Tag Archives: book review

Agony and Ecstasy

I'll start off with the bad stuff first. I like to close on a good note.

I haven't been around as much lately, and this is because of a WordPress/Apple problem. I'm blaming Apple, but who really knows. I'm posting this in hopes that one of the WordPress gurus will read it and offer some clarity.

I read blogs using the WordPress Reader and the Safari browser. I have options, and thank God for that. My preferred gadget is my iPad Pro. I also kept my old iPad, and it works normally. Yesterday, most of WordPress stopped working for iPads.

I can still log in, and read my own blog. I still get comments, and interaction. The link to look at stats produces a white screen, and the link to Reader does the same. This could be an iOS problem.

When I try my iPhone I don't have any problems. This also works on iOS. What the hell does that mean? I cleared the caches on both iPads and rebooted them – no help.

I tried the WordPress app (which I hate) and can read posts and comment from there. This is also an iOS product.

I tried the Mac, and everything is perfect there.

Using an iPad, I can still get to my WP Admin and upload images. Somewhere in this post I'll see if that works or not. I write my posts with an app called Blogsy, because it's easier. It seems to work, but I have something pre-scheduled tomorrow and am nervous about it loading now. Hell, I'm nervous about this post loading too.

These things drive me crazy, and surfing for answers doesn't help. I get top choices from questions asked six years ago. This is a today thing Google!!! Moving on…

I pulled on my editing jacket and managed to work through two short stories today. This is only the first pass, and I have several others to make.

I'm tempted to leave the jacket on as I fight with iOS and WordPress.

My number one goal was to finish reading Wings of Mayhem, by Sue Coletta. This I accomplished, but it worked kind of like this.

Open my Kindle app. Let Otto, the puppy outside.

Make coffee, let Otto inside.

Read a chapter, rescue the dirty laundry from Otto.

Microwave my cold coffee, let Otto outside.

Read a chapter, let Otto inside.

Read a chapter, rescue my foot from Otto's jaws.

Read a chapter, find Otto in my closet eating my shoes.

Read a chapter, walk the dog, repeat until the end.

I really enjoyed Sue's first book, Marred, but Wings of Mayhem is the best book I've read this year (so far). I gave her a five star review, and wished there was an extra star to award.

This never has been a book review blog so I'll stop here. Check out Wings of Mayhem yourselves.

I also sent off a list of desires for the cover of The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II. I paid in advance and ordered four more pinup pieces. Some are for book promotion, and some are for other purposes. Fans of Lisa can watch this space, or host me when I'm ready to tour the new Notebook around and you can share the artwork on your own blogs. These will be pieces loosely related to one of the stories in the book.

I'm still toying with the idea of paying someone else to format this one. I could do it, but it seems like a reasonable thing to farm out. I scoped out Jo Robinson's services and they seem pretty reasonable. I have to finish editing and get some beta feedback before I decide. It should be finished before I send it out.

So ending on a high note; I did a small amount of editing, I have new cover art on the way, and I finished reading a great book.

Now that I have a few minutes to pay attention, Otto is sound asleep. I posted a video to the Facebook page of him in his new wading pool if you are interested.

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SILVER’S BOOK REVIEWS: “WILL O’ THE WISP,” BY C. S. BOYACK

I just found this amazing review of Will O’ the Wisp. Trot on over to Colleen’s site to check it out, and while you’re there consider following her blog.

Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

  • Title:  Will O’ the Wisp
  • Author: C. S. Boyack
  • File Size: 3536 KB
  • Print Length: 259 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Publication Date: March 13, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00UPH6BNS
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Genres: YA Fiction, Paranormal, Mystery, and Suspense

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

Have you Seen a Will O’ the Wisp?

Eerie green phosphorescent lights have been seen hovering over Bergamot Holler in Virginia since the beginning of time. What are these lights and why are they there? Speculation is that the lights are just swamp gasses floating harmlessly in the stillness of an autumn evening, even though their appearance has foretold many stories about fairies, ghosts, and witches.

That is until Patty Hall, a not-so-average 15-year-old, witnesses the Will O’ the Wisp first hand in…

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT The Experimental Notebook by C.S Boyack @Virgilante

Some more great comments about my Experimental Notebook.

