Review- RARE ´17 Berlin Book Signing Event

There are different types of book signing events. There are the ones we all know from back in the days, where authors had a table at a bookstore and signed tons of books for their fans.(Good thing  is – those signings still exist. They´re rare…but every now and again published authors pop into a bookstore and do a signing. * YAY *)

In this Era, book signing events have become more interesting, to say the least. Due to the massive amount of self-publishers ( and their wildly growing fan-bases ) alot of author events have turned into something bizarre ( and that´s putting it mildly ).

Book signings are said to be a great way to meet your favorite author ( maybe even hold a chitchat with them for 2 minutes ) and get your books, kindle covers, boobs and scrapbooks signed. Some signing events also offer full weekends of drinks, parties, meet & greets, and other fun stuff for readers and bloggers. Which is like- the ultimate thing for any book nerd!

Of course, those events aren´t for free. The prices for tickets can be from $10 – $400 , depending on which signing event a visitor decides to go to. In my opinion… I´d rather buy books worth 400 smackers than go to an event that costs that much, plus paying for a hotel room and traveling has to be taken under consideration, too- Unless you´re up for snoozing in your car. BUT…I was told that those highly expensive events were totally worth the money ( I shall never find out ).

I´ve been to quite a few book signings in my life but none have left such impressions as the last 2 I´ve visited. That is why I´ll focus on the last 2 bigger book signing events, here, and I´ll compare them.

I´m generally a happy person. I love to laugh and all that. And I´m also ALWAYS under alot of stress ( work, family, household, bla bla bla). When I´m at a signing I like to think I´m treating myself. Taking a break from being a highly responsible adult and having some Morgana-time without my babies actually helps me recharge enegery. I don´t need a 2 week vacation away from the family. A day or even a few hours can also work wonders.

But when I´m surrounded by madness it´s hard to think I´m treating myself in any way. It´s also impossible to enjoy my Morgana-time away from the family when I´m in a room surrounded by nearly 500 women who run around like headless chicks ( who also sporadically scream from the top of their lungs from excitement) That´s not book heaven. It´s definitely not my idea of having a good time.

And that´s exactly what happened at my first romance book event a few years back in London. Crazed women rushing from author table to author table in hopes of spending endless minutes with their favorite authors. It felt like I was in the Mean Girls movie with 100 Regina George clones.

After that unholy event I swore to never attend a romance book signing event ever again. I valued my sanity far too much to deal with another day of chaotic book women.

Years have passed and the nightmare from the past event eventually faded until I spotted an ad for another romance author event. RARE ´17 Berlin.Rare

Berlin? My heart melted. There was a romance book signing in the country I live in! I didn´t have to leave the country to visit a book signing and I could get a hotel room and I could….. Then it hit me. No. I swore I´d never put myself through another round of disappointment. But the author lineup for the RARE ´17 Berlin event was AWESOME! There was no way I could stay away.

After a week of back and forth I decided to give romance book signings another try. Why not, right? It´s been a few years since the last one. Readers / fans change. ( or, I hoped they did ). I wasn´t 100% convinced but I kept thinking happy thoughts. Everything was going to be alright.

After all- who would want to miss out on meeting Jodi Ellen Malpas, Monica James, Lesley Jones, Kandi Steiner, etc, etc? No me.

After a gruesome 5 hour drive from Frankfurt a.M. To Berlin I finally arrived. My hair looked like squirrels tried to braid it ( driving with an open window cannot be recommended) but I didn´t care. I was on a book mission, not trying to win a beauty contest. As long as no one noticed the chocolate stains in the crotch area I was good to go and halfway presentable. ( I do not recommend eating a chocolate croissant while driving on the Autobahn, either )

Needless to say- I arrived looking like a crazed forest witch, ready to spend time and money.

3 hours, 10 signed books and 6000 spoken words later I reached my limit and decided it was time to go home ( because I totally forgot to book a hotel room ). I wanted to spend some quality time with my newest reads!

And guess what? My fear was…gone. I was confronted with peaceful, nice people. The authors were wonderful. Everyone was smiling, chatting and just having a good time. I was shocked beyond belief! Hof was this possible? The last book signing event was a nightmare. Rare ´17 wasn´t. RARE ´17 Berlin was civilized, organized and just a great place to be.

Was I happy? Definitely. The event was a total success for me. Would I visit another RARE book signing?

Yes. I would.

Ticket price 36.87 Euros

Location – Hotel Estrel in Berlin

Author count – Roughly around 60 ( give or take)

Atmosphere-  Friendly

The authors- The ones I was able to meet were such sweethearts.

My biggest regret- Forgetting my hair brush at home. Forgetting to take pics with all the authors I talked to.

My mood from beginning to end-  Excited to happily exhausted.

All in all a wonderful event filled with awesomeness! Until next time, RARE!

And now – let´s take a look at what the forest witch looked like with the awesome authors! Have fun!

