Weekly Ramble #146

Just a few years back the concept of reaching 30,000 Twitter followers is something I would have laughed out loud at. Not anymore. And this journey has known zeros often but not today because I’ve reached that once impossible seeming milestone on the platform.

Of course and above all, this has not been a solo effort or journey. Much like all of my successes, they have been governed by others. And the help of others is what has pushed me to go further and dream bigger. I am nothing without the fantastic support of you and the now 30,000 followers who give me reason to keep going. This creative journey has been hard and every now and then it does bite me on the rear end but, the rewards are huge and this is a defining turning point.

But how? And what advice would I give to anyone looking to grow on social media as a creative? Just be open and do your best to build conversational bridges. My agenda has never really been to make money – I suppose that’s what has driven me to try and find something else and I have, conversation, support and consistency, they are just three of the many elements that make up the factors of my Twitter success. If you can offer something, someone out there will probably be motivated to take it. That and the sheer will to never ever give in, no matter what adversities I’ve faced internally and externally. Rewards come to those who work and keep going.

There is a hell of a lot more to come from me and you can expect a lot more content based on my Twitter experiences soon. For now, be sure to check out my Twitter Coaching Sessions here.

Thank you for the support!

‘Sentinel: Galaxii Book 4’ by Christina Engela – Review

Immersive and enjoyable space-sci fi

Christina Engela returns with her immersive and enjoyable brand of space sci-fi in the latest instalment of the Galaxii series.

Captain ‘Sonia La Belle’ is tasked with an uphill struggle of bringing the starship I.S.S. Munray back up to better standards. With mostly disorganised personnel and the ways of a former disgraced captain leaving the ship in disarray, not to mention an old flame on the crew, this new skipper has her work cut out and then come the space pirates.

In the wake of these ‘Corsairs’ being a near enough wiped out, two particular outlaws find themselves in possession of a dooms day-esque technology that threatens not just ‘La Belle’s’ reputation but much more. A pirate resurgence begins along with a matter-of-time chase that ensues with drama and deception at the forefront of a great story delivered by way of Engela’s best writing to date. For anyone looking to for some fun space sci-fi immersion then ‘Sentinel’ is the book for you!

5 Stars – thank you to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Weekly Ramble #142

Its okay to do nothing sometimes. In this world where being busy is pretty much the norm, taking time away from that hustle and bustle is good for you. That’s what I’m doing my best to convince myself with right now because I am currently between projects and its quite nice.

This year I’ve been running hot with social media stuff or content stuff and now things have found themselves wound down for the time being. Many of us pride ourselves on producing stuff all the time but stopping and taking a look around is a healthy way to recharge. I’ve got seven books published and they are all assets that are serving me well. I could easily take a step away from putting out anything new for a while and still be able to feel the benefits of a backlist.

The engine room of all my efforts and presence is Twitter where right now new followers are coming in at around a hundred a day, that’s a huge amount and something I find incredibly rewarding. With that many new eyes on my work there’s opportunity in those numbers. While I say I’m between projects right now, I am still working towards my Patreon Twitter coaching audio sessions where something should appear rather soon. And of course I’m moving towards my 8th book but right now I’m enjoying the quiet.

Weekly Ramble #141

Indie April is here! Which in recent years has become quite a spectacle for fellow indie authors to celebrate their works and support each other. Even those outside of the author bubble jump on board for a month that I have been looking forward to for quite some time. You’ll find me across my platforms supporting fellow indies in as many ways as I possibly can because this author support train does not stop!

To anyone who does support indies like me or for any month of the calendar year, thank you! To those who have releases this month, best of luck!

Outside life things have been keeping me busy for the past few weeks or so but now I am back for more blogging, book reviewing and of course social media-ing. 2022 has already been an extraordinary year for so many reasons and while it does appear to be passing rather quickly, I am ready to seize every opportunity to keep on rocking and writing in the free world! Have a great April!