Rosie Amber

Today’s team review comes from Barb, she blogs at http://barbtaub.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Barb chose to read and review The Experimental Notebook by C.S Boyack

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My review: 5 out of 5 stars for The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack

Encyclopædia Britannica says:

The short story is usually concerned with a single effect conveyed in only one or a few significant episodes or scenes. The form encourages economy of setting, concise narrative, and the omission of a complex plot; character is disclosed in action and dramatic encounter but is seldom fully developed. Despite its relatively limited scope, though, a short story is often judged by its ability to provide a “complete” or satisfying treatment of its characters and subject.

They could be talking about any story in The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. These stories are the heirs of O. Henry and Twain and Lovecraft. They are perfect little worlds, each with…

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How’s it going?

I'm about to tell you how it's going. Organizing my September and October pushes was a lot of work. I had to write all the posts for the Will O' the Wisp blog tour. I also had to think ahead to get the artwork for Lisa Burton's promotion of my Experimental Notebook. I had to write all her posts too.

I put together a couple of Amazon advertising campaigns for these books to run concurrently with everything else. I submitted the books for reviews, and some of them are landing at the perfect time.

Today, my stats showed that someone found my blog from Flipboard. I checked it out, and converted my Zite Magazine to Flipboard. It turned out to be a hosting I did for The Bow of Destiny. Good for me, and good for P. H. Solomon

I also discovered this graphic on Rosie's Book Reviews. These guys do a lot of book reviews, and it's an honor to be on one of their top ten lists. Will O' the Wisp is the ranked book, but the post was about my Experimental Notebook. This is another double benefit.

Maybe the theme tonight should be double benefits. Let's head in that direction.

Regular readers of Entertaining Stories have been awesome on this blog tour. Most of you have made a couple of the stops, and some of you have made all of them. The Twitter support has been unbelievable.

There is a double benefit here too. Hosts volunteer to give up their blog space for a day. When you guys show up en mass, it gives them a boost. They might even gain a follower or two out of the deal.

My benefit is self explanatory, but visitors might find a cool new blog to follow, or even make a new friend along the way. Win – win.

People who host authors are worth making friends with. Many followers of this blog are writers, and you'll want hosts yourself one day.

I went with Macabre Macaroni again this year, because Notebook came out and was fresh. I had to write all of them too, but I love writing them. It's been well received, but last year one went almost viral. That's tough to live up to. As the blog tour winds up this week, I still have two more stories to finish out October. I'm excited to share them with you.

I've done promotional stuff in the past, and had no results. There are sales this time around. I think it might be the multi pronged push as opposed to one small thing. The big surprise is sales of The Cock of the South. I'm not currently pushing it, but maybe I should. There have also been a lot of pages read via Kindle Unlimited.

Another unexpected thing was the acceleration of tweets about Panama. It has a Halloween theme too, and if someone would rather chase a demon through the jungle I'm fine with that. Black magic, witchcraft, hoodoo, vampire bats, fun for the whole family.

As the next week winds down, we decided to go camping one more time. I may be out of touch next weekend, but I could use a little nature time.

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The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack

Another wonderful review for my Experimental Notebook. Karen is a great book blogger, and a tremendous supporter. If you’re an author you really should get to know her.

My train of thoughts on...

TENofCSBoyack

My rating:  5  of  5  stars

Plot
(by Amazon)

A speculative fiction selection of micro-fiction and short stories. These were designed to be short reads for your commute, coffee break, and other times when readers are pressed for time. This book contains a bit of science fiction, some fantasy, and paranormal stories.

The stories:Jack O’ Lantern, Something in the Water, 73 Seconds, Bombshell Squad, Diplomat, Urban Renewal Project, The Soup Ladle of Destiny, 50 Gallon Drum, A Tale of Rebirth, A Humid Business, Extending Life, Transference

Genre(s):  Speculative Fiction, Micro-Fiction, Anthology

Series:  n.a.

