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Book Reviews

Book Reviews Are On Their Way

Before I started writing books, I was a reader. I still am a reader. My Kindle is currently loaded with books I’ve read and books I want to read. Reading is a way to improve one’s skills as a writer. It is an opportunity to see what other authors have done and to learn from them. Sometimes you see what not to do, but you also see plot structure, character development, dialogue, and show vs tell. Books are read differently when you’re a writer, but at the same time, a writer can still enjoy a really good story.

While I realize my time is limited being a mom to six boys, working a full-time job and writing my own books, but I am going to be starting to write more book reviews. Why not? I’m already reading and I know how book reviews help authors.

Book Reviews Help Authors

Did you know that book reviews are “social proof”? Reviews let readers know if a book is worth reading and helps them make an informed purchase. When customers search on Amazon for a book, they often look at the number of stars a book has received and often times will also look at the written reviews. If a book has few reviews, readers wonder why. The book could be amazing. It could be one of the best, undiscovered books out there, but because the reviews aren’t there yet, it is being passed by.

That is why I want to help. I want to review books for authors and lend my voice to informing the author’s potential audience.

In the next while, I will be posting book reviews on this website along with sites such as LibraryThing, Goodreads, and Amazon. I believe strongly in people helping people and this is a way for me to give back some of my time to my fellow authors. It helps me through reading, learning and being entertained by a good story. It helps readers who maybe are hesitant to buy a book until they know if someone else has enjoyed it. It is a win for everyone.

Book Review Requirements

  • There is no cost for a review. Authors have enough services eating away at their wallets.
  • Tell me about your book and if I am interested, I’ll give it a read.
  • No erotica. You will need to find another reviewer for your story.
  • Books can part of a series. I’d prefer to read the first book to get the backstory if you are looking for a review of the second and so on.
  • I am open to most genres. If the books on my Kindle were sorted by genre, you wouldn’t see a pattern. I’m open to pretty much everything.
  • I will be noting if a book is a “Clean Read”. That means I will be highlighting if a book contains detailed violence, sex or profanity. It doesn’t mean I will say your book is bad if it contains any of the above, but it is helpful for readers to know when trying to find books that meet their preferences.
  • I do not provide book editing or proofreading. Find a professional to provide this service for you. Your writing career depends on you getting it right, so invest in an editor. A book review isn’t enough to sell books if it hasn’t been properly edited.
  • Give me time to read. Your book is important, but I need to write, too. Plus, I have a job and family to balance it all with.

Fill out the contact form on the website and let me know you are interested in having me review your book. Mobi and PDF files are best for me, so have one ready for when I reply. I can then work with you to try and coordinate a review if you have some important timelines. I can’t guarantee it, but I would like to try. I know how marketing goes.

I look forward to reviewing more books.

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Smashwords Interview

Smashwords Interview with C.A. Edwards

While working with Smashwords to make my novel available for sale, there were a number of questions I was asked about writing and my reading interests. Here is the interview for you to enjoy.

Who are your favorite authors? 
I have many favorites, but if I have to choose an author… or two, I’d choose Jane Austen, because she’s Jane Austen as my number one. The next author I’d choose is J.K Rowling. I appreciate the contribution she has made to get younger readers back into books.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day? 
The excitement of telling a story. Early 5:30am mornings are my writing time. The cats and I sit on the couch while the rest of the house is still quiet. I sip on a cup of coffee and type on my laptop. Aside from writing, it’s my family. My six boys keep me busy, but also are quite fun to be around every day.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time? 
I am not a full-time writer and so my days are filled with a 9-5 job and then a balance of family, household chores and writing on the off-hours. On the weekend, it is church and other activities that we do as a family.
How do you discover the ebooks you read? 
I read a lot of non-fiction and much of it is recommended to me. Otherwise, I usually find a book based off of a theme or keyword that I’m searching for. For fiction, it depends on the mood that I’m in at the time. I appreciate a good range of genres.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? 
I don’t remember the first story I ever wrote, but I do remember entering a writing contest with our local library when I was about ten-years-old. It was a short story about an explorer who had fallen into an ice cavern and fought to pull himself back above ground. Unfortunately, without my knowledge, our librarian lost my contest application and when I submitted my writing at the deadline, it was rejected on the basis of them not having the application. I was heartbroken. As a consolation, I was told that my entry was “excellent” and I would have done “extremely well” had the application not been misplaced. What could have been…
What is your writing process? 
Usually, an idea comes to mind as a concept or even a scene. I will write the idea down and let my brain think on it for a while. I’ll then write out a basic outline with as little or as much detail as I have at the time. I usually know how the story is going to end during the outline stage. From there, I will jump around and expand on each scene as the inspiration hits me until I have a complete manuscript. Then the editing begins. I will go through multiple drafts of the story.

Once I have taken it as far as I can, I hire an editor to give me feedback on the story and any issues. After another round of revision, it is time for a proofread, which I have someone else do for me. After reading your story so many times, you begin to overlook any flaws.

Finally, it is time for the interior layout and getting all the finishing touches ready for publishing. It is a long process, but it is rewarding.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you? 
The first story I ever read? How about Peter and Jane? The little readers that made me excited to be able to read words and understand their meaning. I was excited to hold a book in my hands and be able to interpret the words into a story and finish it on my own. Sure, they were basic, but I was happy to be able to discover the many worlds hidden within the pages of books.
How do you approach cover design? 
I had an idea as to the themes I wanted highlighted on the cover. Ultimately, I relied on the expertise of the graphic designer to select the images. We worked collaboratively to then work on the details and try to tell a bit of the story through the cover. I’m pleased with the work that they did for me.
What are your five favorite books, and why? 
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – It is a classic.
Christy by Catherine Marshall – A wonderful story about life in the mountains of Tennessee. I was drawn to the balance of struggle and hope.
Little House On The Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder – Who hasn’t read these series? I would watch the TV show with my grandparents and read the books. A great read that is fun and educational.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery – I’m Canadian. How could I not include this book? I still cry every time Matthew dies.
Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter – No matter how tough things got for Pollyanna, she was optimistic. Positivity goes a long way.
What do you read for pleasure? 
I read a lot of non-fiction. There is so much to learn from others when they are willing to open up about their struggles and how they have moved forward to achieve their goals. Due to my 9-5 job, I like to read books that help me be better in my role and improve myself as an individual.
What is your e-reading device of choice? 
My husband had to talk me into getting a Kindle. It is full of titles about publishing and of course, Jane Austen. Most of the time, you will find me with a paperback. I love to touch and smell the pages of a book.