Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: Social Media Just for Writers by Frances Caballo

Today I'm reviewing Frances Caballo's Social Media Just For Writers. Get your pencils ready, writer buddies, because you're gonna want to take some notes.  Being a writer is tough enough without having to worry about building a brand online.  Whether you're traditionally or self-published, writers must actively engage their readers with social media.  It's just the way it is, folks and its not going to change anytime soon.
When I started my journey as a writer, I already had a solid knowledge of social media so it was a bit easier for me.  But for some authors, social media is like an intimidating abyss--much like the publishing industry these days.  Nevertheless, it doesn't have to be.  

So you have to create an online platform to build a presence, huh?  Did your publisher, agent or sister tell you to start a blog or get on Facebook?  Now what?  Are you frustrated with your current platform and feel it needs to be revamped?  Or are you just trying to figure our another way to sell your books?  If you said yes to any of these questions, then Social Media Just For Writers is the book for you.

What I liked best about this book was how it was organized.  Caballo breaks down every social media platform starting with the mother of all networks, Facebook.  She walks you through the "must haves" of this monster network and I thought it was really good advice.  She discusses  Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Blogs etc... explaining a host of vital information ranging from profile setup to recommended applications and strategies.  The list goes on and on.  After I read the book, I found myself going back and reviewing different chapters and testing a few tips on my own.  And yes, they worked!  That's when I realized what a great resource it was.  

Let's face it, social media can be fun, but also overwhelming at times.  And what's worse is most of these social networks have poor help/support for general or even complex inquires.  I found this to be another reason why this book is a great reference tool.  For the novice, it makes for a great guide.  For the intermediate or even expert social media person, it provides some great suggestions and perspective--things you may have never known about or considered.

Social Media Just For Writers is available on Amazon or for more information you can check out Caballo's website and social networks: Facebook page, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.
As an added bonus, Caballo has graciously donated a free copy to one (1) lucky winner. WAHOO! Who doesn't love free sh**? 
Update! Congrats to Carl S. for winning a copy of Caballo's Social Media Just For Writers!   Winners are selected by the reputable via Rafflecopter.  The winner will be notified by email and will have 72 hours to respond.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, what about you? Think you could learn a thing or two from Frances? Have any questions you want to ask me? 

Mina B.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Book Review: Neverlove by Angela Brown

I just finished reading Angela Brown's Neverlove and wow what a story.  I wasn't sure what to expect for this YA paranormal romance so when I read the jacket flap I thought, cool.  Before I get into the review, I thought I'd post the synopsis.
For seventeen-year-old Abigail, one rash decision leads to an unexpected chance for redemption. At V'Salicus Academy, a unique institute where she trains to become an agent of heaven, she struggles with the pain of her past, the changes of the present and accepts a loveless future until her path – and heart – crosses with Basil’s.

Basil's off-chance slip of the tongue binds him to a life of servitude to the Devourer, the master of hell. His existence has no upside until a chance meeting with Abigail brings new perspective.

Keeping the truth of their present lives from each other brings disaster when secrets are brought to light and the life of Abigail’s mentor is put on the line.

Can Abigail and Basil save her mentor and salvage their love amid the chaos? Or will they lose it all, destined forever to NEVERLOVE?

My thoughts:
When I began reading the first part I thought WOW...that's some powerful stuff.  However disturbing it set the tone for the main character, Abigail (Abby).  She's been marred by her father (of all people) and in return attempts to end her life.  Fate intervenes, prompting her mother to save Abby and enrolling her in V'Salicus Academy.  Like Abby, the Academy was an equally intense organization.

Since Abby is new, Father Quanon agrees to mentor her through the academy and many of his colleagues and superiors start to doubt his motives.  The book at first weaves in and out, describing the lives of first Abby and then her love interest, Basil.  I liked the dark worlds that Brown created, depicting the depth of hell with the sinister dealings of Devourer and then the intricate faculties of heaven.  There were many times when I wondered how the MC's persevere.   I want to tell you in the end love trumps all, but eh, eh, eh...that wouldn't be right, now would it?

