Review – The Breakup Support Group by Cheyanne Young

The Breakup Support GroupThe Breakup Support Group by Cheyanne Young

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Overall Rating 4.5 Stars

-Book Description: 2.5

-Cover: 4.5

-Plot: 4

-Creativity: 4

-Grammar: 4

-Simile Use: (little to none)

-Description: 4.5 (well-balanced)

The cover of The Breakup Support Group and my experience with other novels by Cheyanne Young were the reason I decided to pick up this book. I must say that the description just wasn’t too my liking, it was far too long. In my opinion, descriptions shouldn’t be more than one to two paragraphs long. They should be short and sweet and pull you in quickly so you know if you have to buy the novel. Lengthy book description aside, this book delivers heartbreak, healing and growing up at a realistic Upper Young Adult level. Even in my mid-twenties, I could relate to some of the things Isla went through– from changing schools and your friends deciding you’re not worth the time, to trying to fit in at that new – huge school. I went through those things myself, and Young captured the emotions that go along with that. She also captured the emotions of an intense breakup and gave great diversity to her characters. Emory was that guy you love to hate — but you know there has to be something deeper to what’s going on — and there is! It was great to see both Emory and Isla mature throughout the novel and then finally admit how they feel and the reasons why. Overall, a swoony young adult read with the perfect balance of romance, laughter, and well-balanced description. Another great novel from Cheyanne Young!

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Review – In Plain Sight by Amy Sparling

In Plain SightIn Plain Sight by Amy Sparling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

-Book Description: 4

-Cover: 5

-Plot: 3

-Creativity: 3

-Simile Use: 4 (minimal usage)

-Description: 4 (well-balanced)

-Show And Tell Balance: 4

This quick, sweet read follows Maddie Sinclair on a journey of discovery about where self-worth comes from and learning that money doesn’t define who you are and who you can love. Having lived a rough life she’s thrust into a glorious life she could’ve never dreamed of–not only that, but the popular kids now notice her with her fabulous clothes and hair. She has a hard time adjusting but never forgets who she is. Colby is another story, he’s lived a spoiled life, but sees the issues that can come from it. Despite being one of the ‘rich kids’ he wants to define who he is based on the way he handles life, not based on his parents financial status. This coming of age story shows two sides to learning who you are and has the perfect dash or romance. I’m looking forward to book two and learning more about some of the supporting characters.

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Review: The Truth About Letting Go

The Truth About Letting GoThe Truth About Letting Go by Leigh Talbert Moore

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First, the cover: it’s slightly typical of New Adult novels, but this novel borders on the age of Young Adult anyways. I do like it, but I’m not in love with it.
The first thing that stuck out to me was the fact the book was written in present tense. I didn’t like that aspect at all, so I found myself naturally changing the tense in my mind. Eventually I didn’t notice it as much. In it’s entirety the book was a bit of a roller coaster for me, but in a repetitive way. The MC was up and down, all over the place, but the same places over and over. It perfectly embodies teenage angst, over and over. It was Colt, no Jordan, happy, sad, angst, angst and horny, horny, horny, horny. Colt, no Jordan, happy, sad–you get my point. Thus, I skimmed major portions of the book just to get to the core of the story.
As for the characters, I didn’t really love any of them. I also didn’t really feel like I knew anything more about them by the end of the book besides the basics.
Charlotte seemed like a pointless character, who if removed, wouldn’t have changed the story much in my opinion.
Colt was just a giant jerk. He was supposed to be, but I don’t understand why at the end he’s suddenly somewhat nice. If someone treats you like that, kick their butt to the curb–don’t be friends with them!
Jordan was sweet and said to be a geek, but for the life of me I don’t know why. Does he participate in chess club, mathletes or something? He underwent the typical geek to chic transformation, and has been in love with the MC even though he’s never talked to her.
Onto the MC, she’s suffered the loss of her father and hates the world for it. I understand where she’s coming from, but her relationships develop so quickly and are so all over the place that I really believed what she needed was a straight jacket. Her relationships all also seemed superficial, but this may be because I didn’t feel I saw any relationship building. There was a lot of physical, but very little of anything else–then she’s suddenly in love with Jordan. She also confused me with her constant pestering about her v-card, and her vileness at Jordan being a pastor. She’s waited 18 years, she can’t wait a few more? She acts like Jordan being a pastor is the end of the world, but pastors can still marry and do it, so I’m not sure why she was freaking out. I know she no longer believed in God, but she constantly harped on the sex part and not too much of the God part.
Overall, I felt the novel had a strong message about God and faith, but it felt clouded by the lack of relationships of the characters.

