I’m Not Mad, I’m Just Saying

Last week I discovered that I’d been plagiarized. Nothing major just a review of mines that I did for Readers’Favorite.com (great site for indie authors who want to get their books reviewed!) but the odd thing was that I found myself getting more annoyed than if they’d stolen one of my stories or an article I’d written (fun fact: I have sister – not Hana Kura, a less creative one – who used to copy my stuff all the time and not in an ‘imitation is the best form of flattery’ way but in a full on ‘gank your stuff and run with it’ kind of way).

A story or article I can understand, sometimes you see something so awesome that you wish it was yours just be warned,

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Stealing a review is just… lazy. Not to mention kind of insulting to the author whose book you’re supposed to be reviewing because we read every review, the good ones, the bad ones, the fairly meh ones, we dissect them and analyze them and try not to let them affect our confidence too much. So when things get a little deja vu the author is definitely going to notice and you’ll definitely look like a lazy liar not worthy of adding the words ‘readingaddiction’ to your blog’s title.

In the book world there is no deadlier sin than the one of plagiarism.

Thankfully, the blogger took it down along with a bunch of other reviews that she claims her little sister put up not knowing that that even if you take out a few words it’s still plagiarism and something you’re not suppose to do.

I know as a writer plagiarism can be a real fear, some people let it keep them from bringing their creativity out into the world while some still decide to brave the wilds of the internet despite the poachers. What are your thoughts on plagiarism and plagiarists? Is it okay to re-post another person’s review as long as you give the source or not at all? And have any of you been on the receiving (or giving) end of plagiarism?

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Interview Time! Character interview with Jools Clayworth of The Sanctum Trilogy by Madhuri Blaylock

With the new book in The Sanctum trilogy out right now (a totally awesome book by the way, you should go check it out). I decided to do something different this time– or at least different for this blog– and host a character interview with one Jools Clayworth, Class A Warrior and Acting Head of The New York Academy. Also one of my favorite characters because she’d just awesome like that. 😀

Full name: Jools Gabrielle Clayworth

Age: 18

Occupation: Class A Warrior for The Sanctum, Acting Head of The New York Academy

KNR: Tell us a little bit about what happens in The Boy?

I feel like it’s a treatise of sorts on dealing with loss, the devastating effects loss can have on you and how everyone handles loss differently.

I’m sure Wyatt would say it’s all about him becoming more perfect than he already was, but for me, THE BOY is about coping and overcoming and loving and ultimately, growth. On so many levels, from the most basic, where you see me step into Sam’s shoes and start leading our Academy to the more subtle, like when Ryker forgives Dev (which I’m not supposed to know, but I’m totally nosey and manage to get all sorts of information out of Madhuri) (she likes me best, you know).

KNR: What is the Sanctum? What are Magicals?

Currently, The Sanctum is going to mean different things to different people, depending on their agenda. Ideally, The Sanctum was created by the gods to oversee Magicals and keep humans in the dark about the supernatural lives existing right under their noses, on their blocks and sometimes in their very own homes.

Ask a Breslin and they’ll tell you The Sanctum is a means to achieving dominance over all of us, warriors and Magicals alike. Ask Carter Breslin and he’ll tell you The Sanctum is his premier torture chamber in the basement of The London Academy.

Ask Wyatt and he’ll tell you The Sanctum is an upstanding and vital organization meting out justice for all Magical-kind. Ask Ryker and he’ll tell you The Sanctum is nothing but a bunch of blood-thirsty, murderous fools.

Personally, The Sanctum represents what we are and how we should always strive to improve. Yes, we protect Magicals and humans, but we can do a better job of it, we can be more just and less brutal. We are the fine line between Magical and humankind and maintaining that balance in an honorable manner should be our primary goal, as the gods intended when they created us.

What was your other question? Oh yeah, what are Magicals? Basically, that’s just Sanctum lingo, a catch-all term we use for any non-human being, from demons, vampires and werewolves to faeries, trolls, imps and the like.

KNR: You’ve recently become Acting Head of the New York Academy, can you tell us a bit about what a day as Acting Head is like?