Event Monica

Left: Monica James. Author of the `I Surrender` , `Something Like Normal` & the `Hard Love Romance` books. Make sure to stalk her on Social Media!

Event Ashley

 

Right: Katie Ashley. Author of the `Proposition` & `Runaway Train` books.

 

Event Halle

Right: Karina Halle. Author of `The Pact` and `Dirty Angels`books.

 

Event steiner

Left: Kandi Steiner. Author of `Weightless` & `A Love Letter To Whiskey`.

 

Event Malpas

Right: Jodi Ellen Malpas. Author of the `This Man`& `One Night`books.

 

The Versatile Blogging Award

EN

Dear book friends, family, readers and followers,

I was nominated for the Versatile Blogging Award by the brilliant ladies over at 5171 Miles Book Blog. A huge THANK YOU, chicas! I´m honored and floored. ❤

Since this blog post / award nomination is a German one, I´m going to follow in my colleagues footsteps and offer a translation that will knock your socks off ( Literally. My german spelling is cringeworthy.)

DE

Liebe Buch Freunde, Familie, Leser und Follower,

Ich wurde für den Versatile Blogging Award, von den genialen ladies von 5171 Miles Book Blog nominiert. Ein riesen DANKESCHÖN an euch Mädels. Was für eine Ehre! ❤ ❤

Weil dieser blog post eigentlich eine Deutsche post ist versuche ich in den Fußstapfen meiner Kolleginnen zu treten und das ganze hier mal ( so gut wie es geht) zu übersetzen.

THANK YOU! DANKESCHÖN! MERCI! GRACIAS!

EN

Here are the rules….

*Thank the blogger who nominated you*

*tell us 7 facts about yourself*

*nominate another blogger*

DE

Hier sind die Regeln…

* Dank den Blogger der Dich nominiert hat *

*verrate 7 Fakten über Dich*

*nominiere andere Blogger*

Ready?….

EN  Fact #1

No one calls me Morgana, except for my mom and brother and my dentist. The rest of the world calls me by my middle name, Julia.

Fact #2

My life is totally, completely color oriantated. If my food doesn´t have the right color I won´t eat it. If colors don´t match anywhere in my house I´ll go nuts ( I´m talking about clothes, flowers in my garden, etc.)

Fact #3

I speak 3 languages fluently.

Fact #4

Astrology scares the bejesus out of me. If someone guesses my zodiac sign correctly then I´ll try to avoid that person for eternity. The words ” You´re an Aquarius, right?” will have me crossing oceans at the speed of light. Same goes for card readings. I´ll scream and run away. I don´t want to know what my future holds. I´m also rediculously supersticious. Early birthday wishes are sheer torture for me, black cats on the left side of the road will make me turn my car, shoes on the table….*shudder*, no salt in the house… I just realized I´m weird AF. *hangs head*

Fact #5

My husband used to bully me in School. I was in the 8th grade and he called me fat while I was eating a chocolate croissant. We started dating when I was 19. Married him when I was 23 and now I´m 35 and we´re still married and now have 2 girls together.

Fact #6

I´m secretly competeing with the Queen of England´s garden. Don´t ask me why. Lol. I made it my mission that my garden will look a thousand times better than the one from Buckingham Palace.  ( I have a black thumb so we all know how my garden competition is coming along. But one can dream, right? )

Fact #7

I have a flipflop ossession. I have a pair for every occasion. Last time I counted I had 28 pairs….but I´m not sure. I think I´ve lost count. I´m not sure of that either. Let´s just say that I have an unhealthy flipflop addiction and I don´t want to talk about it ( runs away and shields all the flipflops)

 

Okay. I think that´s about it. 🙂 I hope you guys had fun with the useless, non interesting info of myself! Wishing each and everyone of you a wonderful day! Share the book love!

I nominate

Woodie´s Book Addiction

DE Fakt #1

Keiner nennt mich Morgana, ausser meine Mutter, Bruder und mein Zahnarzt. Alle anderen nennen mich bei meinem zweit name: Julia.

Fakt #2

Mein Leben ist total Farborientiert. Wenn mein Essen nicht die richtige Farbe hat dann esse ich es nicht. Es macht mich auch wahnsinnig wenn Farben im und um mein Haus nicht passen. ( Das gilt für Kleidung, Blumen im Garten, usw.)

Fakt #3

Ich spreche 3 Sprachen. Fliessend.

