Sunday, December 9, 2018

This Week on Books Direct - 9 December 2018

This Week on Books Direct -
9 December 2018

This Week on Books Direct - 9 December 2018

Here's a list of some great articles you may have missed this week. Enjoy!

Heinlein’s Rules For Writers by James Scott Bell for Kill Zone Blog
Read James’s commentary on Heinlein’s “Five Rules for Writers”.

Heinlein’s Rules For Writers by James Scott Bell for Kill Zone Blog

So, you finished your first novel during NaNoWriMo last month. What comes next?

The mobile library bringing books to children in some of Jakarta's poorest neighbourhoods.

Orna Ross, founder and director of the Alliance of Independent Authors, calls for governments to recognise and support indie authors and the contribution they make to society and to the global economy by encouraging and facilitating financial independence and business education.

Campaign: Governments Must Support Indie Author Earnings Through Encouraging Financial Independence by Orna Ross for ALLi

A collection of 60 Beatrix Potter first editions, including the much-loved author’s first book The Tale Of Peter Rabbit published in 1902, is to be sold at auction.

Collection Of 60 Beatrix Potter First Edition Books To Be Sold At Auction by News and Star

2018: The Year Of AI-Powered Communication by Devon Delfino for Grammarly Blog
Every year brings with it new innovations to be mastered and new challenges to tackle. But when it comes to writing technology, this is clear: It was a year of artificial intelligence-powered tools and features.

2018: The Year Of AI-Powered Communication by Devon Delfino for Grammarly Blog

9 Ways To Share Your Favorite Books With Fans by Audrey Derobert for BookBub
Every author understands the value of people recommending their books, driving exposure via word of mouth and ultimately boosting sales. But what some authors might not know is the value of making book recommendations themselves. Recommending books can be a great way to engage with fans, find new readers, and boost fellow authors.

9 Ways To Share Your Favorite Books With Fans by Audrey Derobert for BookBub

Following EU directive that allows governments to waive duty on digital publications, calls grow for the UK to end “illogical and unfair” levy.

“Axe The Reading Tax”: Book Industry Demands End To VAT On Ebooks by Alison Flood for The Guardian

Dumb It Down, Or Clear It Up? by David Leonhardt for The Happy Guy Writing Services
When you write in plain English, you are not “dumbing it down”. You are clearing things up.

Dumb It Down, Or Clear It Up? by David Leonhardt for The Happy Guy Writing Services

What Makes A Compelling Romance Novel? by Ann Leslie Tuttle for Reedsy Blog
Romance eaders come to the genre knowing they will (almost) always get a happy ending in which the protagonists find and profess their love. Therefore, it’s usually the writer’s crafting of the two main characters and their emotional journeys is what will keep the reader hooked. Here’s a list of trouble spots and ways to surmount them.

What Makes A Compelling Romance Novel? by Ann Leslie Tuttle for Reedsy Blog

Attract Instagram Followers Like Magnets by Bonny Albo for Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula
Are you an Instagram newbie? Find out how to attract more followers.

Attract Instagram Followers Like Magnets by Bonny Albo for Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula

Money Management For Authors by Jaren Nichols for The Creative Penn
Most creative types are more interested in honing their craft than bookkeeping - but making a good living as an author or freelance writer depends on more than just your wordsmithing. Whether writing is your side-hustle or full-time gig, managing money well is what will keep you in business.

Money Management For Authors by Jaren Nichols for The Creative Penn

Services continue to be targets for local authority budget cuts, with remaining services increasingly reliant on voluntary staff.

Nearly 130 Public Libraries Closed Across Britain In The Last Year by Sian Cain for The Guardian

Negative reviews of your work can cut deep. Author Pamela Jane offers five proactive measures you can take to stay strong and move forward when dealing with bad book reviews.

5 Tough Tips For Surviving (And Triumphing Over) Really Rotten Book Reviews by Pamela James for Writers Digest

Announcing the winners of the 10th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards, the only major book awards decided by readers. Congratulations to the best books of the year!

Goodreads Choice Awards: Best Books 2018 by Goodreads

Further to last week’s article, the result is now in:
And the winner of the 26th Bad Sex in Fiction Award is … James Frey has won the 26th annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award for Katerina. Warning: graphic sex scenes.

Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award by Literary Review

If you enjoyed this blog post, please visit the other This Week posts for links to more great articles.

