for the Bookworms

The perks of a small book.

Most publishers won’t risk as short a story as this.
 
I will. In fact, I think it’s quite appropriate that my debut book is so small. Here’s why:
 
37308175_2127465814208333_4686015220668170240_n
 
I grew up with a love for reading. I devoured books as a kid from a young age, until I didn’t.
 
Ya see, I hit that age where I was supposed to move from short stories to chapter books. Ya know, those bulky things that take forever to get to the point and describe too much because there aren’t pictures to do the describing for it. My kid brain couldn’t handle it. While other avid readers were finding big books to love, I had this hurdle I couldn’t seem to get across as I entered my teenage years.
 
Perhaps my love of reading, my future of writing, perhaps it would have died there. If it weren’t for my mom who didn’t give up, and if it weren’t for TCDC. The Three Cousins Detectives Club series (that’s an affiliate link – I may receive $ from purchases made with that link). Teeny tiny chapter books. 40 pages max. A mystery that kept my kid brain hooked and made the concept of longer stories manageable. My mom bought me every single book in the series (that’s 40 books) once she saw I’d devour them.
 
And that was the gateway to larger books. I pretty quickly jumped from those teeny things to Ted Dekker books like Blink (also an affiliate link – I may receive $ from purchases made with that link), well above my age range. Fast forward to getting an English Lit degree and becoming a writer. And it started with TCDC.
 
Small books get a bad rap, but small books kept my love for reading intact.
 
And small books aren’t just for kids learning to read big books.
 
  • They’re for grownups who want to dig into a good story but don’t have the time to devote to a novel.
  • They’re for stolen moments in frenzied lives.
  • They’re for the non-bookworms, not quite ready to commit to those huge tomes on the bookshelves, yet still wanting a good story in a digestible format.
  • They’re for those who would be readers if reading was just a little more accessible.
 
One of my greatest surprises and delights in publishing I Know You Like a Murder is the number of non-readers who see it and say – “Oh, that I could read!”
 
That thing I found as a kid – that short mystery in quick chapters that pulls me in for a brief adventure – I now get to offer that to others. I think that makes kid me super proud.

 

for the Bookworms, Showcasing other Creatives

Book Review: 49th Mystic & Rise of the Mystics

(Sidenote thought that has no bearing on the review whatsoever: I have so many questions about how the whole “49th” mystic number works. So many questions. And while we’re at it, I have absolutely no idea why the second book was called “Rise of the Mystics”, besides the fact that it’s a fantabulous intriguing title.)

But onto the reviews. I am thrilled to be part of the Rise of the Mystics launch team, but had to jump back and read/review the first book of the series too.

The 49th Mystic

(The above is an affiliate link.
I may receive money for purchases made through that link.)

36548233

The 49th Mystic invites us into the world of the Circle once again. The nostalgia is strong with this one. But it’s not just for Circle fans. It’s a new story, a new character to love, beckoning a new generation of Dekkies I suppose. The story feels familiar and new, all at once. A blind girl who falls asleep and dreams of another world. And the fate of both worlds rests in her hands. See? Familiar, and new. Dekker pulls off a satisfying ending with resolution while also including a cliffhanger that leads into the sequel. Go figure. The good news is, you don’t have to wait. The sequel, Rise of the Mystics, is at your fingertips so you can scoop them both up at the same time.

 

Rise of the Mystics

(The above is an affiliate link.
I may receive money for purchases made through that link.)

38502449

Rise of the Mystics starts more or less where we left The 49th Mystic. Oh, except the story is turned on its head. I won’t spoil it, but it starts in a fresh way, not just same old same old. The pace of this book moves a little slower than the first, but it’s still a satisfying read. More than that, Dekker is one of the few (only?) writers who can weave a sermon into story without being preachy. A parable. A riveting story that makes you think, question your beliefs. And Rise of the Mystics builds to a great ending, a wonderful conclusion to the Circle world (although it’s not the end of Circle stories) that every Circle reader needs in their life. Snag this book for that alone, to end the journey with the promise fulfilled!

 

And a caveat to the whole Circle series I don’t know how to introduce…

One caveat I’ll give, something that disturbed me this time around about the Circle world that I wish I’d noticed years before: The representation of the horde and the albino seems racially insensitive, with traditionally black descriptors (for example, dreadlocks) assigned to the stinky diseased horde and typically white descriptors (like the name “albinos”) for those who have been cleansed. The story includes a brief phrase that clarifies the albinos are called that for the smoothness of their skin, not the color, but that felt a little forced when albino has always been about color not smoothness. I wrestled with this a long time, because I like to give honest positive reviews and I appreciate Dekker’s work. I’m mentioning it because it seems insensitive to me, and I’m surprised that no one else has raised this concern (although TV tropes lists the series under “Fantastic Racism”).

 

for the Bookworms, for the Writers

Unique Book Promotion

 
 

00110000 00110110 00101110 00110001 00110000 00101110 00110001 00110100 00100000 01001000 01101111 01110111 00100000 01100110 01100001 01110010 00100000 01110111 01101111 01110101 01101100 01100100 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100111 01101111 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01110100 01100001 01110000 00100000 01101001 01101110 01110100 01101111 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01010100 01110010 01110101 01110100 01101000 00111111

 

This is the facebook status I found recently on my newsfeed from Ted Dekker. This might make a little more sense if you knew he has a new book coming out called Hacker. (Big hint: It also might make more sense if you looked up the binary code.) Needless to say, I would certainly go as far as google, plus a couple clicks.

www.goodreads.com
www.goodreads.com

 

I love seeing great promotional ideas for books. This one made me all giddy.

 – A “secret” code (okay, a google search away – but you still have to want it!)

 – A story hook

 – A pseudo-pun within the code (“How far would you go?”)

All the makings of a great promotion in my book (haha. ha. ha. ahem…) 

 

I can’t bring up this discussion without thinking of the “Carrie” movie promotion last year. A telekinetic prank at a coffee shop – unique, entertaining, and unforgettable. While this was a promotional idea for the film, it seems to resonate with me as another great idea for promoting a book.

Here’s what I wanna know: What’s a unique book or movie promotion idea that really grabbed you?