Fakt #4

Ich habe angst vor Astrologie. Wenn einer mein Sternzeichen richtig errät bin ich die erste die innerlich ausflippt. Die Worte “Du bist bestimmt Wassermann, gell?” bringen mich dazu Ozeane zu überqueren. Das gleiche gilt auch für Tarot Karten lesen. Geht garnicht! Ich muss meine Zukunft nicht wissen. Ausserdem bin ich auch Abergläubig wie sau. Schwarze Katzen bringen mich dazu auf der Strasse zu drehen, frühzeitige Geburtstags Glückwünsche sind der reinste horror…genauso wie Schuhe auf´m Tisch und kein Salz im Haus haben. Ich habe eben realisiert das ich verdammt seltsam bin. * hangs head*

Fakt #5

Mein Eheman hat mich früher in der Schule gemobbt. Als ich in der 8ten Klasse war nannte er mich Fett weil ich immer ein Schoko Croissant gegessen habe. Mit 19 sind wir das erste Mal ausgegangen. Mit 23 habe ich ihn geheiratet und jetzt bin ich 35 und wir sind immer noch zusammen und haben auch 2 kinder. ( Das war eine sehr kurze und knappe, eher unromantische fakt. Es war tatsächlich dramatischer und VIEL romantischer damals.)

Fakt #6

Ich führe momentan ein Garten-Wettkampf mit der Queen of England. Ihre Majestät weiss davon nichts aber ich habe es zur meiner Mission gemacht einen schöneren Garten zu haben wie die von Buckingham Palast. Da ich aber einen schwarzen Daumen habe wisst ihr bestimmt wie erfolgreich ich mit meiner Mission bin.

Fakt #7

Ich bin eine leidenschaftliche Flipflop sammlerin. Momentan habe ich, glaub ich, 28 Paar? Bin mir nicht ganz sicher. Es sind so viele, da verliert man leicht den überblick. Ach, * abwink * wen probiere ich hier zu verarschen? Ich habe bestimmt mehr und ich weiss es nicht aber ich möchte ungern über meine Flipflop sucht reden ( schnell wegrenn und flipflops schützen)

So, meine Lieben. Das war´s von meiner Seite. Ich hoffe ihr hattet Spass mit meine doch-so-nutzlosen-fakten. Ich hoffe ihr habt einen schönen Tag! Mucho Liebe….<3

(KLEINER HINWEIS- Ich entschuldige alle Rechtschreibfehler. Deutsch ist nicht meine Muttersprache. Aber ich bin heil froh das ich es halbwegs reden kann..:-) )

Ich nominiere

Woodie´s Book Addiction

5 Reasons Why Book Reviews Are Important

We´ve all seen them. They´re all over the internet, on movie / book covers and even in magazines in form of recommendations or as one-liners included in ads. In one form or another – we´ve all been confronted with someone´s opinion on something that piques our interest. Reviews.

We live in a time where everyone has the opportunity to raise their voice and be heard and the easiest way for that to happen is through the internet. Luckily- not everyone has to be a professional writer to whip up a few words and publish them.

Reviews play a major role in the book industry.

When an author decides to publish their work they need people who will read their book and leave an opinion on their story, or else, their dream of „ getting out there“ will less likely come true.

Sadly, alot of great books don´t get enough recognition. Many good stories never see a large audience. Why is that?

Well, maybe the book is terrible. Maybe the genre of the book isn´t popular and therefore hasn´t been able to reach a larger audience. Or, maybe… just maybe the book doesn´t have enough reviews.

In alot of cases, all points above can be the reason for lack of success. In my humble opinion- the main reason for a missing fame is a missing review.

Mouth to mouth propaganda used to be a reliable source when it came to spreading the word. But these days- it´s not enough to tell your neighbor about the awesome book you recently finished reading. You have to use the tools you´re given in order to help spread the word and that tool is the internet.

Now, I know what you´re thinking because I think about it alot before I purchase a book.

Are reviews reliable? To be perfectly honest… the answer is YES and NO. The problem with reviews are- they´re subjective. Reviews are 20% based on facts and 80% based on personal feelings. Every reader who writes a review will always know what the story is about but their feelings on the story is what makes a review a review. So, can I trust a stranger´s opinion about a book I want to read? The answer is still YES and NO. It depends.

But one thing is for sure- reviews help and here are the 5 reasons as to why reviews are important.

Reviews Help Indecisive People

Despite the fact the reviews are subjective, they still help readers make a decision. It´s a trust issue. It could also help to read more than one review before picking the next read. What usually helps me is to skip all the 5 out of 5 star ratings and go straight for the 3 star reviews. Those are mostly more trustworthy than all the ramblings from the outstanding ratings. Reviewers who give 3 stars often take a step back and try to be less emotional about what they´ve read.

Reviews Increases Sales

Believe it or not. Reviews help with sales. If you´re a fan of an authors work, especially a fan of an independent author, then publishing an online review can help them climb up the ladder of success.

 

Reviews Help Get An Author Noticed

So you read a book and want to share your thoughts? You call a friend or you mention the book at a party and that´s where it usually ends. The bush drums have collected dust over the last few years. My first boss used to tell me- „Good news spreads at a snails pace but bad news spreads quicker.“. There´s alot of truth behind those words but nevertheless, if you don´t spread the word ( positive or negative ) then people won´t know. People won´t notice the amazing author your discovered if you don´t use your tools ( technology ). It takes one curious person to stumble upon your opinion on the internet and you have the power to persuade that person with your thoughts. And in the end, you also helped an author get noticed. It´s a win / win for everyone.