Friday, December 7, 2018

"Paper Girl" by Cindy R. Wilson

Paper Girl
by Cindy R. Wilson

Paper Girl  by Cindy R. Wilson

Paper Girl by Cindy R. Wilson is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

I haven’t left my house in over a year. My doctor says it’s social anxiety, but I know the only things that are safe are made of paper. My room is paper. My world is paper. Everything outside is fire. All it would take is one spark for me to burst into flames. So I stay inside. Where nothing can touch me.
Then my mom hires a tutor. Jackson. This boy I had a crush on before the world became too terrifying to live in. Jackson’s life is the complete opposite of mine, and I can tell he’s got secrets of his own. But he makes me feel things. Makes me want to try again. Makes me want to be brave. I can almost taste the outside world. But so many things could go wrong, and all it takes is one spark for everything I love to disappear ...

I heard the elevator ding from down the hallway. Therapist #6. Probably another clone of Dr. Edwards and all the other therapists I’d had over the years. I ducked into my study when Mom told her to come back, and planted myself beside my desk. When she came in, her quick smile suggested she was perfectly comfortable walking into a strange place. Well, strange didn’t even begin to cover me and my room. The proof? Her surprised expression when she realized she’d just entered the Milky Way.
Strewn about the room were paper planets, stars, moons, and hopefully soon a couple of constellations. I folded them, cut them out, and crafted them until they became art. They mostly lined the southern wall, but Jupiter was bound to leak onto the ceiling.
And therein lay 80 percent of my life. Paper art in these four walls.
Therapist #6 said, “Wow. This is…out of this world.”
My cheeks flamed, and I gurgled out a laugh. It sounded so silly, so I kept my gaze averted. She didn’t look like a therapist. In fact, she looked young enough to be Dr. Edwards’s daughter, with her dark skinny jeans, a hip blazer, and a navy scarf with designs that reminded me of the galaxy above us. Her shoes were yellow—the same shade I used to make the sun. Did that mean she was inexperienced?
“Zoe, I’m Dr. Gina Price. You can call me Gina. Dr. Edwards mentioned I was coming when he saw you last week, right?”
I nodded. He’d sprung it on me after our session, right after we’d talked about compulsions and changing behaviors. We’d talked about how my parents were enablers, allowing me to stay cooped up in my large apartment with my own paper playground so I’d have no reason to want to leave. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d talked with them as well. My parents probably didn’t know what to do with a word like that. Enabler. Martin and Yoko King weren’t sure what to do with my therapy, either. They thought I was just “shy” and maybe “a little obsessive.”
“This is really impressive,” Gina said, staring at the ceiling. “How long did it take?”
I flicked a glance at her, surprised she asked. Dr. Edwards never asked about my paper art. My stomach clenched so tight, I thought I might throw up. I knew exactly what she was doing. Making small talk to get me to open up, feel comfortable. I kind of wanted to create paper dolls out of both her and Dr. Edwards so I could make them get swallowed by a black hole.
“A long time,” I said, so quiet I was sure she hadn’t heard me.
She stared up at Pluto, one of my favorite pieces. The dwarf planet and I were more alike than I wanted to admit. Both not quite what everyone thought we should be. It could be cold and lonely out in space.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Wilson made me care about the major and minor characters, root for their successes. I read Paper Girl in one sitting.” ~ Amy's Book Reviews
Paper Girl was unique in the way other elements were explored so that the whole story wasn't just focused on teenage anxiety.” ~ Hayley (Backpacking Bookworm), Goodreads
“... this book is amazing, and I believe Cindy R. Wilson did an excellent job telling this story.” ~ Heather, Goodreads
“Highly recommended to anyone that like YA contemporary novels.” ~ Bookish Tiffany
“I LOVED this book. It's a really sweet story, and I loved how pro-therapy it is.” ~ Julie, NetGalley

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
Zoe is a sixteen-year-old shut-in, while Jackson is seventeen and homeless. She never leaves her house, while he doesn’t even have a house. They are total opposites, but they find each other through an online chess game, where they tell each other their most intimate secrets, not thinking that they could ever meet. Little do they realize that they already know each other. What will happen when Jackson discovers Zoe’s secret identity? Can a relationship be built on lies? And what will happen when the truth eventually comes out? Will Zoe forgive Jackson? Will she ever be able to conquer her fears and live a life in the real world? These questions, and more, will be answered in this cute romance with serious undertones.
The story is told from the points-of-view of Zoe and Jackson, interspersed with their online chess chats. They’re both extremely likeable characters in heartbreaking situations. But you just can’t help but feel optimistic that these two damaged souls with help each other heal. I loved the part Gina plays in Zoe’s recovery, especially when we find out why she does what she does.
Warnings: mental illness, alcoholism, drug abuse, child abuse.