Length:  114 pages

Release date:  2015-09-15

Cover design:  Rachel Carrera (https://rachelcarrera.wordpress.com/)

Teaser


That ladle and a few kettles and pans were the only things left of her mother now. Lily doubted if the magic existed, but it…

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I believe in original content

I've been re-blogging a lot lately, and that is going to continue for a while. Will O' the Wisp is still on its blog tour, plus a few folks surprised me with nice posts about my Experimental Notebook.

It's the least I can do to support those who supported me. Besides, maybe one of you will discover a cool new blog to follow.

Still, you keep coming here for original content. This is mostly an update post. I had to pay attention to real world issues this weekend. I managed to cover all the bills while changing a handful of light bulbs and smoke detector batteries. Glamorous stuff to be sure. I also had to replace batteries in my Mac trackpad.

As far as the promotions go, Notebook is doing well. I'm hoping Wisp will make some strides as the tour continues and Halloween approaches.

I have to say, my regulars have been incredible. Some of you have stopped by everywhere, and left comments. I thrive on comments. Many of you shared these posts on various social media too. What did I do to deserve such good friends? With my regulars supporting me, it almost looks like we could spike a blogger's stats for a day. I must remember to be as supportive as my regulars are.

I've been invited to be a guest on something called blog talk radio in November. I really have no idea what it involves, but it looks like we'll be chatting about Will O' the Wisp. I'm excited and terrified all at once. I'm not worried about talking, it's the software that has me concerned.

I managed to touch base with the publicist via email. She has some neat ideas, and I do too. Sounds like we may go to lunch in November. I haven't spent any money yet, but it could happen.

I've also been watching a lot of baseball. It's mostly been the American League on television, but it's better than no baseball at all. It was fun watching R. A. Dickey throw his knuckleball today.

I've always been a National League kind of guy, but I really don't have a team in the playoffs. I used to like everyone in the NL West, but I can't stomach the Dodgers these days. They became a bunch of jerks several years ago. Their Diamondbacks pool party sealed the deal for me, and a shit play against the Mets this week made it permanent. I've fallen into that old pattern of whoever is playing the Dodgers is my favorite team.

I've been toying with the idea of a writing tip sort of post. There are other writers out there who probably have more street credit, but I may write it anyway. If I do it, I'll probably post it Wednesday.

Have a good evening everyone, and go anyone who faces the Dodgers.

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S’pose I ought to post something

I go on vacation for nearly three weeks, starting Friday. This gave me a little bit of time to get the camper ready, and maybe move a couple of projects forward before we head out. I also get a bit of time after we get back home.

I'm getting company next weekend. It's never failed so far. My vacation time is like a company magnet. It doesn't matter, we always have a good time together. This is one of the reasons I stay non-committal about deadlines and such. Writing is my fun time, and I don't have to live by rigid performance deadlines. If it has to wait a week it can. I don't have a New York publisher breathing down my neck.

Here is my loose plan of what I want to accomplish. I'm going to participate in the Rave Reviews Book Club Back to School Book and Blog Party. (Who names this stuff?) this will take up one day of blog space in mid September. It looks like a good turnout of people exchanging support for our various projects.

I want to publish The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack in early September. I still haven't decided how I'm going to promote this one, but I should set up some relatively free stuff. I'll ponder on the idea and come up with a few things.

I decided to write posts for Macabre Macaroni again this year. This involved micro fiction I posted weekly during October last year. I debated its merit on this blog, and the feedback helped me make up my mind. If I'm doing it again, I might as well make it work for me. I'm going to figure out a way to make it part of my promotion for the Experimental Notebook. I already have a couple of the stories written.

I'm going to make a pretty big push for Will O' the Wisp in October. I booked a blog tour, and have all the posts written already. I decided to submit this one to a few more book reviewers too. I need to get on the stick if I'm going to time this before Halloween. Wisp is a natural for a Halloween push and I'm going to go for it. Reviewers need time to read it, so I'd better get moving.

I'll probably do most of the standard things, like cover reveal posts for the new book. I may do some guest spots here and there. Right now, I'm concentrating on the issues that must be planned ahead.

I'm still thinking about placing some more Amazon advertising. This is more about awareness than sales. You gamble with $100, but they normally don't spend it all. I think 19,000 people saw my ad last time, and it cost me about $18. I don't see that as a bad thing.