Hell mixed in with a lot of ass-kissing, cajoling and threats. Ha! I kid, but not really.

It’s tough.

I’m young and I’m not Wyatt. And everyone expected that next to the words “Head of The New York Academy” would be the name Wyatt Clayworth. So I’ve spent a lot of time having to prove myself to our allies. And as much as I hate to admit it, having Ryker around has helped tremendously. He seems to iron out all of my wrinkles, stepping in whenever I get testy, saying just the right thing and putting everyone’s minds at ease.

I’m working on being better at that aspect of the job, but for him, it just comes naturally.

Right now, I’m so caught up in creating this coalition to take on the Breslins, that the other aspects of running The Academy are still being handled by my dad. Of course, Sam has rejoined us, so I imagine she will help Dad, but right now, he’s been handling the day-to-day with the Magicals. He’s my right hand and I love him.

KNR: What do you think people would be most surprised to learn about you?

I love a good rom-com. And I had a fling with a werewolf.

KNR: List five things you can’t live without.

My crossbow, a good pair of jeans, scotch, mint ChapStick…and Ryker

But if you tell him he made my list, I swear to the gods, I will kill you.

KNR: If you weren’t a part of the Sanctum what do you think you would be doing?

Practicing Shindo, no doubt. Dark magic, black arts. Making The Sanctum crazy because if I’m not in The Sanctum, I’m pretty positive I’m doing something to make them chase me around constantly, so I can fight them all the time.

It’s in my blood. I’ve got to fight. I can’t really imagine a life where I don’t have a blade around my hips and that crossbow on my back, you know?

Did you think I was going to say something like own a brownstone in Brooklyn with Ryker and have a bunch of babies?

Ha! Not likely.

KNR: What do you feel is your best characteristic? Your worst one?

Best characteristic, easily my killer instinct. I’m one of the best warriors in The Sanctum, if not the best now that Wyatt is gone and Ryker never liked being a warrior anyway.

My worst? You should have asked Wyatt since he’ll have a nice, long list for you of all my annoying qualities. Personally, I think I’m freaking awesome, but if I have to pick something, probably those rare moments when my bratty side rears its head.

KNR: Lastly, can you give us all a tiny hint at what’s going to happen in Book III?

No way.

Madhuri will kill me.

 

[Le sigh, I had to make an attempt :)]

Aside

Review of The Boy by Madhuri Blaylock

Dun dun dun! The Boy, book II in The Sanctum trilogy by Madhuri Blaylock’s is finally out (by the way did you know you can download the first book, The Girl for free on Amazon now? You didn’t? Well, go on. I’ll wait).

Since The Boy was so awesome (and sexy! :3) I’ll leave a review for your enjoyment, and be on the look out for a character interview with Jools Clayworth (so you better start reading The Sanctum right now and earn your hipster bragging rights).

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Review

I enjoyed the first book in The Sanctum trilogy but I enjoyed the second one even more. The Boy by Madhuri Blaylock starts off pretty much where The Girl left off. Wyatt is dying from a mortal wound inflicted by Max Breslin and Dev has brought him to the Ramyan hoping he can be saved.

Back in the Sanctum world Jools is now acting head of the New York branch, Darby’s her usual Southern Vampire self, the Breslins are a-plotting and a-scheming, and someone is impersonating Ryker, killing Magicals left and right.

The action never stops as the plot and tension builds leaving the reader holding their breath during each chapter.

The Boy is actually one of the few series where I find myself enjoying all the characters and even those I might have been cold toward in the previous book I’m starting to warm up to.

The writing’s excellent and while The Boy doesn’t end with a cliffhanger this time I can hardly wait for book three.

I loved it. Madly.

A Book Review of Emily’s Heart by Natalie Wright

Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite

 

The Plot

Emily’s Heart by Natalie Wright is the third and final book in the Akasha Chronicles. A paranormal young-adult novel, Emily Adams is the daughter of Brighid, a Celtic goddess of light and must battle Ciardha, her dark counterpart to keep him from taking over the wold and drowning it in chaos and destruction.