Some of My Favorite Lines
“You can be yourself when you’re anonymous, but in real life you have to answer to who you really are. And sometimes, that’s the scariest thing of all.”
“Maybe Zoe’s childhood had vanished just like mine, and we were both unfortunate adults now.”
“The real world was like paper, and one screw up, one spark, and the whole thing would go up in flames.”
“Most everyone is too wrapped up in themselves to care about what you’re doing. And even if they do, it’s their problem, not yours.”
“How did a perfectly normal teenager go from reading on the bleachers in high school to hiding in her house and creating galaxies of paper?”
“Sometimes what you’re looking for finds you first.”
“If we were never anxious about anything, some things wouldn’t mean quite as much as they do when they happen.”


About the Author
Cindy R. Wilson
Cindy lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and loves using Colorado towns and cities as inspiration for settings in her stories. She's the mother of three girls, who provide plenty of fodder for her YA novels. Cindy writes speculative fiction and YA fiction, filled with a healthy dose of romance. You'll often find her hiking or listening to any number of playlists while she comes up with her next story idea.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card and Paper Girl themed journal (US only).


12 Days of Clean Romance featuring Delaney Cameron

The Gift of Love
(Finding Love Book 9)
by Delaney Cameron

The Gift of Love (Finding Love Book 9) by Delaney Cameron

During the month of December, we will be featuring 12 authors who write clean romance. Today we feature Delaney Cameron with The Gift of Love, ON SALE for only $0.99.

Also available in the Finding Love series:

This book blast and giveaway is hosted by I Am A Reader and Clean Wholesome Romance.

Leah didn’t plan to still be searching for love so late in her twenties. Her looks almost guarantee her success with the opposite sex, but quantity doesn’t mean quality. Good thing she’s got a great career to fall back on. The only dark cloud on that particular horizon is the enigmatic Dr. Levy, the man she’s come to think of as a permanent thorn in her side. Brilliant and handsome he most certainly is, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that he’s also stern, impatient, and bad-tempered. Oddly enough, it isn’t their mostly negative encounters that linger in her mind. Instead it’s the sadness she glimpses from time to time in his face. There’s no explanation for why she’s so bothered by this, nor can she imagine a situation where she’ll be in a position to discover the cause of his silent misery. All of which means she’s wasting her time. If anyone can take care of himself, it’s Dr. Levy.
Stratton had only been at Hutchison Clinic a short time before he heard about the beautiful nurse on the second floor. In his usual skeptical fashion he discounted the gossip until he saw Leah for himself. He had no problem admitting that the reports of her beauty hadn’t been exaggerated, but appreciation was as far as he was prepared to go. Love, romance and the so-called happily-ever-after only exist in the movies. Putting your happiness in someone else’s hands is just begging to be hurt. He has a monthly alimony payment to prove it. Getting his family and friends to understand his preference for bachelorhood isn’t so easy. While he appreciates their concern, he doesn’t need the complication of something with such overwhelming odds of failure. One ex-wife is enough for any man.
Author’s Note: Although this book is a romance novel, it deals with loss and grief. If you’re sensitive to these issues, this might not be the book for you.