 

Reviews Help Authors Improve Their Skill

It´s true.

Reviews are not only there to help with sales and convince a reader to buy a book, reviews are a form of feedback for authors.

If 20 people wrote that they hated the story then that´s their opinion based mainly on their feelings. It´s then a matter of taste. But when 20 or more reviews say the story lacked emotions then that´s something an author can work with. That´s called constructive feedback. Sadly, both don´t really help an author with sales but it can help an author improve their skill and write a book with more emotions for the future. If no one points out the positive or negative then an author will never know if they´re doing something right or wrong.

 

Bonding Through Reviews

Who would have thought that reviews are also a great way to meet new people and possibly make new friends? Yupp. Whatever a review entails there are always going to be people who either agree or disagree and that can bring people together. It can be an author who liked your review or it can be another reader… when someone reacts to your review and reaches out then there´s a good chance to make a new friend ( or enemy ). It´s not science, it´s nature. And here´s the clue- when people bond over a mutual interest then they eventually expand and form groups that often turn into larger groups and that always leads to a small fan base. The small fan base meets another small fan base and they create a large clique. That´s how an author CAN get fans and fans meet new people and sooner or later they become devoted cheerleaders with a purpose. Another win / win.

 

The truth, though, stays the same. Not everyone wants to write a review for the public eye. Many are just comfortable reading and leaving it at that. Which is fine. But keep in mind- If no one writes a review then others can´t be helped. Reviews do not have to be as lengthy as a novel. They don´t even have to sound professional. The sole purpose of a review is to help ( or not help, depending on the type of feedback you want to give ). It only takes a few words, maybe 5 lines to state your opinion. You also don´t have to use every single social media to publish your review. Pick one platform ( Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, FB, etc.) and I guarantee someone will see it. You can even contact a blogger and speak with them about your thoughts and maybe co-write a review with them. The possibilities are endless.

And that, my dear readers, is why reviews are important.

 

Cursive Writing- Teaching my child the art of penmanship

 

It all started when my 10 year old daughter, Eve, came to me the other day and asked if I could order a book for her on Amazon.

My heart always swells with pride when my kids show interest in books. I mean- an avid reader would love nothing more than to share some book love with their kids, right?

But this time- my heart stuttered and I felt my forehead wrinkle. Eve didn´t ask me to buy her ANOTHER book on horses or other animals. This time she asked if I could buy a book on cursive handwriting. Imagine the look on my face.

At first, I thought she was interested in the history of cursive handwriting. Could have been possible. Some kids like to ride their bikes and some want to learn about cursive writing. Kids are odd that way. To each is their own. But, no. Eve didn´t want to learn about the origins of the delicate hand motions. She wanted to learn how write cursive.

This stopped me dead in my tracks. Wasn´t my child going to learn how to do that in School? I was confused. After calling all kinds of people ( including my daughter´s teacher ) I quickly learned that my daughter will never learn the art of cursive writing in School.

Cursive writing is dead.

cursive handwriting2

I find this alarming. You can find cursive written words all over the place. How was my daughter ever going to be able to read cursive writing without my help or the help of anyone older?

I see a small problem forming.

The closest thing she will ever come to writing cursive will be by connecting certain letters in a word. Not all letters. Just a few. The rest will be in bold letters. Let´s take the word `Letter` as an example.

The `Le` would be connected together in a cursive manner and the `tter` in print.

I can see adults writing that way. Young adults eventually develop their own personal writing style…  But to teach children that kind of style? That doesn´t make any sense. It´s lazy and sloppy. Half-assed technique. ( Okay…I´m getting mad here. * breath in – breath out * )

I´ve noticed my daughter writing in that odd 1/3 cursive style when she does her homework. But I thought it was a new way of learning the skill ( because with every new generation the system comes up with some new crap to try out on the kids ). Little did I know that the school system would go so far as wipe out a style of penmanship. Why?

I´ve searched high and low, combed through countless websites and articles, trying to find an explanation or at least an answer that made sense. I´m just as clever as I was before. Every article I came across looked like they were written by the adults from the cartoon Peanuts. „Warp woooaarp woah woah, wooom warp.“

I´m 35 years old. So, technically- I haven´t been out of school for forever. It´s only been a few years. I belong to the generation where we learned how to connect our letters with loops and curves. All the letters of a word together. Remember?

So, yeah. I bought her a book on how to learn the basics of cursive handwriting. I actually bought 2 books and I´ve invested hours, sitting beside my kid, teaching her how to hold her pen, swinging letters, etc. I can´t say it was easy, though. Do I feel more appreciation for teachers now that I´ve taught my daughter how to write? No. It´s their chosen profession. They get paid to do their job. I feel litle sympathy. ( I´m pissed. Can you tell?)

I didn´t know this as a child but learning to write in cursive is an important tool for cognitive development. As an adult and a mother of 2, I can see the importance of cursive writing. I see the positive effects it has for a childs concentration, for their motoric skills. And believe it or not- cursive writing even has an effect on reading skills as well. I have living proof snoring two rooms down the hall!

