Book Review Thoughts & Giveaway

Book reviews. They’re amazing little things. I’ve read thousands and thousands of them and will probably read thousands more. I can literally read them for hours on end and lose all track of time. I’ve also written a few reviews, although my total reaches to dozens, not thousands. I hope that changes one day…

Have you ever realized that our brains work differently from each other? Take for instance when I read, I’m focusing on certain elements such as character development, word pictures, and the way the author draws my emotions in. The plot needs to be realistic, but generally that isn’t my main focus.

Through reviews I’ve discovered there’s a wide range of what other people like and don’t like. Some reviewers discount books as being unrealistic if they don’t mention food, because, Hey! You have to eat. Others shake their heads sadly and declare the book a loss because the main character was unlikeable to them. Others squeal about a book being trite. Or cliché. Or boring. Or aggravating. Or having gigantic plot holes.

Even if I’ve never read the book, I can generally get a good grasp on what causes those reactions if I need enough reviews. Then I file it away in my memory bank and when one of those “issues” pop up in my book I’m able to whack it over the head and deal with it right away so my readers don’t have to.

Book reviews also help inspire me. When I see how many reviews are out there being read, I’m reminded that one day, I too, should have a passel of reviews for readers to dig into. Plus, the diversity in people’s imaginations makes me feel as if I have wings to fly on, because I have an imagination, too and that’s a glorious thought.

There are some elements about reviewing books that bother me: The main one being that the system we have only uses five stars. I’m fairly certain the world of reviews would feel like a more fair place if we had ten stars to choose from.

Most of the books I read are three-star reads. It takes a good amount of liking for me to push a book up to the four star range, and it’s almost impossible for a fiction book to reach five-stars. By the same token, though, it’s quite difficult for me to regulate a book to two-stars. It just feels wrong. I don’t think I’ve ever written a one-star review, most likely because I don’t finish books that would garner just one-star.

But this leaves me with all those three-star books, which in reality have hit many different places in my like-the-book-meter. On a scale of one to ten I might inwardly rate Book A at 4 and book Book B at a 7, yet in the star-charting reviewing world, they come out looking the same. It makes my reviewing, and writing, heart sad.

Still, five stars are better than three stars, so I’ll remain a happy little book reviewer.

Today I’m celebrating my book being released in Spanish by hosting a giveaway. You can win either a copy of the book or an Amazon gift card. Enjoy!

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Do you think we should have a better book reviewing system? What star-count do the majority of the books you read receive? 

Cool Critters of the Ice Age in Spanish

Happy, happy, happy Tuesday, people! Anybody want to celebrate? I do cause I have some exciting news. My latest co-authored book, Cool Critters of the Ice Age, which was released not quite a year ago, just came out in Spanish. Yay! 
It feels strange and yet so very rewarding to have written a book and not even be able to read it. (Yikes!) I’ve only held the prototype of the Spanish edition and that was a couple months back so to be able to look it up on Amazon and smile at it today was pretty cool. 
We (my adopted parents and I) wrote the book two years ago during a very cold January. It was the perfect weather for writing a book about ice and snow. I’m currently looking out the window at muddy hay fields and soggy roads and I’m glad we didn’t write the book in the 37 degree weather that we’re having right now. 

I learned so much while we were writing this book. My adopted parents did the research and then we worked together at putting it into a readable and interesting format. This is my only nonfiction book, but it made me want to write more like it. 

In the book we explore really amazing animals such as Baluchitherium (now one of my favorite words to say) who was the largest land mammal in the world and was huge. And Andrewsarchus which is pretty crazy because they’ve only ever found one of his skulls.  (I tried calling my little brother “Andrewsarchus” but he didn’t like it for some reason. I’ll probably use the name for one of my characters someday.) There’s also Glyptodon who was an armadillo like critter the size of a small car. I think I would have enjoyed riding on one of those… 

Harry the Cave Bear was originally only in the book a couple of times, but after a lot of fun brainstorming we decided he would be a great sidekick to my adopted dad and so we included him several more times. That was one of the most fun parts of the writing process. 

You can find the Spanish Edition of the book here and the English Edition here. I hope y’all have a great day and I’m glad I could share my exciting news with y’all.

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Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have a book you wrote but not be able to read it?