Tag Archives: review

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

New Year News and Other Stuff I’m Rambling About

31 Dec

It’s hard to believe it’s New Years Eve again – how’s that for a colloquialism? It’s even harder to believe that we all survived the wrath of the Mayan calendar, I kid. I have been enjoying my ten days off from the day job. It has been very relaxing. During this time I have been writing and reading, reading and writing. Simply doing the things that I love to do. It has been GLORIOUS! I can only hope that everyone else has been able to do the same.

Now, down to some news. I have begun the sequel to my first novel, “The Missing Chapters”. It’s been easier than I thought to re-engage myself with characters that I created nearly four years ago. The big change will be the narrative of the story. It will not be in first person this time. The main reason for this is that there are a lot more story lines going on – many more characters insights and perspectives that need to be given. I think my readers will appreciate the change as switching from that many characters in first person would get pretty crazy! I don’t know a release date yet, but it will be 2013. As I mentioned on gr and fb, book two of “Death’s Gift to Sabrina” will be released first – no date on that one yet either, but look for mid-year more than likely.

With all of the reading I have been doing, I have also been doing a lot of reviewing. Some of the reviews, I think I will start sharing on here because some of the books I’m finding really deserve the attention. I’m going to start that now. Yesterday, on a whim, I borrowed a title from the Kindle Lender’s Library entitled, “Sometimes Never”. It is a mature YA novel but you do not have to enjoy YA novels to appreciate this one. It was amazing. Please check out my review below. Happy reading!

Sometimes NeverSometimes Never by Cheryl McIntyre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kudos to you Cheryl McIntyre. This is an amazing story on a very disturbing yet very real problem that is done with sensitivity and taste. I had to take a moment to collect myself before I could even write this review. I’m still at a bit of a loss as to what to say because this book has completely overwhelmed me – and that does not often happen to me anymore.

The complexity of Hope is magnificently crafted. Her vulnerability is consistently masked with her vicious strength, bitterness and sarcasm. You find yourself truly caring about what happens to her and at times, you want to reach inside the pages and shake her to get her to stop hurting herself. This character broke my heart.

Swoop in Mason, an equally damaged soul, who is trying to work out his own issues but realizes that Hope’s problems are much more serious than his own are. He makes it his goal to earn the trust and love of this broken girl knowing that he can help her and that she in turn, can help him. She quickly becomes the only thing that matters to him and the only girl he has ever loved or could ever love.

Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, I was always off a bit. I love that! I’m fairly certain that there were several times that my heart skipped a beat as the story unfolded. Truly well done. I was also enticed by the love scenes, definitely mature YA and very intense and realistic. There’s also some m/m going on with Hope’s gay best friend Guy, who happens to be completely adorable and enjoys public exhibitions in the movie theater apparently. You still have the same teenage angsts, twist and turns that are commonly found in YA novels however, this story touches on a much deeper and darker part of teenage life that is truly heart wrenching and disturbing. The writing is impeccable and I highly recommend this novel. I would give you more stars if I could. This novel truly touched me.

View all my reviews

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