Alien apocalyptic: 5th Wave Book Review

Okay so I’m a little behind in my reading. I finally finished reading…

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1)

 

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Book Review

It’s start with 16 year old Cassie living alone in the woods by herself after the 4th alien attack (wave) hit earth. Over 7 billion people are dead. The survivors are scattered around the world. She is one of them. She stays hidden or risks being killed by the Others, which she isn’t sure who they are. They’re supposed to look just like humans. So she trusts no one, especially the military who killed her father and tried to kill her.

She decides to leave the forest and go save her 5 year old brother, Sam, from the military who took him. In the process she is shot and rescued by one of the Others. This is where the story parallels Twilight in a way. Her hunter, Evan,  young, hot, very strong and fast. Despite his mission to kill humans, saves Cassie, because he fallen for her.

But if you’re looking for a slow love story between them, you’re out of luck. The book skips around to other point of views so you get a sense of whats happening in the world beside Cassie holed up in a cabin with Evan.

I give it 4 stars.

I felt the characterization of Cassie and Ben were good and kept me interested, although neither of them have unique voices. They sound the same. Sam sounded too old for a five year old. My son is four, he hangs out with my neighbors son who is 5. They take him hunting on the weekends, but even so, I couldn’t imagine him thinking, let alone acting as mature as Sam. He sounded closer to 7 or 8. And whats up with all the girls wanting to slap the guys. (My personal pet peeve stereotyping girls as being girly girls.) I hate to break it to you Rick, but not all girls resort to sissy slapping when they get frustrated and mad at a guy. Some punch, some just roll their eyes and walk away and the list goes on.  (just to the  name a few responses).

If you like reading sci-fi’s or post apocalypse stories, this book is worth reading.

About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

#FridayReads #BookReview Evangeline

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Evangeline (A Dark Faerie Tale, #0.5)

by Alexia Purdy

Book Overview

The Land of Faerie is calling.
There are places unknown, magic lures you in and love spans lifetimes.
Don’t resist. It’s in the blood…

Evangeline is a short story prequel to Ever Shade.

Book Review

I came across this book on Amazon Free Fantasy stories. I decided to give it a try, being it was a short story and I didn’t have to commit too much of my time before deciding whether or not I want to read the series. Sadly my first impression wasn’t that good, because:

The story was written in third person omniscient, which I’m not a huge fan of reading. It can become difficult to follow. Evangeline was no exception. The author didn’t have any transitions between the two POV’s Evangeline and her sister, Jade. She switched POV mid-paragraphs. So most of the time I had to re-read paragraphs to figure out who was speaking, taking me out of the story.

Next, the first couple of chapters the author spent a lot of time narrating and explaining backstory about the sisters and their powers instead of letting it unfold naturally with the story. However, she left off the most important part–character development.

The sisters characters were flat and hard to connect too. They had no personality. No unique characteristics. I didn’t even really know what they looked like, except Evangeline had black hair and brown eyes.

If that wasn’t bad enough, just as I finally felt the story was getting interesting when Evangeline met Jack, the story fast forwards to her leaving Jade to spend time with him, whom she had been dating for awhile and loved. Then the next chapter jumped again where she was living in Faerie Land.

I gave it 2 stars.

Despite my issue with third person omniscient, narrating backstory and flat characters, it had a potential. If the author had written in the interactions between Jack and Evangeline as well as Jade and the fairy king the story and the characters could’ve became interesting. However it didn’t.  It felt rushed and confusing instead.

Perhaps if you were reading the story, after have read book 1 it may have been more interesting. But starting with this book only turns you off from the series as it did with me.

Reminder: Today is the last day to download The Zeuorian Awakening Free on Amazon Kindle.


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

#Indiechat How to Tell If a Book Promoter is Legit

After receiving the below email from http://www.thebooksmachine.com soliciting me to promote with them The Zeuorian Awakening (currently being offered FREE on Amazon as a Kindle book promotion). I decided to do a little research to see if their stats were legit.

Dear Cindy Zablockis,

I have recently come across your book The Zeuorian Awakening (Volume 1) on Amazon and due to both its quality and plot, it qualifies to be promoted in our community of readers.

The Books Machine is a website that connects authors and readers. It helps writers promote their work, gain in reputation and prestige, and reach a potential audience.

Our press team’s offer includes help promoting books to thousands of readers in our community, whether at reduced or regular prices. This is done through a deals promotion page on our website, a Facebook post with exclusive deals reaching over 25,000 readers, as well as a “Newsletter of the Day” that uses a unique and innovative marketing tool featuring an excerpt from your book within a unique customized layout.

