Tag Archives: book

A New Review and a New Read

1 Feb

I have just finished reading “Beyond John Dann” and I found that it made me recall things from my past – both good and bad, that I had completely forgotten about!  So many memories came flooding back.  It was more like remembering old times with friends than reading a book written by Thurman Banks Jr.  Allow me to share my review with you.

Chasta Schneider’s review 5 Stars

If you were born in the 70’s, you need to read this – that is definitely the target audience for this story. So many memories have come flooding back to me – even ones that I don’t care to remember – but quite honestly, I’m simply ecstatic over the fact that I am able to recall so much. Remember when having HBO was a social status? My family was very poor and boy let me tell you, when my single mother was able to shave our budget enough to get the HBO I had been begging for, it was HUGE! Even the dialogue of the times brought me back – like how if you were headed to a friend’s house, you would say, “I’m goin over John’s house” instead of “I’m going over to John’s house”. I recalled the joy of going everywhere on my bike. Our parents never knew exactly where we were but all of us neighborhood kids were always somewhere together so, they weren’t worried because they knew we’d be home before the streetlights came on. I remember spending lots of time at local bars BEFORE I was 21, because it wasn’t nearly as big of a deal then to the hometown establishments. Most of all, I am relieved after reading “Beyond John Dann” because I realize that my family is not the only one who puts the FUNC in dysfunctional.

This is an amazing tale that isn’t about anyone famous or extraordinary – they are real people with depth and imperfections and it is so easy to substitute yourself into the story because it seems so familiar throughout the entire telling. There are no heroes, only realistic and imperfect people living their day to day lives, narrated by thought provoking and beautiful writing. One of my favorite passages in the story is when John is describing the death of Maggie and how her eyes looked when she settled them on him before taking her last breath. It went: “It was heaven, and it was hell. It was everything, and it was nothing. It was the infinite magnitude of the stars, and the infinitesimal seeds of life unseen. In all that is considered good or bad, from beginning to end, from the end to the beginning, her eyes held it all.”

You will laugh, you will cry, you will remember. You will love “Beyond John Dann”.

Here’s a link so you can check out this fantastic story for yourself.

I am now reading a fantasy story by V. K. Ramsey entitled “The Third Key”, which is part one of his “Guarding the Light” series. I’m only about 23% through but so far so good! It’s very original – and disturbing (in a good story way). I will keep you posted! Here is the link if you want to check it out before my review.

On a personal note. Things are hectic as ever at the day job however, I must be doing something right because my role was re-evaluated and I was given a very nice raise. My best friend said that was good because now I can have more money to promote my books. I laughed at that. My response was that, no, I would have more money to pay off student loans from my Master’s Degree. I hate having debt. My boss also told me to start thinking about making the move to North Carolina in order to advance in my company. Looks like I may be coming south in the next year and a half. I love the south so it will probably happen. 🙂 That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

Chasta

YAAAY – My First Bad Review! LOL!

19 Jan

So you’re probably wondering why I’m saying yaaay about it. Well, why not? Not every story is for every person and evidently, mine wasn’t for her. No big deal – especially since her average rating for books overall is only like a 3. I say this now, after having picked myself up off of the floor, having cried hysterically and pounded my fists on the floor until they were bloody. Seriously though, there is something that she mentioned that I would like to address because it may affect you, Dear Readers, if you have an old version of “The Missing Chapters”.

This was the first book I ever wrote and the first book I ever published. I did this on my own, knowing nothing about which services were good and which weren’t etc… I was, indeed, the proverbial “babe in the woods” when it came to publishing and editing services. On the first draft, I had several people helping me with it and I made the mistake of not proofing it myself. Needless to say, I should have. When I realized there were issues, I sent it off to an outside company to have it edited and proofread. Once again, I trusted that they would get the job done and I put the new file back out there without checking it (late October timeframe). Yes, I know, DUMB! My only defense is that I have an incredibly demanding day job, which leaves me little time for editing myself. Well, as you may have guessed by now, that service was bogus. I don’t even think they did anything to it at all. I did end up getting my money back from them. Third time was finally the charm. I found another service and this time, I proofed it myself before putting up the new file. This final version was completed and uploaded in mid-December. That being said, for anyone that received a prior version, you’re going to have some minor grammatical errors in your copy, which I profusely apologize for. They were hardly the type of errors that ruin the story, but they were there nonetheless. My only solace is that most of the people who received the prior copies, got it for free. This was a HUGE lesson for a new author, a lesson that I am helping another author with at present. I don’t think I’ll ever trust a service enough to not check the file myself again. It’s just not worth it no matter how long it holds up publication. So there you have it, my painful and extremely embarrassing lesson in how NOT to handle your editors.

The rest of her review was about how my characters showed too much love for each (did I mention it’s a romance?) and it took too long to get to the climax (aren’t climaxes normally at the end?), and my favorite, I put too many details in the story (huh?). LOL! Seriously, I’m only poking at this review because it’s my first 2-star, so it’s a pretty easy target. I read some of the other author’s comments on GR about how you’re not a real author until someone gives you a 1 or 2 star review and fillets your book for you. I guess I’ve crossed over! I truly do appreciate all feedback, even the bad stuff. I can’t get better without it. I also have to keep reminding myself that I will never be able to write a book that everyone loves – it’s impossible. As much as every author would LOVE to do that, it simply can’t happen (sniff). We’ll still keep trying though! 🙂

So, if you would like to see what this woman was bitching about, check out “The Missing Chapters”. The Kindle and Nook versions are on sale for $1.99 because I want everyone to read it so they are ready for the sequel later this year. Maybe I’ll send this reviewer a copy of the sequel just for shits and giggles! 🙂 I jest. Again, it was the first one – this HAD to be done. Wait until I get my first 1 star! It will be game on for that MF! LOL!

