Posted in amazon, book review, book series, books, Kindle, Kindle Vella

How To Get Started On Kindle Vella

I’ve been curious about Kindle Vella for awhile, but I was so engrossed with my Kindle Unlimited books, I didn’t take the time to check it out. Then something happened to help me out a little with that.

Recently, I was contacted by an author to review his book. Since I was in between books at the time, I told him I could get started right away. Then he responded that his book wouldn’t be out until March, but he did have episodes posted on Kindle Vella.

Well, I certainly couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try out Vella and get a start on another awesome story. Isn’t it great when stuff lines up like that! Anyways, the following is a how to on Kindle Vella and my thoughts on A.R. Witham’s The Legend of Black Jack.

What Is Kindle Vella?

Kindle Vella is a place to read (and publish) serialized fiction. Any device that can download the kindle app can easily access Vella. It’s really geared toward readers who want a quick read on their phones.

A story is broken down into episodes (instead of chapters). These episodes can vary from author to author. I’ve seen some really long and some really short. One thing I like is that authors have an opportunity at the end of each episode to address the audience directly in A Note From Author. Sometimes there’s little stories extras in the note, or information to contact the author directly if desired.

Another cool feature is if you liked the episode, then you can do a thumbs up at the end of it.

How Does Vella Work?

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Posted in books, creativity, education, guest post, hooked on books, reading, reading everyday, sparking creativity

Guest Post: The Importance of Reading For Education

By Linda Mills

Reading is one of the most vital habits and hobbies a parent can cultivate in their child, or a person of any age can take up, because reading develops the minds and opens up new avenues that are important in the pursuit of education. Reading about any subject is an indispensable resource that cannot be replaced by any other medium even in today’s technologically advanced era.

Reading Better Leads To Speaking Better

Self-expression is a vital tool for every human being, giving individuals the power to express themselves clearly with better vocabulary as well as enabling them to have an impact. The more someone reads, the more they are able to shape and express their opinion, which is vital for critical thinking and for educational purposes. Reading widely also means various sources of information can be triangulated and compared with each other, which again lends itself to effective speaking and articulation.

Widen The Scope

Reading widens the scope of a person’s mind. Readers are able to empathize with others who may be completely different from them, and they are able to experience different cultures. One of the main objectives of education is to widen the scope of one’s mind and teach a person about the world in general including history, philosophy, and science without being restricted to the area one is born in or the culture one belongs to. Reading also makes individuals more creative and imaginative as reading uses many different neuron networks in the brain, which no other stimuli including visual can command. No wonder reading makes people smarter!

Read Actively Not Passively

Passive reading means you read the words, but don’t pay extra attention to them or employ critical thinking to ascertain the various meanings of the text. For educational purposes, critical thinking is very important because it encourages asking questions, seeking multiple sources of information, and seeking a greater understanding of context. Active reading is better reading, because it allows for greater retention and benefit for students.

Reading And Comprehension

Comprehension of the written texts is very important for educational purposes and the most basic way is when someone––student or otherwise––can answer questions after reading any text. This sort of fluency and concentration also affects a student’s ability to write effectively because they are more able to retain information, express their opinions after evaluation, and write it all down.

Many techniques help with comprehension especially for younger readers, such as the following:

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Posted in book review, books, ebook, Indie Author

Book Review: The Hatch By Michelle Saftich

The Hatch by Michelle Saftich is available in paperback and on kindle.

This is a science fiction novel with a twist of paranormal that is intriguing and thrilling to read. It follows the journey of Britta Tate from a young girl to young woman as she struggles with the loss of her mother and the disappearance of her brother. She also must tame her strong psychic abilities by joining the EASA. He brother warned her not to join the agency, but somehow she knows it’s going to lead her to the answers of what happened to her family.

Earth is on the brink of destruction as she sets out to an alien planet to contact another higher form of being. She’s being called there and she doesn’t know why, but she knows it’s important to help Earth and to discover more about her mother and brother.

Along the way she reunites with a fellow EASA member that she remembers meeting as a child. He used to be her brother’s close friend, and now she finds herself getting close to him as well, but in a different way. She also battles her high emotions as she gets closer to the truth of what happened to her family.

This is a masterful story told across space and time. It dives heavily into psychic phenomena as Britta astral travels to reach out to higher vibrational beings and even her lost family. But it is well-balanced with some awesome space travel technology to create a believable world that engrossed me right away.

