Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review: Songbird

Author: Angela Fristoe
Publisher: Little Prince Publishing (June 25, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0615470491
ISBN-13: 978-0615470498


There are defining moments in life when everything changes. For Dani Mays, it was the day she witnessed her father kill her brother. Now seventeen years-old, she still hasn’t put it behind her. After Jace’s death, she bounced between her alcoholic mother and foster homes, until she found a permanent place. And a reason to want to stay: Reece Tyler. He’s her best friend, yet Dani wants more from Reece. Faced with losing Reece, Dani struggles to define his place in her life and escape the influence her memories of her brother’s death have over her choices. Even as she weaves the pieces of her heart back together, the past becomes more than a memory when a former foster brother reappears and Dani begins receiving threatening phone calls.

My Take:

Songbird is a sweet story that perfectly captures the quest for love, laced with moments of pain and suspense, and you end up being sucked in from the very first words. The first chapter is so horrific and gut-wrenching and helps readers instantly sympathize with poor Dani, as the then six-year-old witnesses her brother's murder by her father from a playground tube she's hiding in.

Now, at seventeen, Dani yearns to escape her past and find love in the eyes and arms of her best friend, Reece, but right when the bonds of her friendships with him are strained, her life gets chucked into further turmoil at the resurfacing of a former foster brother in her school and threatening phone calls she begins receiving. She must make peace with her past and self-reflect to discover if her heart's desire is really her true love or just a replacement for her brother. And by the time the haze clears and the caller mystery plays out, will it be too late to follow her heart?

Some YA authors use empty, bland first person narrators, but Fristoe's use of Dani's voice immediately strikes chords of confidence and surety. Aside from a couple of grammatical slip ups, there's no hesitance or clumsiness or amateurism anywhere in sight in this debut novel. It's rich in detail and characterization and is packed with plenty of showing actions.

Songbird is light on plot, but it's the perfect read if you're looking a story that will tug at your heart and stay with you long after you close the cover ... or turn off your eReader ... or whatever your word-addiction vice may be. :)


~ Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Slow Progress

Here's where I'm at: the galley. I'm just waiting for that to arrive so I can go through it several times with a fine-toothed comb, a hatchet, and a red pen.

Ya see, when I lost my book files from the tornado storm, I had to convert my novel from a PDF to a doc I could manipulate, and when I did that, it randomly stripped out words, punctuation marks, numbers, etc. Oh joy. Right. Insanely annoying, especially for a perfectionist like me.

I uploaded my eBooks at Amazon, B&N and Smashwords on July 5th, but I've done at least three updates since because I keep finding these weird, random errors. (Soooorrry if you've bought my YA novel Kings & Queens and it keeps changing on your Kindle. :( I'm not finished either. One more round should do it.)

So, once I have my paperback book file and eBook file ready, I'll re-upload and send the final to the publisher and get to organizing another blog tour. Because I keep having one unforeseen delay after another with this novel, I wanna wait until my book is up everywhere so perked people won't have to wait for its availability.

I just wrapped up a Giveaway at LibraryThing. Three more people have requested my eBook in exchange for a review, which is cool with me. If you didn't win a copy and would like one for FREE, just let me know. I'm giving out Smashword coupons and my eBook is available in all eBook formats expect plain text.

Publishing a book is exhausting and this is just the easy part. Then I'll have to kickoff my big marketing phase and simultaneously finish up my second novel, StarStruck, which I hope to have out before Christmas. My plan is to offer that eBook for free. When you have a FREE eBook, you end up listed on all these sites that list free Kindle books, and that's free exposure and might just generate sales for Kings & Queens.

For marketing, beyond the blog tour, I may do another giveaway at Goodreads. I'm creating flyers, bookmarks and a press kit with a press release. I'll send the kit out with copies of my book (that I'll get for free with ecards I've gotten through swagbucks) to major newspapers, I may try click advertising at Goodreads for a month and try to land as many eBook of the day spots as I can across the web, like on Kindle Daily Nation. That's just to start. If you have any other inexpensive or free marketing ideas, please share. Thanks.

So that's where I'm at.

~ Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.