I´m talking about our future, here. Young minds who are learning to type with their 10 fingers instead of learning the art of swinging a pen over paper in a graceful manner. I find that sad. This has nothing to do with old fashioned thinking. It has to do with letting something important die because a group of people / some institution find it unnecessary. Which is the stupidest reason I´ve ever came across.

Will it be an issue if this generation is not able to read a book title that is printed in cursive writing?

What about logos, slogans and what not? Some fonts are cursive.

We´re living in a time where technology has the upper hand and time is our enemy. It´s natural that some things my generation enjoyed will soon be a fun-to-laugh-at-memory or completely forgotten. But to let something as important as a handwriting style die is inexcusable.

The end of the story- My daughter is now happy she can write in a different style. And a happy daughter equals a happy mommy.

Here are the books I´ve purchased that have helped my daughter learn the art of cursive handwriting. She still has a long way to go but that´s okay. If the School system doesn´t support it, I definitely will. ( Both books are available on Amazon.com )cursive writing 3

cursive writing 1

TBR Book Lists

You know what a TBR list is. And if not… be prepared to be enlightened.

TBR, in a nutshell, means To Be Read. TBR is often used when discussing books, bookshelves and / or lists.

When people talk about their TBR lists they´re basically talking about an imaginary and /or a physical list that´s 5 miles long with books that they´d either like to buy, or have already purchased but haven´t found the time to read those books.

Personally, I  have a few lists. Some on my phone, some on sticky notes ( which I always manage to lose ), a couple scattered in notebooks and of course, my Amazon wish list. Unlike others… I haven´t bought a book that´s been added to my TBR list. Why? Mainly because I know myself like no other. I´d buy the book and never read it. Because, that´s what usually happens with books that land in a TBR list.

Not that I wouldn´t want to read the books that go on one of my many lists. I just forget about them completely.

When you recommend a book to someone and they say, “I´ll add it to my TBR list.”, you can bet everything you own( house, car, cat, horse) on the fact that that someone already has a 5 mile long list full of untouched books. And the book you recommended will most likely disappear in the sea of book titles for only God knows how long.

Now- an outsider, a person who isn´t madly in love with reading would come up with a simple solution and recommend working off a TBR list before adding more to it. Technically- a brilliant idea. Practically- an impossible mission to accomplish.

In order to sit down and actually read every book on a TBR list a reader would need an enormous amount of discipline. That´s hardly possible when hundreds  thousands of books are out there, waiting to be read! There´s a lot of truth behind the words:

so many books so little time

“So many books, so little time.” If we were realistic for a moment- we´re not going to live forever. It won´t ever be possible to work off a TBR list because readers always add more books to it.  It´s a neverending cycle. It´s evil. It´s unforgiving. Even if we don´t live long enough to read all the books we want to read- our TBR lists will keep on living. ( see how evil a TBR list is?? )

I gave up on my TBR list (s) a long time ago. I saw no point in working them off because of one reason: My brain is like a siev. I can´t help it. I don´t want to want to work the list off because it´s exhausting.

Nowadays, if I see a book that interests me, I´ll buy the paperback and avoid adding to any list in the first place. I still have my lists, though. Somewhere…..  And out of pure habit I´still say “Cool, I´ll add it to my blasted TBR list.” See? Evil.

The best possible solution is to avoid making a list in the first place. I know that. Other readers know that. But can we help ourselves? Can we prevent our greedy selves from adding a book to our neverending lists? Of course, NOT. It´s a disease. We can´t be helped.

The struggle is real. Amazon is not a book lover´s friend. 1-clicking is the devil.

Instagram Book Box Feature

 

Wattpad: Online Writing Community-Review

There are hundreds of free online writing communities but none are as fast growing as Wattpad.

As a writer, being apart of an online writing community is genius, expecially on Wattpad2Wattpad.The registration is free and it takes mere minutes for a writer to create a profile, which is a huge bonus, and they can start uploading their stories, fan-fictions and / or poetry. Practial, right? A writer can upload their stories chapter by chapter where readers can vote and comment on. Often, through the comments, a writer can receive feedback from their readers which may or may not be helpful ( depending on the feedback, of course ). Wattpad is a great place for writers to interact with other writers and readers. And another huge bonus? Wattpad writers are able to enjoy some of the many opportunities Wattpad has to offer ( and there are quite a few. Awesome sauce).

As a reader, being able to pick from millions of stories from just as many writers is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Wattpad is a fabulous platform where a reader can dive head first into any story and explore different genres for free.

It´s an overall win/win for everyone, at first glance. Wattpad is like Christmas on Easter. Everything is idiot-proof. As a writer, you can become super successful and enjoy all the perks Wattpad has to offer and as a reader all you have to do is vote and comment on a story you enjoyed. Include all the cool and fancy fun stuff and you´re at a writer´s fun-park where everyone is happy. Voila!