‘Powerless’ by Vicky Ball – Review

A well-written twisting thriller with darker themes…

Vicky Ball delivers a twisting tale that carries a plethora of darker themes while being executed in a page-turning style that hops back and forth in time with dual P.OV’s. Ball does everything to tell this story and succeeds. As readers we are shown just enough to suggest what is happening beneath the surface of a story that tackles the themes of naivety, coercion, trauma, addiction and of course danger that is a lot closer than first realised.

When ‘Beth’ returns home after several years after disappearing it brings up all kinds of questions and contention that places her younger sister ‘Abby’ on a twisting path of realisation. There is a lot to unpack and it happens gradually while the twists appear unexpectedly. Perhaps this a cautionary tale for those who are younger to not be so trusting to those who clearly want something – a powerful message aimed at readers of a certain younger age who will get something from this book. What we are shown is just enough without glorifying or even exploiting the many issues the reader and characters face. The concept of ‘Businessmen’ simply casts a long enough shadow to suggest what is really happening and the message being about trust.

With a story that goes full circle, Powerless is a thrilling and twisting tale that will take readers on a dramatic and sometimes unexpected ride.

4 Stars – Reviews left via Amazon and Goodreads

Weekly Ramble #140

Sometimes its good to get away from the grind and just spend a weekend away. That’s what I did this past weekend and my energy levels have been replenished from being alongside some good company. It might have been an action packed few days but one can always rest at work I guess, and being tired from weekend things is a different type of tired from work things…

My numbers are governed by a constant social media presence. Take that presence away even for just a day or so and it drops to near enough zero. The fun thing is that I know exactly what it takes to get those numbers back up, I’ve spent long enough figuring it out. The concept of social media algorithms being against the smaller person has always driven me to prove that we can defy them to get our message out there. The platforms might be the hosts, but our content drives them and that makes us needed just as much as we need them.

With March nearly being halfway done I’m looking towards some big plans for the next few months in terms of content and of course a book release. Watch this space!

Overview: SHAKEN NO MORE by Jacqui Morrison

To thrive in the present, one must overcome the past.

Tragedy is nothing new to playwright and performer, Meredith Golden. She’s endured the violence of an alcoholic husband, the tragic death of her parents, and abuse from her uncle. To say she is a fighter is an understatement. She is a survivor. But tragedy leaves scars. When Meredith meets Paul, it seems that the past is finally behind her, but when her ex-husband begins stalking her and making new threats, old wounds are torn open. She realizes that peace comes with a high price and ’til death do us part may be a curse that can’t be undone. As her world spirals out of control, Meredith vows to be Shaken No More.

REVIEW:

Her Best Book So Far
I received an ARC (Advanced Review Copy) of the book in exchange for an honest review. Shaken No More by Jacqui Morrison is a romantic suspense novel and it’s women’s fiction set in New York City in the 2010s, with flashbacks to the 80s and 90s. This is Morrison’s fifth novel, following Kaitlin Wolfe Crown Attorney, The Vigilante, Escape The Castle, and Terri’s Journey – The Colour of Rain. Shaken No More may be her best book so far.
This is the story of Meredith Golden, a performer and playwright, who has to overcome staggering real-life challenges. The novel title cleverly alludes to James Bond’s catch-phrase “shaken, not stirred” and there are more cocktails in this story than a 007 movie. There’s drugs, detectives, doctors, divorce, and violence, in this story. There’s also therapy, meditation, qigong, and healing. Will Meredith thrive? Can she survive? That’s the mystery.
The romance is with Paul, after Greg reveals he has problems. Some of the story is told from Meredith’s point of view and some of it is told from Paul’s, but most of it is a third person narrative that will keep you reading and cheering for Morrison’s main character until the final page.
This novel has 76 chapters in 267 pages and that format gives the narrative lots of momentum. Morrison describes everything so the reader can see it as clearly as in a movie. The novel would make a good movie about the scars left by tragedies and how one woman battles back, in the big city, and move on to the next stage and the next.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jacqui Morrison has a B.A.A. from Ryerson University in Toronto, and two graduate certificates. One from Humber College School for Writers, Toronto, in 2017. And a certificate in Adult Education from Seneca College, also in Toronto. She has been writing professionally since 2000.