If you like books with wicked characters, a ton of twists and a fine dose of romance, then NeverLove is just the book for you.  Find out more about the author, Angela Brown, by visiting her website.  And...I just saw on Angela's website that she offering the e-book FREE for a limited time via Amazon! Go get it today! 

So, are you a fan of Angela Brown?  I am.  Have you read NeverLove?

Mina B.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Happy Blogoversary: 3 Years & Counting!

Happy Blogoversary  to me!  Well, it's been 3 years and counting since I started down this neverending blogging and writing adventure.  I thought my Bride of Frankenstein photo was the perfect way to commemorate my 3+ years.  You like?  Yeah, me too.  

Anyway, I had many goals I wanted to tackle in 2012 and although I didn't reach all of them, I did make significant progress.  Keep your fingers crossed that I keep up with my momentum with my writing.  I feel very close to finalizing a project I've been working on for two years. WOW!  Hopefully, I'll have some progress to report soon.

To celebrate my blogoversary and this journey, I've decided to do a special giveaway.  What kind of giveaway you ask?  Well, the Free Shit Fairy came through again.  

Since Lara Adrian was so kind to give me an ARC of Edge of Dawn (my review) and swag, I decided to sweeten the pot.  I realized there are many people that haven't read the series, which makes me sad.  What the hell?  For my blogoversary, I'm giving away my ARC copy and a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky person so they can not only get the latest addition to the series, but also so they can purchase another book in the series.  And... I'll also be drawing additional names for some pen & book marker swag Adrian sent me.  Wahoo!  Below is a copy of the ARC & swag.

To enter…
You MUST be a follower of my blog and MUST fill out this entry form.  (And yes, I do check GCF)


Extra entries…
+1 For Becoming my Fan/Like on Facebook/MinaBurrows
+2 Snag My Button!
+1 Subscribing via email to my blog
+1 Follow me on Twitter
+1 if you Retweet this on Twitter (limit 1 retweet)

Update!  Congrats to Ki P. for winning my 3 Year Blogoversary Giveaway!  Winners are selected by the reputable via Rafflecopter.  The winner will be notified by email and will have 72 hours to respond. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fridays with FredThe teenage years.

Be sure and stop by and visit Schatze over at Mary’s BookHounds too.

Have a great weekend!

Mina B.

Monday, January 7, 2013

ARC Review: Lara Adrian’s Edge of Dawn

Right before the holidays I received an ARC copy of Lara Adrian’s upcoming, coveted and next installment in her New York Times bestselling Midnight Breed Series, Edge of Dawn. *squeals with joy*  First, I have to say a big THANK YOU to Lara for sending me the ARC.  I can’t tell you how excited I was to read this book.  If you know nothing about me, know that I am a HUGE fan of anything Adrian, and all things breed.  Don’t believe me? Check out this feed of my blog posts.
In the previous installment, Darker After Midnight, the series almost felt like it was coming to an end.  If you missed this book, check out my review here. In this book, Sterling Chase and the rest of the order defeated Dragos and in doing so, exposed themselves as vampires to the world.  In Edge of Dawn, its twenty years later and humans and the vampires are struggling with co-existing.  I remember when I read the back cover of this book, I was more excited about the characters featured than the plot.  Adrian has such a talent for writing intriguing characters.  If you recall, Mira was the young breedmate and adopted daughter of Nikolai and Renata from Veil of Midnight.  She had these wicked eyes that reflected the future when a person glanced into them—like pools of visions. Pretty cool, huh?  That pesky little talent always caused trouble for Mira and twenty years hasn't changed that.  Now that she's older and wiser with deadly skills and stunning looks, her visions reveal the worst fate imaginable—the death of the love of her life, Kellan.

Without revealing too much, Edge of Dawn was the perfect extension to the series. Adrian immediately entranced me with the new world of breed and humans. Mira, a captain with the Order, is all grown up now (along with other kid characters), and she is bad a**!  But as an adult, she’s angry and still grieving over the loss of her childhood friend and love interest, Kellan.  Believed to be dead for eight years, Kellan has been in hiding, living among the rebel humans. These two were the perfect couple to segue the series into a new era.  Of course there’s a new enemy revealed too, one with ancient ties to both Breed and their mates. I won’t tell you what happens, minions. It wouldn’t be right. 