But what happens when you take a closer look at Wattpad and the writers who publish their stories?

Now- Personally, I love Wattpad. Not because of the neat knick-knacks and fun stuff the platform offers. I love it because it feels like I´m a child in Bookland. I enjoy watching stories grow with each uploaded chapter and I like how easy it is to build connections there.

It´s incredible to see so many talented people in one spot.

From cover designers to writers ( and so many more )… Wattpad is a hot spot no one should miss out on. BUT…….  ( there´s always a but…..*giggle* )

Wattpad2As an avid reader myself I´ve read my fair share of Wattpad stories- many great and fully worth recommending. I´m even surprised that a few of those stories haven´t been picked up by a publishing house yet.

But then again- I´ve been down the „What the heck did I just read?“ road, too. I´ve even been on the „You must be kidding me.“ lane, where I´ve seen the unthinkable happen. It´s sad to say that not everything on Wattpad is golden.

From what I´ve noticed- Wattpad is more geared towards fantasy, science fiction and YA. Of course, there are plently of other genre´s, such as: romance, historical, horror, self-help, etc, to satisfy a reader´s appitite. Wattpad welcomes all, including fan-fiction. Yes. The F genre.

The problem with a platform that allows everything to happen is- everything happens.

With over 40 million members, Wattpad is a place for all kinds of writers. People who take writing seriously, people who see writing as a hobby, people who just want to scribble down ideas and unfortunately- Wattpad is also misused by writers. I´ve even seen NYT Bestselling authors on Wattpad!

One thing really stands out on Wattpad. You can´t get around without being confronted with a fan-fiction. It happens. No use in trying to prevent it. You´ll definitely see an image from Harry Styles ( The kid from 1D ) or a cover with the actor Jamie Dornan on it. And when you see one, you´ll see more. That´s the downside of Wattpad. It´s over flooded with fan-fiction. That´s not to say that fan-fiction is terrible. Personally- I don´t like that genre but some stories aren´t too shabby.  A few fan-fics on Wattpad are actually brilliant. Sadly, not the majority, though. Many on Wattpad are down-right tasteless, tacky, poorly written and so over the top weird you can´t help but categorise all fan-fics as terrible.

Same goes for paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi stories. Wattpad writers have outstanding imaginations when it comes to preternatural and supernatural… it´s mindblowing. If you´re lucky, you can stumble upon a brilliant story that will most likely tear your heart into pieces and leave you with a nasty book hangover.

If luck isn´t on your side you can be stuck with a night full of shifters, skinwalkers ( Yes, apparently- that´s a thing ), toothless, alpha vampires which will definitely make you think about the writers sanity.

Each genre has it´s perks and downfalls in the Wattpad world. But, all the genre´s share one issue: Typos and misspellings ( not all stories, of course, but more than enough).

I believe in the good of everything. I over see lots of stuff all the time because I understand how busy or stressful life can get. But when I start a story on Wattpad and the first lines in the authors note are:

„This is not edited. You´ll find misspellings and typos. I´m sorry. I don´t want to waste my time with editing this.“

„ If you want to read the typo/misspelling-free version you can purchase this book on Amazon.com.“

That´s slightly rude, in my opinion. I´ve read books with over 100 misspellings and it´s annoying beyond means. If you upload something and expect anyone to enjoy reading then surely it´s not too much to ask for less than 20 typos? That can be done, right?

Let´s not forget to mention the sly Wattpad writers who already have their books up for sale on Amazon but still keep 3 chapters from the same book on their Wattpad page…as a teaser. I´m pretty sure that goes against the Wattpad policy. Yet each night, I come across at least 1 writer who does that. Teasing a reader with 3-5 chapters and hope they´ll buy the book on Amazon. These people think they´re clever but forget that Wattpad readers read on Wattpad for a reason. Namely- because of the free stories.

One could believe the fantastic Wattpad is corrupt. I certainly believe it´s corrupt sometimes. The contests many writers run are great but the Watty Awards that run on Twitter are full of horse s**t and alot of  writers are so full of themselves. How can I not think that Wattpad is a place filled with evil minded, shameless people? Have I forgotten the trillion horny teenagers with the Dornan fantasies? ( I can write a book about those people…. )

This doesn´t really put Wattpad in a good light. It´s rather sad. All I´ve mentioned above is rather harmful for the great writing community. But do not fear. Not all hope is lost. Wattpad isn´t filled with all evil. If you take your time, you can find the gems hidden in the sea of stories. You just have to look hard and stick to what the great writers recommend… or ask me and I´ll gladly point out the writers that are out of this world brilliant * wink *.

If I were to rate Wattpad as I would the books I read then I´d definitely give it 4 out of 5 stars. Why? Well, as I´ve said- Wattpad is a great community where readers and writers can mingle and have a great time with stories. Ignore the rude writers, ignore the fanfics, ignore the Watty´s Awards and avoid being sucked into the many events and you should be all set to have a great time. If a reader sticks to the basics ( vote and comment & interaction ) then Wattpad is THE place to be.