Emily’s Heart picks up sometime after the second book, Emily’s Trial, left off. After losing a battle against C and barely escaping with their lives Emily, Jake, and Greta discover that their best friend Fanny is still trapped inside Umbra Perdita, Ciardha’s former prison.

The disappearance cracks the foundation of their friendship and each go their separate ways, each drowning in their own sort of guilt as the world around them quickly begins to succumb to Ciardha’s power.

It’s up to Emily, Jake, and Greta to mend their broken friendship and gather the forces necessary to stop Ciardha one last time.

The Thinky Bits

I hadn’t read the other two books in Wright’s trilogy but it was very easy to get a picture of what had happened before as I was reading Emily’s Heart.

I loved Emily’s sarcasm, it was hilarious. I also liked the banter between the three friends and how even though they were having issues with each other in the beginning you could still tell they loved and cared about each other.

There’s loads of action and fight scenes and Wright doesn’t shy away from hurting her main characters. So much so that dedicated fans might find themselves on the edge of their seats worried if their favorite people will make it to the end of the chapter. Great for any fan of paranormal fiction.

 

A Review of Balancer by Patrick Wong

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Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite

The Nano Review

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome

The Plot Balancer by Patrick Wong starts off fast and exciting and doesn’t let up. Two best friends Nicole and Amy are on a camping trip that also doubles as the backdrop for their latest YouTube video while also serving as an excuse for Amy to ‘accidentally’ bump into her crush. Things suddenly take a dangerous turn when a freak wildfire breaks out and the two girls are forced to run for their lives. Along the way they save the life of another girl.

Later they learn that the girl has made a miraculous recovery from seemingly fatal injuries. Something is strange with Nicole as well and she soon discovers that she has the power to give and take life. It’s a gift that grants her extraordinary healing powers but at great cost. It’s a power that’s beginning to get her noticed and when mysterious agents come knocking Nicole is going to have to figure out just who she can trust.

The Faves

I absolutely loved Balancer by Patrick Wong. It was awesome, amazing, spectacular as well as loads of other synonyms. The story was really interesting and unique and though Balancer was told primarily from Nicole’s perspective both girls seemed really cool and fun. I loved the plot which is a refreshing addition to the paranormal genre and Wong’s writing clips along smoothly and well.

I totally can’t wait for the next book in the Final Deity series and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes paranormal stories filled with cool female characters, shifty secret agents, an engaging mystery, laughter and a few tears (warning: keep some tissues handy).

Read it, make your friends read it, and cross your fingers for a movie.

All Is Silence by Robert L. Slater

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The Plot

In All is Silence by Robert L. Slater, seventeen year-old Washington native Lizzie has just lost her mother, little brother and step father to a deadly pandemic that swept through the world one of the remaining 1% that is immune to the deadly virus, she thinks she’s all alone at first until she encounters two friends, Zach and Nev. As the weeks go by and other survivors join their group Lizzie soon discovers that her father, who she hadn’t seen since she was three, is still alive. But as he is way down in Texas and she’s in Washington, they agree to meet in Utah but this post-apocalyptic road trip is fraught with various pitfalls and rednecks with guns.

A fast paced, adrenaline soaked novel All is Silence by Robert L. Slater is the first book in the Deserted Lands series and is a perfect book for any reluctant reader.

The Thinky Bits

I really enjoyed All is Silence by Robert L. Slater. Lizzie, or Crazy Lizzie to her friends, makes for a rather dark character, a former cutter who has occasional suicide tendencies she nonetheless manages to be very compelling. In fact all the characters manage to be interesting and as the book progresses Zach and Lizzie’s father sometimes pop in with their own point of view (each POV is separated by the cursive first letter of their name — another reason why learning cursive writing is good). Robert L. Slater is a very talented writer and he slowly ramps up the action and suspense until you’re flipping the pages almost too fast to read the words.

With its cliffhanger ending, I’ll definitely be waiting (impatiently) for the sequel.

 

Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers’ Favorite