Review – Me Before You, By: Jojo Moyes

 

 

 

Happy Sunday, everyone! (Or Monday, for those of you further east, in which case, sweet dreams.)

Hope it’s been a lovely one so far. I finished a book today and I thought I would share with you the review I posted on Goodreads. Feel free to find me there! Cara’s Goodreads

me before you

 

 

Three things highly untypical of me:
1) Spending the better portion of the afternoon in bed reading a book. (I prefer reading at night.)
2) Suddenly being possessed by the urge for a cup of good tea. (I am a coffee drinker, like religion.)
3) Losing myself in a book.
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Awakening Foster Kelly – A Book Trailer

Melissa Robles, a book reviewer and friend of mine reached out earlier this month to ask if I might be interested in participating in the first post to launch her new blog. Of course I couldn’t have been more delighted. And I wondered what I might offer her that I hadn’t already given.

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Oh, I’ve wanted to experiment with one of these for quite some time. What a novel concept: a trailer for a book. I realize some find this trending phenomenon counter intuitive, as “The Book” was originally designed to reach beyond stationary thoughts and liberate the reader from having another’s images squashed into their minds. I rather like them. I enjoy the visual additives and, if the images don’t line up with what’s already coalesced in my head, well, that’s easy: I choose my own faces, places, and colors. I decided, however, I would avoid this potential issue by focusing on building the characters and depositing a snapshot of story in the reader. But, for those interested, there is a blog wholly devoted to the writer’s “dream cast” over at awakeningfosterkelly.com.

Can I be honest with you now? When we (Dear Husband and I) had finally finished the trailer, after many, many, many hours of inputting and rearranging and spooning cold soup into our gobs, I sniffled and blubbered and may have told my husband I needed to pee, but really smashed my face in a pillow where I could bellow properly. It’s just . . . I love it. I hope you will, too.

So,

when you have a moment, please come by, watch the trailer, enter the GIVEAWAY (If you already own a copy of AFK, you could always gift it to someone!), meet Melissa, and then read a few of her absolutely lovely reviews.

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http://thereaderandthechef.blogspot.com/

Bless and be blessed, my friends!

~ Cara

How do you read?

I love being at home. I enjoy the morning time, sipping coffee, checking e-mails, stretching out the wrinkles a good night’s sleep has left me. But I’d be lying most grievously if I didn’t admit that being alone without anyone to say so much as a hello to — save the fur-children — doesn’t leave me lonely once in a while. When I’m writing, steadily, I hardly notice the lack of spoken words. For inside things are very noisy indeed; a tug of war between characters, voices raised or lowered, hims and hers demanding I pay them attention. But times like these, quiet times, when I’m caught in the undertow, I notice. I notice everything. Today I noticed, though not for the first time, how I read.

I read slowly. I don’t have to, but I choose to because I don’t read for numerical achievement, but for immersion. I come before a book the same way I once came before the sea and my God, to be baptized in a glory not my own. Books contain oxygen. You can breathe them or spit them out. I am quick to euthanize a book I am not enjoying. There’s been too much good stuff written for me to spend my time reading what wasn’t. For a good book I’ll go the extra hundred miles. I will look up its every foreign word. I will teach myself to pronounce names that don’t read phonetically. I will make certain that I understand what I’m reading before moving on to the next page. If this means I have to put the book down and move to the computer, so be it.

Today I learned about gables. I typed the word G A B L E into Dictionary.com and yielded this: “the portion of the front or side of a building enclosed by or masking the end of a pitched roof.” And when that read like Greek I jogged over to Google images and searched until I found a picture. All in all it took me about 6 minutes before I fully understood a gable’s function and where I might find one were I looking for it. Is this strange? Am I the only who does this? Feel free to say “Cara, my friend, there there, we’ll make sure to find you a warm room with a lovely view of the lawn.”

I also noticed I am a savorer. If a line or passage strikes me as true and sharp, a flawless diamond mounted in rubble, I will read and reread until words morph into music, thereby easier to trap, easier to match the rhythm with that of my own heart’s beat. I must, or be driven to madness, consume the words, be absorbed, for only then can I secrete its beauty. I cannot go on to the next page, line, letter. Not until I know. I must know.