 

I´m giving Wattpad 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Spotlight- Slammed, Point Of Retreat, This Girl by Colleen Hoover

Slammed ( Slammed #1 )

Book Descriptionslammed

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

My Thoughts

Are you searching for something emotional? Would you like to read something that will touch your soul and break your heart and at the same time fix all your problems? Search no more. You´ve found what you´re looking for.

CAUTION: This review contains FOUL LANGUAGE. If you don´t approve of certain words I suggest you skip this review because, quite frankly, I have no other way to express my feelings towards this book.

What started out innocent turned into a „For fuck´s sake, why am I crying AGAIN!“ story. 354 pages of „I will never be able to emotionally recover.“. What on earth possessed this author to write such a gut wrenching, sob – worthy, fantastic story? Because- `Slammed` is exactly that. And it´s brilliant.

After the death of her father, Layken moves from Texas to Michigan with her mother and younger brother, leaving the only life she has known behind to start new.

Layken doesn´t like the change but is absolutely happy for her brother when he bonds with the neighbor´s kid, who also happens to have a hot, older brother. Will. Their new life doesn´t seem so gloomy after all. He introduces his passion, slam poetry, to Layken and soon enough, both hit it off and together they develop a relationship like no other.

Now, before I give away anything else, please know that this story is not what you think it is. It´s so much more. And if I´m honest, I have no fucking clue how I got through this read without breaking into a thousand pieces. My gray sofa was covered in a blanket of white crumbled tissues.

The main focus is at first on Layken and how she deals with the loss of her father, how she adjusts to her new life but also how she handles the quick happiness she´s found with Will. Their relationship has a twist but that´s nothing compared to what happens later in the story.

Sure, there´s romance, there´s wit, there´s cute moments where you wish you were that age again just to relive the intensity of a first love…. and the hope that that love stays your only love for the rest of your life. But life is about more than just love. It´s about what´s happening around you, too.

`Slammed` is moving, touching and, at times, so fucking unforgiving.. I didn´t know what to do with myself while reading. What these characters went through was beyond anything I would wish for anyone. The hurt, the loss, the love and the devastation ripped my heart in two. My tears wouldn´t stop flowing! God damn it. I haven´t felt this emotionally confused since `Hopeless` which is also from Colleen Hoover. ( I´m seeing a pattern here.) There were happy tears, sad tears, tears from relief, tears of sorrow… * head against table* And smiles. God, I was confused while reading `Slammed`. I´m not going to dive into the poetry from the characters because that´s just brutally raw. Fuck.

A story about young love, acceptance, forgiveness and above all, about life. `Slammed` is beautiful in the simplest way ever.

Would I recommend this book?

Fuck yeah. I recommend `Slammed` to everyone. READ THIS BOOK. Like- NOW.

The Cover – 5 stars ( It´s simple. It´s in color. It doesn´t really give away the story.)

The Story – 5+ stars ( For the love of God….. what a wonderful, heartbreaking / heartwarming and captivating story. )

The Characters – 5 stars ( Will made my Top 5 Book Boyfriend List. Layken- I want to give her a hug and never let her go. Sub- characters were fantastic. Very realistic. All loveable.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Positively exhausted. Emotionally drained. I feel like everytime I think about this book I need a shot of something strong. I LOVE SLAMMED!!

I´m giving `Slammed` ( Slammed #1 ), by Colleen Hoover, 5 out of 5 brilliant stars.

`Slammed`( Slammed #1 ) is available in paperback and ebook format on Amazon.com

Point Of Retreat ( Slammed #2 )

 

Book Descriptionpoint-of-retreat

From the bestselling author of Slammed, comes Colleen Hoover’s next big hit.
Layken and Will have managed to overcome the obstacles that threatened to destroy their love, proving that they are destined for one another. What they are about to learn, however, is that the things that have brought them together may be the very things that ruin their connection forever…
Layken is left second-guessing the relationship whilst Will is jumping over hurdles to prove his love for her. What the young lovers discover about themselves along this journey may change their entire world and the lives of those who depend upon them the most…

My Thoughts

I´m, for once, thankful for a Colleen Hoover book that hasn´t brought me to tears.

Will and Lake´s story continues. `Point Of Retreat` ( Slammed #2 ) wasn´t as heartshattering as book #1, `Slammed` but it was just as intense (!!!). Right to the point where I was afraid for the MC´s relationship. Because, this couple is meant to be together. My emotions were all over the place.

After the events from `Slammed`, Will and Layken now have to learn how to deal with everyday life. With both being relatively young they decide to take over the parental roles and raise their siblings, which proves to be a challenge for the 19 and 23 year olds.

New problems surface, making Lake question her relationship. Life isn´t a box of chocolates for Layken but with the help of Will and a few friends life doesn´t seem so worthless. Or does it?