This is one of the best space traveling books I’ve read in a long time, and I truly hope the author either continues this story with another book, or something close to it.

If you like a good space exploration book and highly character driven plot, this is the book for you!

Posted in blog tour, Book Tour, books, ebook, Indie Author

Blog Tour Post: For The Lost Time By Heather Blair

When Diego Delgado closed his eyes it was 2020. When he awoke, he was one-hundred years in the past. Thrust into the dawn of the Jazz Age with no money and nowhere to go, Diego encounters a veritable bouquet of acquaintances including a kind-hearted factory owner, a free-spirited flapper, a worldly-wise mystic, and a strong-willed heir named Thomas Greely. Diego, desperate to return to the future and reunite with his young daughter, must blend in with the roaring twenties lifestyle while searching for answers. But distractions are all around him, especially Thomas who is both beautiful and charismatic, and Diego must grapple with the reality that even if he succeeds in returning home, half of his heart will stay behind.

Genre Categories: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, LGBTQIA, New Adult, Romance

For The Lost Time can be purchased at Amazon for Kindle.

Heather Blair is the author of new adult romance novels including “Lucid Dreaming” and “Wide Awake.” She was born and raised in Vermont and has spent much of her adult life in New York and Los Angeles. She currently resides in Connecticut with her two cats. You can find more out about her at her website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Here’s an exert from the book…

The restaurant Diego soon found himself in was far classier than the art deco diner where he usually ate lunch. After almost a month in 1920, he’d finally begun to understand what prices constituted as “high” and he knew that the eighty-five cent lunch specials at Caroline’s would have been too pricey for his blood. Incensed, he slapped the menu down on the table.

“Are you trying to rub it in my face?”

“Am I trying to what?

“Where do you get off taking me to a nice place like this when you know that I…” He trailed off. Thomas’s mouth parted as he realized what Diego was trying to say. When you know that I’m homeless.

“I meant no insult. I simply have a thing for the creamed chicken on toast they serve here. Jeepers, friend, do you really think I would do such a pig-headed thing?”

“Yes,” Diego answered simply. “And why do you keep calling me friend?”

A solitary laugh puffed from Thomas’s lungs.

“You don’t consider me a friend?”

“I consider you a spoiled rich kid who’s never been told no in his life and wouldn’t know how to handle it.” Diego hadn’t meant to be so harsh. He was like a cornered animal, lashing out on instinct.

“Wrong on all accounts,” Thomas replied coolly. “I’m not rich, my parents are. I’m not a kid, I’m twenty-one years of age, and I’ve been told no plenty of times and I handle it by simply choosing to ignore it.”

You can also learn more about this book and the author by following For The Lost Time Blog Book tour. See dates and blogs below.

Posted in book review, book series, books, Indie Author, self-published

My 5 Top Suggestions For Indie April

It is Indie April where indie and self-published authors are given a little extra support by readers through either buying or promoting their works. So I thought I would go through my book reviews and pull out my top 5 indie/self-published likes for those looking to check out something awesome to read this month!

Misfit Mage By Michael Taggart

Categories: Fantasy, Magic, LGBT

The main character is Jason who has just discovered he is a supernatural through a major life altering event. His world is turned upside down when he realizes he can do magic, and that magic really is a thing. Along the way he makes amazing friends who feel more like family, and meets a man who puts his other lovers to shame.

Jason quickly discovers his limits in magic, but also finds places he excels at. He also realizes how dangerous the magic world is and how much he needs to catch up for he gets himself killed. But he is a problem solver with an abundance of creativity. Some of his solutions are amazing to behold (and super funny too)!

You can read my full review of Misfit Mage here.

The Goddess’s Choice By Jamie Marchant

Categories: Fantasy, Romance

This is a story of magic, legend, love, and lust of power. It follows the main characters of Korthlundia’s Crown Princess Samantha, and Robbie, a peasant farmer’s son with the magical power of healing. The Princess struggles against power hungry nobles who want to marry her and become her consort and the new king. Meanwhile, Robbie deals with persecution from his own people for being considered a demon because of his magic and skin color.

The danger at the palace increases as Samantha’s father, the king , becomes ill. And Robbie learns of a mysterious destiny he must fulfill while also learning more about his vast healing abilities. The two major story arcs are masterfully woven together to create a rich and unforgettable story.

You can read my full review of The Goddess’s Choice here.

Continue reading “My 5 Top Suggestions For Indie April”