Book Review: Echo Volume 1: Approaching Shatter

Echo Volume 1:  Approaching Shatter by [Wayne, Kent]

4 out of 5 stars

Echo Volume 1: Approaching Shatter by Kent Wayne

There was nothing abhorrently wrong with the novel. No glaring errors that keep popping up throughout the story. The writing was quite descriptive, in some cases a little too descriptive. There were parts that I didn’t like, probably the entire first chapter. I almost gave up here but I am glad I didn’t. I feel that the first chapter was to demonstrate the mentality of the soldiers and the environment they have to endure. Kind of a key point later on.

I kept moving forward with the story, curious as to where it was going. My biggest problem with the novel was getting bogged down by descriptions of technology. The backstory of people and the world didn’t bother me as it was laying down a foundation for the story to continue. Maybe the descriptions of the technology come into better play in volume 2.

With that being said, I did find the story a good and interesting read. Atriya, the protagonist, lures you in. You can see he’s struggling with the way things are and the fact that he used not to. That something inside of him has changed. It keeps you reading, wondering what’s going to happen to him.

Like most books in a series, it does end in a cliffhanger. Probably, not such a sudden cliffhanger as this one does. However, if you read the passage after the ending of the book, Kent Wayne does explain why he does this. It’s also not a bad thing that it ends this way. It makes the reader want to continue the story, to find out what happens to Atriya. To see if he eventually figures himself out. To see how he survives what’s coming. Isn’t that the goal of authors? To get people to want to read? Kent Wayne did that here! Bravo!

I also enjoyed the world building the author accomplished here. Although the world doesn’t seem like a pleasant one, as if humanity has gotten off course (more than we are now), it’s a world that is firmly placed in the reader’s mind. It also helps establish the whys of what some people do. Society plays a big role in how the majority of people respond to situations in life and I feel Kent Wayne nailed that point.

Overall, I encourage people to read this book. It is just a glimpse into an expansive world, but a glimpse that leaves you wanting to discover more. For me, that’s one of the most enjoyable parts of reading and discovering new people and new worlds.


Valentine’s Day

My husband and I have had a longstanding tradition on Valentine’s Day. We do nothing. We don’t go out and have a fancy date. We don’t even have a fancy meal at home. Tonight, it’s leftovers and watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother. Like all other nights, we share dinner together, converse about the day, and watch part of a movie or an episode of a show we love. The most important part of this is that we’re together, sharing with one another the most important commodity of all: Time.

We have done things like this since we were married. I believe it started when we were engaged, two years before we were married. For the twelve years of our marriage, we have dedicated ourselves to doing nothing on Valentine’s Day. The reason is simple: We believe we should show each other we love one another every day, not just this one day a year. To us, Valentine’s Day is a consumer made holiday that we wish to take no part in.

We prefer to show we love each other in simple ways every day and when we do go out of our way to make something special or do something special, the other person has no idea about it because it wasn’t done based on a holiday.  It wasn’t expected. These are the moments I cherish. These are the moments I remember. These are the moments I know are coming but I have no idea when.

For those of you who do celebrate it for whatever reasons you have, we wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Inspiration and Its Wild Ride

I don’t know how I’ve done it, but in less than 2 months I’ve finished two novels and am already partway through the third novel, a little over 22k. When inspiration hit, I decided to push forward and see how much I could get done. Editing the first drafts of these books and polishing them can come after I’ve gotten the story out of my system. (I almost regret pausing to write this out. Almost.)

It is probably what I should have done with the Hartland series. I paused to edit and polish each book, when I really should have just finished the story while the ideas were flowing. By pausing, some of the ideas kind of fluttered away, leaving me stuck in places that shouldn’t have been so difficult to write. But because I lost the inspiration for the story, they were extremely difficult. Eventually, I found it again, but not after months and months of struggling to write a few words.

Because of the learning lesson I had with the Hartland series, it’s the way I have decided to start writing. Finish the story. Let inspiration take you on its wild ride.

The Trouble with Originality

The drive to be original is a noble goal. But it is not something a writer should let become a roadblock. I’ve noticed this about myself with a few of my stories. They’ll start out like normal. I come up with an idea I think is awesome at the time. I type out some of the important aspects of the characters, the world or the plot. Then I begin typing it out.

The roadblock comes when I take a step back and look at what I’ve written. I begin to wonder if people will hate it because it’s too much like this story, or because it’s a bit like that movie, or because the plot is similar to some TV show 30 years ago.

Self doubt is a huge thing for writers and is a constant struggle to overcome. Plagiarism is a serious issue, but let’s face it, nothing is original in this age. I’m willing to bet that every story written in the last 20 years is similar in at least 10 aspects to something written before it.

The key is the same as with anything that keeps you from writing: Power through it and just keep writing. Don’t let it bother you that you’ve found another’s work inspirational or influential. That’s what they’re supposed to do.

Cover Reveal: New Beginnings

Front Cover


As we’ve kept all the covers for this series simple, this follows the same “template”, if you will, as the others. There will probably be a few touch ups before it goes live, but we finally have a cover for it. Now, we just have to work on the dreaded back cover. At least, with practice of the other novels we’ve published, it has become easier to come up with a description. (Our first ones for Full Moon Rising were atrocious.) After that, the book will go through one more edit and then out to some beta readers. We are pleased with the progress we’re making, especially with how difficult this book was to finish. I’m hoping in a couple of days, we’ll be able to share the front and back cover with everyone.

Book Review: Bloodthorn

Bloodthorn: Olive Kennedy (Fairy World MD Book 3) by [Grantham, Tamara]

5 out of 5!

So I have been reading this series like nonstop and this one only took 1 morning to read for me! In fact, it was this morning that I read it. I haven’t read through books this fast in years. That is how good these books are for me. The story, the characters, the romance, everything about this book speaks volumes to me. And I cannot wait to download the other books and read through them.

I highly recommend reading the first book Dreamthief.

Book Review: The Stolen Karma of Nathaniel Valentine

The Stolen Karma Of Nathaniel Valentine (The Books Of Balance Book 1) by [Bloch, Justin]

5 out of 5

From the beginning of this novel I was captivated. The elegance of the writing is something that stood out to me. The way scenes were detailed made it seem as if I were there with the main character, Nathaniel Valentine. Each of the characters in this book were truly their own character because of how well developed they were making it so easy to delve right into the world.

I would also like to point out that there were some pleasant surprises in the novel as you read along. Parts of the ending were a surprise to me, which I can honestly say doesn’t happen often. For those who love reading fantasy, this should be one of the books you read.

The gist of the story is a man who is basically a nobody, drifting through life unnoticed, suddenly becomes more than just a somebody. He is destined to bring balance to the karmic system. All the while, he travels with a karma policeman (angel) who is extremely rough around the edges as he doesn’t like mankind/Residents. This story puts a unique spin on the origins of humanity, other creatures, and of God.

The downside is that there doesn’t seem to be a second book in the series, yet.