To make this short and simple ( since I´ve already gushed my feelings over the first book more than enough ) I loved this book. A perfect follow-up story that gives a reader the satisfaction of knowing what happens next.

`Point Of Retreat`is told from Will´s perspective, which I found was brilliant because I was dying to know how he saw Layken and the situation they were in. His character couldn´t be more opposite from Layken´s… Will was, less difficult.

Lake/Layken often acted like a little shit over peanuts but that can be blamed on the many issues she´s had to deal with within a short time span. Her life wasn´t easy and anyone in real life would have needed quite a few therapy sessions to get over what Layken dealt with. So, despite my love and understanding for her character I still felt a tad annoyed by her behavior.

All in all a really great read that tugged at all my heartstrings. I felt `Point Of Retreat`. I felt the heartache, the sadness, the happy moments, the intimacy, the power of Colleen Hoover´s writing.

Would I recommend this book?

Definitely. After you read `Slammed` a reader will most definitely want more and this book gives more. Also, this book shows how two young people manage life under difficult circumstances. I know alot of 30+ adults who haven´t a clue how to start managing anything for themselves. This could be an eye opener and if not then this book is definitely entertaining.

The Cover – 5 stars ( What´s more to say other than I really like it?)

The Story – 5 stars ( Perfect follow-up story that includes more beautiful poetry and meaning.)

The Characters – 4 stars ( Will was perfect. If Layken was a little less dramatic then I would have loved her just as much. And Julia. Oh. My. God. I want a Julia in my life. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – In love.

I´m giving `Point Of Retreat` ( Slammed #2 ), by Colleen Hoover, 5 out of 5 stars

You can purchase `Point Of Retreat`( Slammed #2 ) on Amazon.com

This Girl ( Slammed #3 )

Book Description  this-girl

Layken and Will’s love has managed to withstand the toughest of circumstances and the young lovers, now married, are beginning to feel safe and secure in their union. As much as Layken relishes their new life together, she finds herself wanting to know everything there is to know about her husband, even though Will makes it clear he prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong. Still, he can’t resist his wife’s pleas and so he begins to untangle his side of the story, revealing for the first time his most intimate feelings and thoughts, retelling both the good and bad moments, and sharing a few shocking confessions of his own from the time when they first met.

In This Girl, Will tells the story of their complicated relationship from his point of view. Their future rests on how well they deal with the past in this final installment of the beloved Slammed series.

My Thoughts

`This Girl`. This book. THIS SERIES!

Be still, my beating heart… for this is the end of a phenomenal story. Or is it? I´m not sure. It sure looks like it´s the end and feels like it, too.

Either way- I´m bummed. So many feelings felt, so many tears shed and now I have to deal with the harsh reality of a life without Will & Layken.

I know, I know. All good things must come to an end at some point- especially when it comes to stories- but I´m not ready for this one to end.

When I saw the cover and tagline about the title my heart stopped.

Love conquers everything, but can it excuse the past?

I was terrified. There´s only so much fictional characters can go through without wanting to kill themselves or ending up in a nuthouse. My only option was to breathe and hope for the best. Right? It´s not like I have many useful feelings left for the author to play with. Colleen Hoover pretty much exhausted me ( in a good way, of course).

`This Girl` (Slammed #3 ) by Colleen Hoover is the honeymoon book. Here, a reader gets a story rehash in form of the MC having a stroll down memory lane while being on their honeymoon.

Again- If you believe I just revealed the whole story then you´re wrong. Aside from the flashbacks there are a few additional scenes and a total heartwarming epilogue, all told from Will´s POV. This is pretty awesome. * frantically nod *

While having their much deserved break from life, Will and Layken use the time to get deep and talk about… stuff. Things that are usually spoken about in private when couples reflect on their relationship and when they want to look forward. Brilliant!

`This Girl` is raw and real.

`This Girl` is a captivating story.

`This Girl` is a perfect.

A pretty swift and beautiful ending for a story that has milked my emotional household dry.

`This Girl` is a mandatory read for fans of the `Slammed` series. The whole series is a must read for everyone who isn´t familiar with the author or her books.

Now, let´s get back to the painful tagline from the book cover. I can answer that one easily.

YES! Love CAN excuse the past!! Now stop trying to play with the little feelings I have left, Mrs. Evil Author.

Would I recommend this book?

Yes. I would. I wouldn´t necessarily read `This Girl` before `Slammed` and `Point Of Retreat`, though.

The Cover – 5 stars ( It´s simple and the title doesn´t give anything away. Perfect.)

The Story – 4 stars ( It´s half a re-telling of book #1 and #2 with great additional scenes. )

The Characters – 5 stars ( Oh yeah. These figures won´t ever leave my heart.)

My emotional state after finishing this book– So grateful and utterly happy.

I´m giving `This Girl` ( Slammed #3 ), by Colleen Hoover 5 out of 5 stars.

This book can be bought over at Amazon.com

Thank you for reading today´s Book Spotlight. I hope you enjoyed. Much love….xx