The days currently available to feature your work in our newsletter are tomorrow and Friday. In the following link you can find more detailed information about who we are, get to know our community of authors and readers, and find out how this promotion can benefit you and your book: http://www.thebooksmachine.com/deals/dealspromote.html

Also you can find a powerful tool to promote your titles in an innovative way through a professional Video Book Trailer production, adding it on your Amazon book description, Author Central, Deal description, social networks, Youtube Channel, your own website, etc. You can see more information, prices and real works that we’ve made for our authors here: http://www.thebooksmachine.com/booktrailer/videobooktrailer.html
Warm wishes,

Meryl Wright
Site Administrator

www.thebooksmachine.com
FB: www.facebook.com/TheBooksMachine

Copyright 2014

 

What I found about thebooksmachine.com

(This is an average of multiple Traffic Reporting Sites Stats)

Website Statistics

  • Unique “New” (Never been to the website) Visitors: 625 – 852 (Daily) or 18,750 – 25,560 (monthly)
  • Daily “Web” Page views by New & Returning Visitors as well as webots: 1,704 – 4,062
  • Bounce Rate (% of visitors who visit 1 page for less than 60 seconds and then leave the site): 100%/100 %
  • Website Trust worthiness: Very poor (Web browsers and Virus software will warn visitors site not safe)
  • Website Privacy: Very poor (Your cookie information can be copied. i.e. ip address, email, etc…)
  • Website Child Safety: Very Poor (Adult content. Computers with child browsers will block the site)
  • Website Security:  None (They have no HTTPS Protocol needed to hide information entered in forms)

 

Facebook Statistics

  • Facebook page has 27,786 likes
  • 69 People talking about their post this week
  • 39 New page likes this week
  • Last post 4/13/16
  • # of post a day: 1 – 2
  • Post time: early morning around 7:30 am or evening around 5:30 pm

 

Twitter Statistics

  • Tweets 447
  • Following 1,173
  • Followers 3,990
  • Likes 109
  • Last Tweet September 2015

 

Google+ Statistics

  • Google+ followers 13
  • Last post June 2015

 

So What does all that mean?

If I ran my ad for 2 days on their site as the email suggested, I would have:

1,250 potential people may view my book ad on the web site for less than 60 seconds, depending if it is on the home page and above the fold (visible without scrolling) before they leave the website.

152 people may view the ad on Facebook (based on 8.24% average post reach x T # of likes “views” / 30 days * 2 days) and less than 4 people may share my book on Facebook (based on .21% engagement rate x Total # of likes / 30 days * 2 days).

Bottom Line

I wouldn’t pay them a penny. First of all, their website isn’t secure to receive payments or protect information entered in the registration forms. The numbers I discovered is considerably far less than the 25,000 they were touting. No wonder they don’t have an official advertising page with their web statistics posted like legitimate websites.

 

If you like to learn more about Web Analytics visit this website:

https://www.tendenci.com/help-files/meaning-of-hits-visits-page-views-and-traffic-sources-web-analytics-definitions/#sthash.xPWPT9KQ.dpuf

 

How you can look up a website advertising stats:

Free Services

 

Paid Services

 

 

How to Check Blog Stats

Blog Post Comments

Another way to gauge the popularity of a blog is to look at how many comments it gets per post.

With my sites, I’ve found that an average of 1 out of every 200 readers leaves a comment. So a post with 20 non-Nicholas comments was viewed about 4,000 times. This changes with every post and every blog, but again, it gives you a general idea.

 

Total Comment Counts

Immediately after you comment on a WordPress blog, your browser redirects you to where your comment will show up. If you look at the URL, you’ll see something that looks like this:

http://www.website.com/blog#comment-108656

The second half of the URL tells you that you left the 108,656th comment on website.com. This number includes spam comments. Assume that 75-90% of the comments are spam and you can get an idea of how many comments a site has had since day one.


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

 

#indiechat Getting Better Reviews On Your Books

Every author faces the challenge of getting reviews on their books, preferably good ones ( 4 and above). They have a direct impact on sales. The more favorable, more sales and better exposure of the book on Amazon.

However, getting reviews can be a daunting task. Trust me, I know. I sent blind emails to bloggers and Amazon top reviewers. I filled out countless book review blog requests. I begged family and friends for their help (Which ended up being a waste of time, because Amazon blocks those reviews). I bartered with other authors (I review your book, if you review mine.). None of it worked. I got a few reviews that was it.