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In Between Seasons Series Annoucement

9781477413685Changes In Store for Young Adult Author Cassandra Giovanni

There are a few things that I have been debating in the past month or so. I’ve stepped back and looked at who I am as an author and where I intend to go with my writing career. I plan on going very far, but as in all things, goals and dreams evolve; we naturally fall into our paths. In Between Seasons gave me the strength to put myself out there. I’m not sure what I thought would happen. I was so scared to jump in, and honestly, that fear spikes in me every time I think about publishing something else. The thing is, now I have fans–I have readers that count on me to continue to produce new and better creations. I was in between seasons when I wrote the novel. I was a bit lost as an author–trying to fit myself into a niche that maybe I just don’t fit into. In Between Seasons is a Young Adult novel, and so is Walking in the Shadows, but in all honesty, I’ve been told more than once that my characters are older by years because of the things I’ve put them through. This fits me perfectly; people pretty much have to pick their mouths up when I say I’m twenty-four. It’s interesting because at times I feel like I haven’t done enough. I really haven’t. I started writing before I knew what it was, yet it took me until I was twenty to fight the demons that came to me in high school to start writing again. It took me three more years, although I’d written six full-length novels by that time, to actually publish one of them. Now, looking back at everything that has occurred in the last year I’m ready to make some key announcements, and I hope my readers will understand and support me as I make these decisions. They will affect you guys. I’m sorry if I’ve disappointed you in any way with these announcements. When I began to write Deadly Sins, I knew it wasn’t Young Adult. Then I started to send my editor snippets, and when I started Just One Cup I sent her snippets of that, too. I remember reading her email that said she had nothing to say except that I’d found my niche. I needed to keep writing this. Thus, I have made the decision that once The Fall series is complete I will no longer be publishing Young Adult novels. I will devote my time to focusing on New Adult novels that better fit my writing style and time in life. This decision came on the tail of a reoccurring dream I had begun having where I was stuck in the bane of my existence–high school. What was worse was the fact that I was stuck in high school with very adult responsibilities and feelings (sound familiar, check out the description of Walking in the Shadows). It was agitating and then I started to see why I was having the dream. That was the way my characters felt–or more the way I felt writing them. As I came to this decision I also decided that I need to wrap everything up for my readers with the ending of The Fall. There were many requests for Hunter’s story. I’m going to give that to you. Thus, the second announcement is this:

The Fall Series

In Between Seasons, #1–Available now–Re-release Summer 2014

Permafrost, #2 (Mara and Rob’s Story)–Summer 2014

Name TBA, #3 (Hunter’s Story)–Winter 2014

No clue what book I’m talking about (but boy is that a pretty cover)? Well, you can get to know In Between Seasons for FREE now by downloading your copy from Kobo.

Download your FREE COPY here!

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One Year Reflection

In Between Seasons

One Year Old

one year anniversary

I came to the sudden realization the other day that today it has been one year–one whole year since I first published my first novel, In Between Seasons. The novel wasn’t ground breaking, but it was different. It didn’t make waves–I’ve only sold about 186 copies since that day, but it gave me the will to hit the ground running. I’ve learned so much in this past year, and so much has changed–oh, how I have changed, as a writer, and a business person.

  • I finally gave in and joined Facebook
  • I published two other novels
  • I was approached by a fellow author offering to be my mentor–I graciously accepted
  • I have an editor now
  • I realized that those icky publish yourself into print books are just that icky
  • I started a website
  • I started a blog
  • I started three weekly posts: Muse Monday; Work-In-Progress Wednesday; Sales Saturday (or Sunday)
  • I found Goodreads
  • I found LibraryThing and then decided to no longer use it
  • I did my first book signing and the only people that showed were my parents, my brother and his girlfriend, and my best friend
  • I did my first book expo, spoke on a panel, was told I was an inspiration by a successful, traditional published author, and sold one book…
  • I have fans–Oh.My.God. I have fans…
  • I’ve gotten fan mail…FAN MAIL!! And MORE than once!
  • I’ve met so MANY great people
  • I was in the newspaper three times
  • I figured out what a blog tour was
  • I opened up Gio Design Studios for business for cover designs, formatting and advertisements for other authors
  • I decided, with the help of my readers, that In Between Seasons would be a series
  • I decided, and this may be news to many of you, that the last book in The Fall series will be my last Young Adult Novel.
  • The Fall is planned to be a 3 book series: Permafrost–Mara and Rob’s Story; Name TBA–Hunter’s Story
  • When Permafrost is released, a new, thoroughly edited version of In Between Seasons will be re-released
  • I realized that I did so many things wrong when I published In Between Seasons:
  1. I took too much advice from a person I’d never met or spoken too–a book
  2. I only knew what Kindle was
  3. I didn’t market the book pre-publication
  4. I just put it out there with no preparation such as blog tours, press releases, cover reveals…nothing at all
  5. I got really mad at my first bad review…and I let it eat me up
  6. I didn’t have an editor
  7. I hadn’t already established a presence as an author
  8. A lot more I can’t think of right now…

What I did right? I worked my butt off figuring out what I could do better. I didn’t give up and most of all I did it–a year ago I clicked the “Publish” button.

Let’s Celebrate!

Giveaway Time!