Every day involves baby steps toward these goals. If I keep doing a bit here and there it all gets done. It leaves me time for a trip to the coast, and a visit with company. If I wait until the last minute I get too stressed out.

I need to plan for other events too. I already have a post with Lisa about the upcoming book. I need to write another one about choosing which outline will become my next project. Then I need to spend some quality time with my current manuscript and edit it into something coherent. This will involve some time with Doubt the Raven.

I'm kind of surprising myself here. It's a lot to do, but I can manage it. After October I will prioritize editing my novel, and finishing the winning outline.

Here is a question for those of you who've tested a specific Amazon process. Is there any value in setting up my book of short stories as a pre-order? This involves publishing it using a specific date. Consumers can order it, but Amazon won't deliver it until the specific date. Presumably, you get credit for all the sales the day it gets delivered. It's a way to start off with a higher ranking, and hopefully stay there. This book will price at 99¢, so people might take a chance. Let me ask it a different way. Is there any reason I should not set my book of short stories up with a pre-order time period?

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Will O’ The Wisp by C.S Boyack @Virgilante #YA #Ghost #Bookrview

Hey everyone, look what I found. Halloween is coming. This one makes for great Autumn reading.

Rosie Amber

Today’s team review comes from Barb, she blogs at http://barbtaub.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Barb chose to read and review Will O’ The Wisp by C.S Boyack

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My review: 5 out of 5 stars for Will O’ the Wisp

I want to tell you all about this great book I just read. It’s about a girl whose family has been systematically picked off for generations by… [Crap! Spoiler.]

Maybe I could just say that C. S. Boyack’s Will O’ the Wisp is about a girl who discovers that her legacy from her murdered uncle is… [Darn! Again with the spoilers.]

Okay, let’s try this. Patty Hall is a fifteen-year-old high school freshman in the mid-1970s. She and her two best friends are the outcasts at Burkeford High. Laura was the tallest girl in their junior high, while Petey (“Just Pete now. We’re in high school and it’s time to grow up”) is one of the…

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Panama by C. S. Boyack

I just stumbled across this in my reader. It’s a wonderful review of my story, Panama.

My train of thoughts on...

Panama

My rating:  4  of  5  stars

Plot
(by Amazon)

Ethan and Coop are sent to the construction zone along the Panama Canal. They have some experience with strange phenomenon, but nothing prepared them for this.

They are faced with civil war, Carlist pretenders to the thrones of France and Spain, an invading Spanish army, and another from Hell itself. They’ll be lucky to survive, let alone take care of anything while they’re down there.

This story is based upon the construction of the canal, Panamanian independence, international cooperation, and a few celebrity cameos. Even the magic takes on an international flavor.

Ghosts and Voodoo are one thing, but they have no idea what waits along the isthmus.

Genre(s):  Paranormal, Adventure

Series:  n.a.

Length:  310 pages

Release date:  2014-05-08

Teaser


“Men are dying by the thousands on the Isthmus. We fight malaria and yellow fever constantly…

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Mae Clair Presents: Will O’ the Wisp by C. S. Boyack #YA #MagicalRealism

Mae Clair has some wonderful things to say about Will O’ the Wisp on her blog today. She has an interesting blog, and is worth visiting even when I’m not the topic. Please consider supporting this wonderful blogger.

From the Pen of Mae Clair

Have I got a treat for you today! Blogging friend, Craig Boyack, has just released a tale guaranteed to appeal to young and old alike. I was fortunate enough to get an ARC of this wonderful novel, which combines elements of magical realism, mystery, and fantasy, as well as a highly appealing coming of age theme. As I don’t post reviews on my blog, you’ll have to check Amazon for my five star review/rating—but I do have to point out several things that stood out for me about this novel:

Title and book cover:
I’m a Will o’ the Wisp fanatic from long ago. That bobbing, weaving sphere of light might not get as much exposure on my blog, as say my favorite cryptid, the Mothman, but I’ll readily devour any novel built around the legend of a “hinkypunk” or “spook light” — especially when the myth is so cleverly woven…

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