For me, reading is a lot like coloring. A book enters my hands bearing the detail of shape and structure, but it’s flat, like a wall or the ground. If I ran my hand over it, there would be no bumps, no hollows or secret passage ways, grooveless. It is my responsibility to give every word a color, every move a sound. I decide if the starry sky is black or purple, if the leaves on the tree are mint-green or kermit-green, or maybe not even green at all, but almost blue because of the time of day and the way the sun is hitting them. It’s not my design, no, but it is mine. And only when I make it mine does it become three dimensional, a living, breathing, effectual thing. The writer is the dream, but I the reader am the sleep.

So, anyway, these are strange musings, but I was curious today. How do you read? What does it look like for you?

September Special Feature

give away

I am incredibly honored to have been asked to participate in this month’s Author Special Feature. Debdatta, from Book Reviews by DDS has kindly selected my book to highlight during the month of September. There at her site, you may also enter to win Awakening Foster Kelly in the Giveaway, and learn a little more about the characters.

I hope you’ll stop by and say hello!
~ C

Enter to Win      < ——– <——– <——–

The Indie & The Masses

Traditional Publishing is rapidly becoming not so traditional. A new world develops, along with a new set of rules. There are certainly mixed feelings about this new world, but now more than ever agents are skeptical and pristinely selective. The inveterate publishing houses look to foster their recurrent, reliable authors, for they represent what is guaranteed.

I am a subscriber to Publisher’s Lunch (For those of you who don’t know, this is the less costly version of Publisher’s Weekly). From what I can tell, the percentage of fresh meat being tossed around the butcher’s shop is paltry. There is a niche; a very small, tightly molded niche, and if you’re lucky enough to fill it then you’ve beaten the odds.

As the mainstream doorway for budding authors continues to inch shut, writers —  facing rejection and presented with other options — are taking their labor and their rights into their own hands. This yields incredible hope and promise for many, but there are those that would say this “progress” hinders the advancement of Great Fiction being read. And to that I would say, “Are you kidding me?”

Here’s why:

The masses will decide what they do and don’t like.

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The reason I support Indie Authors and Self-Publishing is not because of my own failure to attain representation; it is because I have always and will always believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to prove themselves. Of course it is up to the author to make the most of their arrival. We hope they have spent years and years reading books, developing their craft, entering contests, participating in writing prompts and critique groups. We hope they have failed and we hope this failure is not a reflection of the writing itself, but of a market tending to generate what it knows and perpetuate its own comfort level.

Risk is scary, and when it’s the agent’s head on the chopping block, when their livelihood depends on your success, well gosh, I don’t blame them one bit for being cautious. (Occasionally they will be unnecessarily rude and snarky, and that I don’t condone because it’s just not classy. Put a dollar in the jar.) But if it were me and my head, I would respond no differently.

And this is what I have come to love about self-publishing: the risk is entirely at the discretion of the author. It is the author — not the agent, not the publisher — walking themselves into the fire; and either they will be refined or burnt to a crisp, but either way it’s their business, so why the fuss? Why the arched brows and pursed lips? Why the need to criticize the whole tree because of its assortment of rotten apples? It’s not the trees fault. It was planted there to grow and bring something good to the people. It cannot be held responsible for every wayward fruit.  So, if the apple turns to mush in your mouth, for cryin’ out loud reach up and pick another! Poor editing, lousy characters, a drooping plotline, less than convincing dialog — all these I have found in self-published titles, and all these I have found among imprints.

Just the chance; everyone deserves that.

In this post I am introducing six Indie Authors. Their genres and interests span from one end of the spectrum to the other. Below you will find their bios, photos, blurbs, and media-kits. Get to know them; perhaps one will be your next favorite author.

Before you meet them, though, read the article I have copied and pasted from KDP (Kindle Publishing Direct) about one stalwart author’s persistence and her well-earned success in the self-publishing market. This success is very rare, and entirely the result of a tenacious attitude hard work, and let’s not forget the most important part — great writing. Had agent rejection punctuated her career, a great series might never have been discovered. This author saw her chance and she took it. Good for her.

So, in closing, we need not have our hands groping for the throat of the publishing industry. We need not choke or strangle it into submission. The pulse remains tried and true. And it will beat of its own accord, the way it always has, whether or not there are people who wish to dictate it.

Let the masses decide. We the people don’t exist under an oligarchy; and neither should our books.

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