The salad course had just been served when Leah became aware of movement behind her. She turned her head to see what was going on and nearly dropped the dinner roll she’d been in the act of buttering. Under her astonished gaze, Dr. Levy sat down in the empty seat beside her.
After thanking the waitress for a menu and asking for coffee, he turned to Leah and smiled. “Hello, again. If I wasn’t so sure you don’t like me, I’d begin to think you’re following me.”
This provocative greeting broke the spell she’d fallen under. “I was here first, so the person doing the following is you.”
“Don’t confuse the issue with facts.” He opened the menu and ran his eyes down the offerings. “This place has a little of everything, doesn’t it? What did you get?”
“Grilled shrimp with a baked sweet potato and Caesar salad.”
“Sounds good. I think I’ll get that, too.”
As if on cue, the waitress arrived with his coffee and took his order. Leah used the time to finish buttering her roll and quiet her suddenly jangled nerves. In the three weeks since Dr. Levy had given her a ride during that awful trip to Lake Oconee, she’d avoided going anywhere near his area of the clinic. This kind of behavior was unusual for her, but no one likes being caught in an embarrassing situation by someone who already thinks badly of them.
And now, here they were again, thrown together by forces outside her control and which no one could have foreseen. Escape was impossible. Her only choice was to make the best of it. While she was doing that, she might as well satisfy her curiosity about his presence here. They had to talk about something; it might as well be that. Besides, it was always better to go on the offensive in situations like this.
“How do you know Evangeline and Cecil, Dr. Levy?”
He smiled as he stirred cream into his coffee. “The name is Stratton. Save Dr. Levy for work. I don’t know Evangeline at all. I’m one of Cecil’s numerous cousins. What about you?”
She didn’t hear much of what he said after the word Stratton. It was an unusual name, but it suited him somehow. As for calling him by it, that was something else entirely. They weren’t (and would probably never be) on those kind of terms. She realized he was waiting for an answer and blushed slightly. “Evangeline and I met in middle school. Her family moved to South Carolina during our senior year. She was thrilled when I took the job in Myrtle Beach.”
“It seems I’m going to be more than a wedding guest tomorrow. Cecil just asked if I could fill in for one of the groomsmen.”
Which meant he’d be the one walking her down the aisle. Could things get any stranger? “It’s nice of you to do it on such short notice.”
He shrugged. “I don’t mind. If we’d known ahead of time that we were both coming this way, we could have ridden together.”
Leah was saved having to come up with a response to this startling remark by the arrival of the main course. In truth, she was having trouble reconciling this sociable man with the somewhat reserved and often-times stern physician she knew from the clinic. Which one was the real Stratton?
She almost jumped out of her skin when she heard his voice close to her ear.
“What are you doing after this thing is over?”
“I’m going back to Evangeline’s house. All the bridesmaids are staying there.”
“It’s still early. Would you be interested in taking a drive?”
Taking a drive? With him? Now things were just starting to get weird.
When she didn’t say anything, a gleam appeared in his eyes. “It’s okay to refuse, Leah. You won’t hurt my feelings.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to go; I’m just…” She stopped, trying to think of a nicer word than flabbergasted or amazed. “I’m surprised. Our acquaintance has had some…rocky moments.”
He speared one of his shrimp and doused it in melted butter. “Then it’s about time we did something to change that.”
“Is it?”
“Of course. First or even second impressions aren’t always the right ones.”
“How about third or fourth?” she couldn’t resist asking.
He nodded. “Those, too. Don’t you think we owe it to ourselves and each other to find out how wrong or right we were?”
I guess so, and we probably won’t have a better opportunity than this.”
“I agree.”
“In that case, I’ll be happy to go for a drive with you.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“I loved this book! It has every element that makes for a fantastic read. It pulls you into the lives of the characters and you laugh with them, cry with them, hurt with them, and rejoice with them. It has passion and yet it is clean … loved it!” ~ RevsBev
“This is a great story with heartbreaking moments that will just have you crying but it also has heartwarming moments that will touch your heart and charming characters too.” ~ Kindle Customer 3
“So many authors ‘attempt’ to write romance, but Delaney has delivered a truly well done book. The story is so well written you feel like it’s real with characters that come alive. The heartache, loss, laughs and joy will capture emotion that’s not always believable, but in this story I felt all that emotion. On top of that I can recall no grammatical or editing errors. That’s another rare treat. Without revealing the story line I will only say that there are major life changing events which are woven so well into this single book you don’t realize it’s all happening until you’ve finished the book and still want more.” ~ Barbara

About the Author
Delaney Cameron
I’m a Georgia girl at heart if not by birth. I love to read, watch college football, and spend time with my husband. I’m a hopeless romantic so there will always be a happily ever after in my stories. I also like to write about second chances because love doesn’t always work out the first time.
My books are sweet romances set in both contemporary and regency settings featuring stories about the journey to love, from that first meeting to the point where two people know their hearts are no longer their own. My characters aren’t perfect. They make mistakes and have faults like the rest of us. They learn the sometimes painful truth that the path to love isn’t always smooth, but it’s a road worth traveling.

Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.