I finally resorted to using review services like Story Cartel and Netgalley, but several of the reviews I received weren’t that great. Like most writers I internalized and assumed my book sucked. But after I had time to think and put on my User researcher hat and re-read the reviews, I realized the bad reviews had nothing to do with my writing, rather the reviewer.

Majority of the reviewers who gave my book bad reviews weren’t my target audience. They liked to read paranormal romances not dark fantasy’s packed with action and mystery. No wonder why they hated the book. I would feel the same toward most literary fiction. I have no patience for slow paced, overly descriptive stories.

The rest of the bad reviews came from reviewers who like to bash books. You know them. The shock jocks who like to stir up others emotions to increase their blog readers, the pissed off reader who got irked about something in the book or in some cases, life, and take it out on the review.  Lastly, there were the reviewers who just wanted to add another blog article and didn’t bother to read the book at all. (i.e. a reviewer of my book The Zeuorian Awakening talked about how my lead character, Lexi, threw herself on all the boys. If she read the story, she would’ve known Lexi avoided everyone to keep them from figuring out about her powers.)

So I realized in order to get better reviews, I needed to think like a marketer. I needed to request reviews from my target audience. Unfortunately the pay for review services don’t give you the choice to be picky about who reads your books.

But How, you maybe thinking?

First of all you need to know what is your book genre and who is your real audience, because I promise you it’s not everyone.

When I say know your audience, I mean a general profile:

  • What is their age range
  • Are they male or female, if a mix what is the percentage (i.e 25% male and 75% female)
  • Do they have a blog, Twitter, Facebook and/or Goodreads accounts
  • Do they actively socialize online, if so where, how many posts per week and on what days?
  • What genre’s do they predominately read and give good reviews too. (Make sure your book Genre is on their list, specifically close to the top.)
  • Have they reviewed several books? (A must, if you want them to review your book)

The best way to figure out who are your audience without guessing and filling in the blanks, is to do a little competitive research. See who is reading similar books as yours on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and Blogs. (at least 25, but I suggest doing more to get a clear picture). Then list their answers in a spreadsheet and average them out.

For instance:

  • Ages were 25, 36, 29, 45, so the age range is 25 to 45.
  • There were 2 men and 18 women. So the audience makes up mostly women readers with a small percentage of men.
  • 10 readers had blogs, 18 had Twitter accounts, 5 had Facebook accounts and 16 had Goodreads accounts. So the audience predominately has Twitter and Goodreads accounts.
  • 5 readers tweeted 10 posts twice a week on Twitter, 12 tweeted 20 posts every other day of the week and 3 tweeted 1 post on Friday. So the audience is moderately active on Twitter, posting 10 to 20 tweets on M, W, F and Sun.

Next you need to find potential reviewers who match your audience using your research and solicit them. It doesn’t have to be a direct email. It could be:

  • A blog article, a tweet, a Facebook posting targeting them by using meta and hashtags.
  • An article written and posted on someone else’s blog that your audience views.
  • Join a discussion group who discuss your genre, but don’t hound them to review your book. Instead mention it briefly in a related thread.

If you can think of any other way to connect to your audience please share by posting a comment.


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

Use Samsung GS7 to design a #Bookcover

I was playing around with my new Samsung Galaxy S7 camera and took some pictures of my roses.

Flower2

With a little Photoshop magic, I created this book cover with the photo I took.

flower cover


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

My Watcher: The Zeuorian On Sale #Fantasy #Ebook

My Watcher: The Zeuorian is now on sale.

Book Overview

For the past two years Lexi avoided everyone at her high school so no one would discover she could read minds and sense danger. She didn’t want another psycho trying to kill her, because they got it in their head she was a monster.

But all that changed on her 17th birthday when she transformed into a total hottie and started developing powers beyond her control.

If that isn’t bad enough, a stranger is following her. She doesn’t know who he is or what he wants, yet he knows all about her abilities and that she’s developing more. And . . . he’s her only hope of understanding why she’s changing and others are after her.

One problem, he could be anyone at her school. With her new appearance, it’ll be a miracle to weed him out amongst her admirers. Still sometimes the truth is worth risking everything to uncover–even your life.

“My Watcher (extended version of Awakening) is a suspenseful, thrilling, fast pace, dark fantasy (paranormal), coming of age, mystery that will take you on a ride. When you think you know who is her Watcher, the author throws you a curve ball. For you romance fanatics, there is a little bit of that in the story too.”