3 SIGNED KEY CHAINS AND E-BOOKS (US ONLY)

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Hubris and Humanity

Hubris and Humanity

Sales Saturday: Confidence

Confidence

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It’s one little word in a world full of words, but it is a strong factor in having a good sales record. What gives a salesperson confidence? In the business world I come from it’s two simple things:

  • Knowing your product
  • Knowing your customer

Plus, Practice makes perfect. It has become apparent to me in the writing world that things aren’t as simple as they seem. Writing by nature is anything but a know your product, know your customer situation. As a salesperson in the banking world I am not by rights selling my own products– I’m selling a company’s product, and if the product fails it doesn’t mean I fail. If someone hates the product, they don’t hate me (now this isn’t to say I haven’t had customers say some very unfriendly things to me, but I’ve learned that customers are most often upset with the situation and not you. You just happen to be the target in the line of sight.)

Today I had someone write a review for Walking in the Shadows. I violated one of my goals and read it. It was mostly good…mostly. What was good about it? It allowed me to begin thinking about this Sales Saturday and confidence. The review didn’t really make me mad. I have confidence. My mind started to think of a website that I had once come across where you put in a piece of your writing and it tells you who you write like.

TRUTH: I don’t want to write like anyone else.

That in itself is confidence–putting yourself out there for the lynch mob is part confidence, and maybe, part arrogance. The arrogance is pretty quickly swept away.

TRUTH: I know I can be a better writer, but I also know I am not a bad writer.

That’s right, I said it.

So what does confidence in the sales world of writing novels entail?

You’re putting yourself out there so what I believe you really need is this:

  • Know your book–what it is and what it isn’t but keep in mind this won’t keep others from knowing or not knowing.
  • “It’s what we know we aren’t, that makes us who we are”–August Burns Red, Existence. Know you, you are just as much a part of the product as the book is.
  • Know your customer. This is pretty consistent in all business formats because if you don’t know your customer you won’t have any clue what they want.

There is a certain part of being an author that has the “my book is my baby” mentality. Well, of course it is, but sooner or later the baby has to leave the nest and at that point you have no control. You have to watch what happens and stand confident but professional. You have to let people sink their teeth in and spit you out if they want to. It sucks, I know, but if you have the confidence to put it out there in moments of doubt think this “I know who I am as a writer. I’m fine with your opinion”–notice I never put that the opinion is right–most of all keep the thought to yourself.

Back to that special website that tells you what famous author you write like. It was very tempting to put in a piece of my writing but in the end I decided that I know who I write like:

I WRITE LIKE:

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In it to win it!

Two Awesome Giveaways to Celebrate the Blog Tours!

US Only Paperback

International E-book

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In Between Seasons Giveaway:
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  blog tour button junkie Walking in the Shadows Giveaway:

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Enter now, you know you want to!

Writing to Live

DSCN4188

Everyone likes a pretty picture, especially in the middle of a wonderfully freezing, snowy winter here in New England. This photograph was taken this past summer and is a reminder of what’s to come! Onto the subject at hand:

The wonderful Ingrid Jennings of Lioness Publishing invited me over to her website ingridjennings.com to do a guest post. The guest post worked so well with an excerpt from Walking in the Shadows that Ingrid was kind enough to post it with the guest post. So for a new excerpt not seen before and to get a take on how I really feel about writing being observational versus interactive (living) go take a peek and give Ingrid a shout out.

Thanks for this amazing opportunity Ingrid!

Writing to Live by Cassandra Giovanni

 

Blog of the Year

I was greeted this morning with a lovely comment from the amazing fantasy author, Candace Knoebel that she had nominated me for the Blog of the Year Award.

What an honor! Thanks Candace, check out my review of her first novel here, and then go purchase it on Kindle, BN or Kobo!

Do you know a blog that deserves an award?

Do you have special blogs that you love to read?

Which blogs do you bookmark and follow?

Would you like to give them an award this year?

Then the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award is for you!

My Nominees!

  1. Candace Knoebel–You’re awesome, so I am tagging you back!
  2. Sonya Loveday–Sonya is such a wonderful person, and she’s always willing to help out when I ask–you’re awesome!
  3. Jae at Lit and Scribbles–I love your posts, and your challenges are great as well!
  4. The Misfortune of Knowing–I really enjoy the legal posts that you do, and your perspective on things. I also enjoy how you own your opinion and don’t try to force it on anyone.
  5. Tiffany Loves Books— Tiffany writes honest and in depth reviews that get you thinking!
  6. Emma McCoy–Honesty and Integrity–that’s Emma!

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

  1.  Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.
  3. Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them
  5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience
  6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

6-stars-image

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Badges

Here are the six badges for you to collect – you can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award – or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award six times!

blog-of-the-year-award

Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpeg

Blog of the Year Award 3 star jpeg

Blog of the Year Award 4 star jpeg

Blog of the Year Award 5 star jpeg

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

Need to know more? Check out our FAQ page

And Congratulations! on being chosen for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award!

Thanks everyone!!!