Enough about me, I totally want to tell you guys about this band that I met through twitter. They asked me to listen to their album and since I was going to be on my computer for a while, I thought, why the hell not? WELL, I listened – then I bought it! It is really, really, really fantastic! I love music and I love to turn people on to new bands so you guys have GOT to check out this band! I’m not kidding – I bought the damn CD before I had even listened to all the songs. My favorite song is Dreamer but I love them ALL! The band is called The Amends and this is their 2nd album. It’s called “What We Could Be” and it’s awesome. I want to emphasize that no one asks me to promote their stuff and I wouldn’t do it if they did to be honest. I only promote what I personally like. And I REALLY love this album!

That’s all I’ve got for now. I hope everyone has a great weekend!
Chasta

Stuff I Like and Stuff I Don’t Like

12 Jan

Hello readers! I thought I would pop by and share some stuff with you today. No, you haven’t asked me what I like and what I don’t like, but hey, it’s my blog after all! Besides, I’m very wise and you should listen to me! Ha ha! No, but really, you should listen to me…

Let’s talk about some books first because well, not only do I write them, I happen to love them too! I’ve really gotten into reading other Indie Authors lately but I still adore the classics! Did you know that you can get most of the classics for free on Kindle? Check out the Jane Austen links! I mean really, who doesn’t love Jane Austen? Persuasion
Pride and Prejudice
Emma
Love and Friendship
Mansfield Park
Lady Susan
Northanger Abbey
Now, oddly, Sense and Sensibility is 99 cents, but why buy the plain one when you can get this cool Kindle version that is illustrated for the same 99 cents? Sense and Sensibility: Premium Edition (Unabridged, Illustrated, Table of Contents)
If you don’t have a Kindle and you want a nice hardcover for your shelf, check this one out instead! Plus it’s on sale! Sense and Sensibility: Premium Edition (Unabridged, Illustrated, Table of Contents)

I really like to watch Jane Austen’s novels come to life on film too. One that isn’t as popular is “Northanger Abbey”. Now, I happen to really, really like this story. It’s silly and fun and addresses all kinds of lessons to the reader without your even realizing that you’re learning the lesson! There are, of course, several versions of this on film just like all the other stories that have been remade a million times, but I think Masterpiece Theatre did my favorite version. The casting was perfect. While the actors aren’t popular, they really portrayed the characters better than any of the others I have seen. Check it out – this one’s on sale too!

Now that we have talked about some likes, how about some things I don’t care for as much – but you might! Here’s a complicated one. Have you ever read The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien? Well I have. And let me tell you, it is a hard read! Now, I did review it a long time ago and I gave it 4 stars – but not because I enjoyed it. It was simply because I was astounded by it. It literally read like The King James Version of The Bible where everyone begat everyone else… It was tough to get through but it was the explanation of how Middle Earth began and being a huge fan of those stories, I HAD to read it. I have a collector’s edition that is no longer available so I was checking out online to see what’s available for you – it’s not a very popular book so there aren’t a lot of choices unless you want a used one. But here is a link so you can at least check it out. Heck, maybe you will even understand it! It’s definitely a challenge but it really is a work of art. It is amazing what that man produced and the details that he gave. No stone was left unturned! This version’s almost half off right now if you want the hardcover. I like hardcovers because they look nice in my library – yes, I have a library in my house. I converted my largest bedroom into an office/library. It is my sanctuary! 🙂

OK, talking about stuff I really like is more fun. I really like art. Rodin is probably my favorite sculptor. I have this book in hardcover – it’s beautiful. It also has one of my favorite sculptures right on the cover -Danaid (I own a marble replica of this sculpture and it’s gorgeous!). This has up close and personal photographs of his greatest work. You can see The Gates of Hell like never before. It is really a gorgeous book. I’d get the HC if I were you, but here is the Kindle version that’s only 4 bucks. Take a look!

I think I have one of the broadest spectrum’s of interests out of anyone that I have personally known. I love so many different things. I can go from talking about how much I love Rodin to telling you how much I love the Sookie Stackhouse novels – yes, you read me right. They are truly addictive. Even with the inconsistencies throughout the different novels, I JUST DON’T CARE! I adore them! I am impatiently waiting for May, when the latest novel will be sent to me because OF COURSE I PREORDER! If you are itching for the next one too, allow me to hook you up with the preorder page so that you too can get the latest Sookie story the first day that it’s available without having to set foot in the store. I’m ready to cry because this is supposedly the FINAL Sookie Stackhouse novel and quite frankly – that really sucks (no pun intended)! So that is another thing I don’t like – the end of the Sookie Stackhouse stories. 😦

If you have been living under a rock and you have never read them, here’s a link to help you get started. There are 13 books in all including the May release – so you have some catching up to do! Here are the first 8!

OK, I think I will wrap this up for now. Thank you for joining me in my one-sided discussion about stuff I like and stuff I don’t. You’re comments are always welcome here, so if you have something to add, spit it out! 🙂

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