Regular readers of this blog are well aware that we're huge fans of Stephen King. Like, really huge. In fact, it was just a few weeks ago that we ran a list post entitled 10 Books recommended by Stephen King. We make no secret of our geeky fandom for the modern master of horror or the fact that we own hardback editions of all his books and seen every movie based on his books (including the remakes). No, we don't apologize for any of that. The only thing we're truly sorry for is that we haven't shared more of his genius wisdom. Hopefully, these wonderfully insightful quotes from some of his best novels will help us rectify the situation ever so slightly. Enjoy, faithful and constant reader.
Since there's a pesky 24-hour time limit, you'll only be able to read so many books on any given day (even if you could eliminate the need for eating and sleeping). Clearly you don't want to waste a single precious second of reading time on books that are, shall we say, less than one would hope for. Which is why it's critical to build a TBR list of only premium quality, best-of-the-best, deliciously breath-taking stories to feed your insatiable reading appetite. Luckily for you, we have a selection that includes something for everyone. Trust us, you're gonna want to loosen up your Amazon buy button finger. This list will test its endurance.
I've been a professional graphic designer for over two decades but had never tried my hand at book cover design until a couple of years ago when a friend asked me to design the cover for a book she had written. Honestly, I didn't think it would be much of a challenge. At that point in my career I had extensive experience in a wide variety of complex design projects so designing a book cover seemed relatively simple by comparison. After all, it's just one page with a limited amount of type. How hard could it be, right? As it turns out, I quickly learned how humbling book cover design can be. Done right, it can make all the difference in the world. But if you don't pay attention to the details, it can be a disaster. With all this in mind, we'd like to share a selection of book covers we've noticed so far in 2017. They cover a range of genres but share one thing in common: the ability to stop our eye from scanning through the endless stream of thumbnails on Amazon and draw us in. Enjoy.
I don’t know about you guys but when I sit down to fire up the Kindle app on my iPad, I tend to keep a snack or two nearby so I can nibble as I read. Given how often I read, it’s important to change things up on a regular basis. Fortunately, I have a rather diverse taste in snacks. Salty, sweet, savory, you name it and I’ve probably tried it.
As a reader, I have to admit my tastes aren’t nearly as varied. Sure, I’ve been known to try a good murder mystery every so often. Heck, I even accepted a dare from my blog partner to read a paranormal romance novel. But more often than not, I tend to stay in my wheelhouse of horror, paranormal or post apocalypse. Luckily, there are some absolutely amazing authors in these genres. Some you’ve probably heard of, others maybe not.
To help readers who may not be familiar with my favorite genres, I’ve put together a list of some of the all-time best writers and paired them with a snack that will give you some insight into what you can expect from their novels. Sounds a bit strange, right? Fair enough but stay with me, I think you’ll like where this goes. Worse case, you’ll get a bad case of the munchies.
Remember the days when being a book lover meant stuffed bookshelves and stacks of books in every nook and cranny of your house? Some people still love the experience of reading a physical book but with smartphones and tablets becoming so common, there’s just no denying the many benefits and conveniences of having an entire library of thousands of available on these tiny portable devices. Beyond the selection of dedicated eReaders such as the Kindle, Nook and Kobo there are also a wide range of more general purpose smartphones and tablets from Apple, Samsung and Google. By now, we’re all well aware of the free Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and Kobo apps available for every major platform but there’s also a wide selection of options to serve every possible need of an avid bibliophile. Lucky for you, we’ve scoured the iOS and Google Play app stores for some of the very best. Take a look and see if some of them are a fit for you.
I don't know why but air travel is stressful. It just is. Maybe it's the pressure of having to arrive hours before your flight is scheduled to actually leave. Maybe it's the impersonalization of being herded like cattle through security. Maybe it's the ridiculous rush to be first to board/deboard the plane. Or maybe it's just the general anxiety of knowing that you'll be 30K+ feet in the air traveling 500+ mph in a metal tube. In reality, it's probably some combination of all these factors. Regardless, that already high stress level often goes through the roof when travelers scan through the airport Departures board and and see "DELAYED" - or worse "CANCELLED" - in the Status column for their flight.
So what's a weary traveler supposed to do when trapped in an airport for several hours? Duh, it's a perfect excuse to do what you already love anyway; read. In this case, it's a good idea to choose a book you can really lose yourself in. Even better if you can find one based in an exotic locale to remind you of the pleasurable side of air travel. We have a few recommendations to consider with a little something for everyone. So before your next flight, we suggest you pick out one or two, get them downloaded to your Kindle (or Kindle app) and make sure you scope out a seat next to a charging station. Before you know it, you'll be an island of serenity in a sea of airport tension and panic.
I’m not a big fan of reality TV. In my opinion, it’s cheap entertainment that makes everyone who watches it just a little dumber for sitting around watching “real” people do stupid crap for fame and/or money. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the appeal. I’ll even admit to having my IQ lowered on rare occasions when I was sucked into a reality tv show a friend or family member was watching (Hey, I only watched to be polite). They can be strangely compelling.
