifthrasir is a YA coming-of-age adventure novel filled with magic, miracles, and mystery. 14-year old Beck Conleth is living a quiet life in the seaside town of Queen’s Weather when his grandmother sends him on a journey to Ulfwood to retrieve his father’s bones and a family skean (dagger). After reaching Ulfwood, Beck discovers the skean is magical, and that it answers only to him. Soon the enchanted skean and its owner attract the attention of dark mages, goblins, and worse. Helped on his journey home by Wisewomen, warriors, shape-changers, and the other good folk of Lifthrasir, Beck faces death, danger, and the theft of his skean.

Accompanied by his best friend, Beck stows away on a ship, takes back his skean, befriends a dragon, and escapes with a troop of thieves. After reaching a dock in West Arnora, the company heads for the fortress of Ravens Haunt. As Beck and his companions face a hideous Skullsoul and an army of ogerhunches, he realizes there is a developing confrontation between good and evil, and he and his enchanted skean have a role to play.”

Thank you to Mockingbird Lane Press & Editor Regina Williams for not only believing in my novel, but helping me make it a better book with their invaluable input. And thanks to friends, family, and fans who’ve helped me on this journey.

Now, the success of The Enchanted Skean rests with you – the readers. So if you enjoy adventure tales filled with magic and epic fantasy, please visit Amazon,  “Like” The Enchanted Skean – Book I of the Chronicles of Lifthrasir, buy a copy, and post a review. If you’re on Goodreads, please post a review there, also. Thanks so much. – Vonnie

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