You can purchase it at:

Amazon
Nook
ITunes
Kobo
Smashwords

#fantasychat What’s Your Writing Style?

Every writer has their own style of writing. Some take you down a leisure road through the characters life where you know everything about them, in some cases a little too much. Others go from 0 to 60, spending little time on character background. While the majority are a mix of the two.

Personally I lean more toward the thrillers. I hate reading pages of details or useless backstory. That’s why I wrote My Watcher {The Zeuorian Series) as a dark fantasy thriller.

I wanted the story like one of those crazy roller coasters at a theme park. It starts slow with a straight track. When it’s just about to begin the loop, the car switches direction and it heads down a dark tunnel. As it continues, it switch tracks, thoroughly confusing the riders as to what direction they’ll go until the very end the car swerves and travels up the loop at the beginning of the ride. When the car finally stops, the riders are out of breath and a little dizzy, but they can’t wait to get on it again.

So what is your writing style?


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

Fifty Shades Darker Review

I figure with the pending release of Fifty Shades Darker movie February 2017, I would finally read the book. I bought it after reading the first one, but it didn’t grab me right away so I put it down.

Official Book Overview

Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven, and demanding Fifty Shades.

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront her anger and envy of the women who came before her and make the most important decision of her life.

Erotic, sparkling and suspenseful, Fifty Shades Darker is the irresistibly addictive second part of the Fifty Shades trilogy.

Review

The story begins with Anastasia starting her new job at a small publishing firm. She works under Jack Hyde, who is a little too friendly. She spends most of her time crying since she is a total wreck over her break up with Christian. But it doesn’t last too long. Christian is back in her life and eager to rekindle their romance–a real romance this time: dates and all and away from the red room. Ana is all for it.

However, they are far from a their fairy tale love story. They have to workout their differences sexually and personally.

Christian is hesitant to go back into the red room, because he is terrified Ana will leave him again despite her reassurance it won’t happen. Ana is overwhelmed by Christian’s personal demons of being abused, his distaste for being touched and being bossy. One of Christian’s ex subs gone off the deep end. She bought a gun and sneaking around his house and Ana. Then there is Mrs. Robinson who Ana despises and doesn’t want in Christian’s life, but she won’t leave and Christian won’t let her go either. If that wasn’t bad enough, Jack Hyde tries to force her to have sex with him.

Overall the book wasn’t as good as the first one and rated it 3 out of 5 stars.

There were too many things happening at once, distracting me from the story. Some of it was a little unrealistic and felt as if thrown in the story just to spice it up. With that said, I still enjoyed the chemistry between Ana and Christian. If it wasn’t for that part of the story, I wouldn’t have read past chapter 1.


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.

Mind Readers Book Review

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Cameron Winters is a freak. Fortunately, no one but her family knows the truth… that Cameron can read minds. For years Cameron has hidden behind a facade of normalcy, warned that there are those who would do her harm. When gorgeous and mysterious Lewis Douglas arrives he destroys everything Cameron has ever believed and tempts her with possibilities of freedom. Determined to embrace her hidden talents, Cameron heads to a secret haven with Lewis; a place where she meets others like her, Mind Readers.

But as Cameron soon finds out some things are too good to be true. When the Mind Readers realize the extent of Cameron’s abilities, they want to use her powers for their own needs. Cameron suddenly finds herself involved in a war in which her idea of what is right and wrong is greatly tested. In the end she’ll be forced to make a choice that will not only threaten her relationship with Lewis, but her very life.


Review

Similar to my book My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) Cameron is gifted with the power of telepathy and people are after her, except she isn’t an alien, but a special human. So you can tell why I read the book: a little research and I like these kind of stories.

The story kept you interested from the very start after the coffee shop blows up. I like how she is struggling with trying to stay hidden and using her power to help others.

However I thought it was a little abrupt and unrealistic Cameron abandon her grandmother and to live with a group of other mind readers. But I understand why she chose that path, because her desire to do good won out.

Overall I liked the story and rate it 4 out of 5 stars.


About The Author

C. Zablockis is an Indie author of paranormal, dark fantasy and horror novels. She published Lexi Greene’s Dangerous Lesson, Lexi Greene’s Grim Awakening, Monster (The Zeuorian Series) and My Watcher (The Zeuorian Series) YA Dark Fantasy Thriller.