Edge of Dawn was a 4 for me—no surprise there, huh?  Edge of Dawn releases February 26, 2013 so pre-order your copy today.  If you haven't read the series, you really need to catch up since we're already at book 11. Coincidentally, book 1, Kiss of Midnight (ebook) is on sale on Kindle for 99 cents so download that one too while you can. 

Oh, I almost forgot.  Stay tuned in the coming week.  Along with the ARC, Lara also sent me some swag so it appears I'll be doing a special giveaway, which is perfect timing since I missed my blogoversary.  Wahoo!  

Who doesn't love free sh**?

Mina B.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Spam Alert: Zombies to the Rescue!

Well, since its 2013, there is one thing I'm going to address, and it's all this SPAM!  Damn these relentless Annon commenters.  I'm tired of deleting your worthless comments. I'm tried of sifting through the Google's spam filter to delete and rescue the non-spammers.  I don't give a crap about what your selling, or if you think that post was well written or said.   I've deleted the comments, links, and now I'm releasing the Walking Dead.  

Go get 'em, Zombies.  Wahoooo!

I'm done with you, SPAM.  And unfortunately, thanks to you...I'm turning my CAPTCHA /word verification feature on.  Sorry, minions.  My apologies for the inconvenience, but 2013 is a year of cleansing and these Sir Spam's A Lot jerks must go.

Fridays with Fred

Since the holidays are over, Fred is beat.  Yep, it doesn't take much these days.  I snapped this shot of him hugging his bed.  You should hear the snoring too.  Jeez, why so much drama while sleeping, Fred?

Be sure and stop by and visit Schatze over at Mary’s BookHounds too.

What about you?  Are you tired of spammers?  Want to use my zombie exterminators?  Are you all excited about the weekend?  Have you taken all your holiday decorations down?  

Have a great weekend.

Mina B.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

ISWG: Slow Writer

Happy New Year again and welcome to 2013's Insecure Writers Support Group!  This meme is  Alex Cavanaugh's creation, and I'm thankful to have it.  Thank you Alex! And I wanted to give a shout out to Tyrean Martinson and Jamie Gibbs since the are the co-hosts this month.  Be sure and stop by to say hi to them.

This month I'm feeling a bit insecure about being a...slow writer.  I see other writers bang out novel, after novel and I they write so fast.  Me?  Not so much.  Am I the only one that feels like this?  Often I reevaluate my work and revise plots, characters, etc... and sometimes this causes delays but that's the way it is.  

Ah, well.  *sigh*   In the spirit of all things insecure this month, I've decided to turn this insecurity around.  Now when I feel uneasy about writing slow, I hear Cheech & Chong's song, Low Rider, in my head, and then I don't feel so bad.  


What about you?  Are you a fast writer or a slow one?  Anyone like Cheech & Chong.

Mina B.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop

Happy New Year, minions!  Like my Free Sh** Fairy...I love giving free sh** away.  And so to celebrate the new year, I'm doing just that.  As per usual, I'll keep it simple.  I'm giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card so you freaks can ring in the new year reading what you love best.

To enter…
You MUST be a follower of my blog and MUST fill out this entry form. (And yes, I do check GCF)

Extra entries…
+1 For Becoming my Fan/Like on Facebook/MinaBurrows
+1 Subscribing via email to my blog

+1 Follow me on Twitter
+1 if you Retweet this on Twitter (limit 1 retweet)

Again, the giveaway runs from 12:01 AM on Jan 1st - Jan. 7th, midnight. Contest is open to International participants. 

UPDATE:  Congrats to BeckeyW.  The winner was selected by the reputable Rafflecopter.  They will be notified via email and have 72 hours to respond.  Thanks for participating!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to see who else is participating?  Click here.

Happy New Year!

Mina B.