Jacqui won the 2009 IPPY for best regional fiction for Central and Eastern Canada for her first novel Kaitlyn Wolfe, Crown Attorney. In 2013, her second novel The Vigilante came out. Escape the Castle was released in 2018. She has also been published in four anthologies, including the Best of the Muskoka Novel Marathon 2000 – 2010. SHAKEN NO MORE is her first romantic suspense novel.

Weekly Ramble #138

Variety really is the spice of life and being a social media author the same thinking generally applies for me. As long as you have a multitude of ideas and can lay them down in an orderly fashion, eventually you’ll succeed. The algorithms might change and so will the platforms but those who do continue to seek fresh ways to get their content out there will also have their content consumed by the end user.

Peaks and plateaus, that’s what this journey has been for me and while today’s numbers might seem low, they are still ten times better than a few years ago. No matter what valley or shadow banned state my social media engagement is currently in, it will spin back towards momentum soon. That needle, it can’t always be in constant motion but my drive and desire is. Everyday is an opportunity to find better results, reach new people and of course convince existing followers to stick around.

My conclusion is swaying towards a realisation that I might be a functioning serial busy person – by that I mean constantly having a challenging amount to do keeps me motivated and keeps me working. They do say busy people get things done and so here I am getting things done.

Indie Book Rec’s : Thrillers

In celebration of #indieApril over on Twitter and because there are some wonderful indie books out there, I’ve put together a series of posts recommending some awesome works I have read over the years.

This post is dedicated to the Thriller genre so here are some books I highly recommend:

‘The Silent Betrayal’ by Momus Najmi 

Original, eloquently written and thrilling. A tale of deception that reads like a spy thriller but carries a much deeper meaning…’ 

Full Review

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‘The Player Without Luck’ by Kristina Gallo

A thrilling page turning story that will keep you immersed from the start….’ 

Full Review

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‘Fee Simple Conditional (Arcadia Chronicles Book 1)’ by H.C. Helfand 

A gem of a read about life, love and land…’ 

Full Review

‘We Watch You’ By N.S. Ford 

‘Cleverly plotted British mystery thriller with darker psychological tones and twists…’

Full Review

‘Wonder Rush’ by Dan McKeon

An immersive and suspenseful teen spy thriller with some darker edges, a positive message, originality and depth…

Full Review

‘Awake’ by Andrew Palmer

An original techno-psychological thriller that captures the essence and surrealism of dreams with a sinister edge…

Full Review

‘Scarred’ by Damien Linnane

A brutal tale of justice blinded by revenge…

Full Review

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‘The Good Kill: A Killian Lebon Novel’ by Kurt Brindley

An enthralling, gripping tale of epic proportions taking the reader on a ride full of twists, turns and action…

Full Review

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Thanks for stopping by and be sure to use #indieApril over on Twitter to show your support for indie authors and their awesome works!

Indie Book Rec’s : Non-Fiction/Memoirs

In celebration of #indieApril over on Twitter and because there are some wonderful indie books out there, I’ve put together a series of posts recommending some awesome works I have read over the years.

This post is dedicated to the genres of Non-Fiction and Memoirs so here are some books I highly recommend:

‘Break Them All!!: A Modern Era Awakening!’ by DRTao

A unique mind opening insight into breaking the shells that govern our existence…

Full Review

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‘Amazon Keywords for Books: How to Use Keywords for Better Discovery on Amazon’ by Dale L. Roberts 

Essential reading for marketing books effectively while gaining a better understanding of Amazon key words and beyond..

Full Review

‘The Art of Reading: How Reading Can Help You Become a Better, More Productive Writer’ by J.D. Cunegan

A relatable and open guide about reading to improve your writing…

Full Review

‘A Squatter in London’ by Irene Pylypec

An enjoyable well written memoir about a young lady who embarks on a travelling adventure…

Full Review

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‘From Voiceless to Vocal’ by Danielle Larsen

Candid, brave and ultimately inspirational…

Full Review

‘Born in Stockport – Grew up in the Royal Navy: Book One’ by Maurice Perkins

An entertaining and gritty series of real life tales told with charm…

Full Review

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to use #indieApril over on Twitter to show your support for indie authors and their awesome works!