Crazy endings are in the same boat. Readers claim to despise them, screaming "WTF" at their Kindles but there are plenty of insane endings on the mega-bestsellers list. Some have even been made into giant movie franchises. Unlike reality TV however, a surprising conclusion doesn't assault your intellect, it comes after your emotions. The grinding pain of not knowing how the story ends—or if the story ends in some heart-wrenching fashion—can be devastating. Not to worry though, every book on our list of all-time great WTF endings is well worth the anguish. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think there’s an episode of Hoarders on my DVR I’ve been meaning to watch.
I don’t know about you but I don’t really pay much attention to movie reviews. I already know exactly what I want in a big screen experience. I’m a big fan of superheroes, car chase scenes, special effects eye candy and just about anything with Scarlett Johansson.
Books are a totally different story. There are a LOT more books out there than movies and a novel requires much more of a time commitment. Unless you have lots of free time to waste, it’s important to choose wisely. Reviews can be helpful—especially if a book has lots of them—but a recommendation from an all-time great, once-in-a-generation author like Stephen KIng (my absolute favorite writer) will move a book from the “maybe” list to my “must read” list faster than Pennywise slithering through a storm drain. Seriously, if Stephen King vouches for a book, that’s pretty much all I need to know. With that in mind, we’ve gathered 10 of his favorites for your consideration. We recommend having your Amazon “buy button” finger ready to go.
You’ve been stuck inside for months, slogging through the cold and gloom of winter. Thank God, spring has finally arrived and it’s time for a well-deserved break. Whether you head for a beach resort, a cabin in the mountains or just take a stay-cation right in your own home, you’re going to need a good book or two (or ten) to help you relax and enjoy some quiet “you time.” Sure, you probably have a few titles already on your Kindle but why not take this opportunity to try a few genres outside your normal comfort zone. We’ve got a diverse list of page turners covering everything from romance to mysteries and ghost stories to thrillers. There’s a little something for everyone and more than enough to ensure your spring break will be filled with memorable reading.
Achieving a high level of success as an indie author is tough gig...like really tough. Besides the actual challenge of writing a book, you have to navigate all the countless other tasks, including editing, proofreading, cover design, book launch, social media, website and on and on and on. Even if you do everything right there’s still no guarantee of success (and certainly not much profit to speak of). For the average indie author, selling anything more than a few hundred books is considered very good. Only a very small percentage ever sell more than 1,000 books.
Which is why the amazing few who beat the odds and actually make it to the big time should be acknowledged, celebrated and studied by the rest of us. With that in mind, we’ll be presenting some of the hottest and most talented indie authors in the business. But, since there are so many amazing writers these days, there’s no way we can cover all of them in a single post so we’re breaking things down by genre (sometimes even by subgenre). We’re starting things off with suspense/thrillers, but watch this space for more awesome indie authors coming soon.
We like to think we’re a good judge of character. That we know and understand the people in our lives. In truth, it’s impossible to really know a person completely no matter how close you may be to them. Everyone has thoughts, desires and animosities they keep hidden away—sometimes even from themselves. For most, those feelings tend to stay right where they are, concealed from the rest of the world, never to be revealed or acted upon, at least not seriously. But every so often, people let their lusts and spite leak out and cause real damage. If you’ve been on the receiving end, then you’ve felt the sharp knife of betrayal as it sinks into your back even though you likely never saw it coming. (Or maybe you were the one who held the knife.) Most of us have felt that way to one degree or another which is why we can all relate to these nine tales of treachery.
The basics of show don’t tell
Hi all; Julie here! Today’s post goes back to basics with a discussion of Show Don’t Tell. (For other approaches to this rule, you can read JJ’s piece on balancing the mix of showing and telling, Pub Crawl alum Susan Dennard’s post on using showing and telling on macro and micro levels, and Kat’s approach to when to show and when to tell.) There are few rules of craft that can be applied to a draft that will lift the level of the writing with the same effect as this simple rule. With every first draft I write, I find I fall into the lazy habit of telling, and with each revision, I look for places I can show more. Some basic rules are basics for good reason.
Orgasms are good for you. It’s a fact. Go look it up. The oxytocin and other endorphins released during orgasm have been known to have a sedative and relaxing effect. And let’s face it, can’t we all use a little relaxation these days? So, for this Valentine’s Day, we’re suggesting—you know, for health reasons—that everyone have plenty of orgasms. We’ll leave it up to you to decide who to have them with. Maybe you’ll have them with that special someone, or maybe you’ll have them with the person you trust most in the world—yourself. Whatever. We don’t judge. We just want you all to be healthy. We’re givers that way. You’re welcome. So, with that goal in mind, here are a few erotic reading suggestions guaranteed to provide (ahem) inspiration for your endeavors this Valentine’s Day: