The guaranteed way to gain reviews

Great tips, please read the entire article!

Suffolk Scribblings


Reviews, reviews, reviews. They are something an author both craves and fears. We are desperate for reviews, both as confirmation that what we’ve produced is liked – though I’ll let you into a little secret here, no matter how many great reviews you receive, you’ll never get rid of the thought that people are just being kind and not really telling you what they think – but also as a means to attract new readers. At the same time we’re terrified of reviews, especially early in our careers, in case they confirm our darkest fears that what we’ve created is illegible rubbish.

In my case, about a week after I published my first novel I became afflicted by a kind of desperation as I waited for somebody, anybody, to review my book. I couldn’t understand why everyone was taking so long. What was the problem? Didn’t they know how important reviews were? I ended…

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Bookworm Dilemmas: People Interrupting Your Reading

Click to see 31 great ideas on what to do when people interrupt your reading!

Click to see 31 great ideas on what to do when people interrupt your reading!

I am still in awe at how many people just seem to assume reading = doing nothing and just go ahead and start talking to you, heedless of whether you want or are willing to listen to them.

So yes, I think those are some pretty darn good ideas and I tend to do #4 a lot myself!
*evil glare*

What is your favourite?
Have you ever done any of these?

When She Was Bad

Title: When She Was Bad

Author: Tammy Cohen

Genres: Contemporary | Mystery | Psychological Thriller

Length: 384 pages | 4127 Locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 4.9/5


A horrific crime is committed.
A group of co-workers get a new boss and struggle to keep their relationships the same.
How are these two stories connected?


When She Was Bad was an amazingly refreshing read. Actually, just what I needed, in a time when I feel I keep reading the same things over and over again.
Not only are the characters far more mature than I am used to reading about, but the entire story was told is a very special manner and it developed stunningly.

The book opens with a crime shrouded in mystery, where the only thing you know is that someone was murdered and our narrator knew the killer.
Then other voices are introduced, but the narrative is always told in third person in their cases, which took a bit of getting used to but once more I found refreshing and that it added a whole new dimension to the story.

The ARC needs to be reviewed, there are quite a few errors. Also, some things here and there could be tweaked. For instance, I recall reading After all, the last time Mark had summoned them together like this out of the blue was to tell them that Gill was leaving and Rachel was taking over. They did not know Rachel was taking over until well after Gill was let out. I finished the book with the feeling there might be other examples like this but I could not find any so maybe it’s just me.

However, on the whole, the story had me gripped. I had serious trouble putting the book down. Most chapters ended with a cliffhanger which was difficult for me, particularly Anne’s, the narrator who has a connection to the person who murdered someone. It usually drives me crazy in a bad way, but this time I was able to put that ‘gimme the full story already!!’ feeling on hold because I just kept wanting to know what came next, even with the office people. They were all very interesting as well, and so I also really wanted to know how things would progress with them. Watching them devolve was jaw-dropping at times, to the point where I finally wanted to know what was up with each of them and as a team just as much as I wanted to know who the killer was and all the secrets Anne was so slowly revealing.

The mystery and suspense were a constant in this book and I was never, ever bored, which I personally could not have anticipated since I figured that a book where office politics clearly played a major part would be a let down. However, every character had his or her very specific voice, their own worries, and suffered with the extremely difficult choices they had to make at work and personal lives, which made me feel for them. At the same time, I really wanted to know what was going on and as certain mysteries were unfolded I finally began to release some pressure, while still wanting to know more.

When the final revelations were made, I was dumbstruck. Never in a million years could I have seen those main two twists coming. The author weaved this story in such a perfect way. She kept certain things just ambiguous enough to lead the reader in a certain direction while not completely misguiding him or her. So when I was finished I was like… Wait… But I read that… Oh. No, I didn’t. Those small things made all the difference and I could not help but think wow, Tammy Cohen is a genius.

Even though there were a few things that could be polished, the fact is When She Was Bad is a masterfully written contemporary psychologic thriller to whose characters I could relate and which story clasped my attention from beginning to end. There was simply not one thing I recall disliking enough to make me think any less of the book. I was simply swept away.
The chilling epilogue was the perfect conclusion and I cannot recommend it enough.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Sep 24th to Sep 26th, 2016

GR Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax

The 9th Life of Louis Drax

Rating: 4.25/5


From IMDB:
A psychologist who begins working with a young boy who has suffered a near-fatal fall finds himself drawn into a mystery that tests the boundaries of fantasy and reality.


The 9th Life of Louis Drax is a powerful movie that brought me flashes of Room because we have such a strong child main character and reminiscent of Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls at times. It is so beautiful in a subtle dark way that you don’t really fully grasp until the end.

I struggled a bit with the pace because even Louis’ voice got tiresome every now and then, but the dreamy atmosphere saturated with a constant sense of suspense and mystery where you just had to know more about this kid and what happened to him kept me hooked.

Louis is such a smart, perceptive, special kid, with his own voice and sense of self. You can’t help but let him grow on you.

There were some things I did not appreciate, such as the insta-love, but in the end even that made sense, and the twist caught me off guard, although I chided myself for not having thought of it, but the movie is that well done. Looking back you see it makes perfect sense but while watching it just doesn’t come to mind.

The 9th Life of Louis Drax is most definitely a unique movie that I highly recommend.



Rating: 4.75/5


From IMDB:
The NSA’s illegal surveillance techniques are leaked to the public by one of the agency’s employees, Edward Snowden, in the form of thousands of classified documents distributed to the press.


I went to watch Snowden with someone who was extremely well informed about the subject while I sadly wasn’t and while we had extremely different perspectives going into it, I believe it is safe to say both thought the movie was pretty darn awesome. From the former point of view, it appears some important things were left out, while I kept getting stuck on stuff like how does a guy who did not even finish high school and obviously really wants to make it in Special Forces turn out to be such a genius, only being self-taught.

The fact is the story enthralled me. Even if some things felt cheesy, especially the abuse of light surrounding the main character in key moments, the fact is due to such a strong issue and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s stellar performance (queue choir of angels – yes, I am biased towards this guy, sue me), this was indeed a memorable experience.

I mean, that guy obviously did such a brilliant character study. I cannot get past how he placed his voice. The facial expressions and ticks, the way he held himself, a lovely mixture of a fragile and strong young man with principles literally held me at the edge of my seat sometimes – I had to keep reminding myself to sit back.

Some things did throw me off besides what I mentioned above, such as the way he got the information out (the entire process just seemed oversimplified) – and really every single time he expressed his obviously dangerous points of view.

However, I had a terrific time watching this and I highly recommend it. Makes me want to watch the documentary, to find out what really happened and what is just in the movie.

Youth Without Youth

Youth Without Youth

Rating: 3/5


From IMDB:
A love story wrapped in a mystery. Set in World War II Europe, a professor is changed by a cataclysmic event and explores the mysteries of life.


What an intriguing movie. It is not a fast-paced one, that’s for sure. It flows like a dream or, at times, a drug-induced hallucination.

When 70 year old Dominic Matei is struck by lightning, instead of dying, he rejuvenates. Not only that but he seems to have gained the ability of never ageing, so we accompany him throughout different times and places, watching him deal with his new abilities while having to make difficult decisions. When he meets Veronica things take an even more bizarre turn.

I was not sure what to make of Dominic. He certainly seemed to handle all the weirdness that was happening to him quite easily and some things did feel like devices to get the movie going in a certain direction, such as the fact that he would find such a nice doctor that would do anything for him and how the heck could he support such a lifestyle through the years if he wanted to remain low key? Where did his money come from, to what extent did he use his powers?

The story became so focused on the supernatural things happening to him and the people chasing him to their own advantage that I failed to see the man behind it all.

The resolution towards the end seemed rushed and nonsensical. The last scene was quite touching, though.

In the end, Youth Without Youth is definitely a thought-provoking movie that stands out from the rest but it is definitely not for everyone’s taste.

The Tone Poet

Title: The Tone Poet

Author: Mark Rickert

Genres: Horror | Paranormal | Thriller

Length: 429 pages | 6994 Locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 4.25/5


When Cameron suffered a car accident at age 6, he was dead for 4 minutes, during which he experienced something that would forever change him. From then on, the out-worldly music never left him. When an odd stranger comes along promising to relieve him of the nightmares and at the same time unveil a very old mystery, Cameron is seduced into a truly horrifying trial.


I have to admit I am baffled at how this book has not become a hit by now.

When I read Overture, the book’s prologue, I was immediately enthralled, particularly by the way the author weaved the story into embarrassment which turned to anger which turned to utter disgust and panic.

When he introduces us to Cameron, and then to Holloway, things slow down a bit, but there is this constant eerie feeling following our main character. I was captured by what happened to him and by his duality in wanting to do something but fearing it was wrong, never actually knowing it or at least believing it was worth it.

At the same time we meet other characters, each with their own voices, fears and desires, who all play into the story, insignificant as they may sound at first.

Rickert was masterful in the way he infused a feeling of normality into a place where obviously very wrong things were happening.

It is not a perfect book. I would say it is definitely strongest in the first few chapters.
Some things were a bit repetitive, others fairly predictable and I did struggle with the pace. I think that opening chapter was so damn good it would be nearly impossible for the rest of the book to follow through in the same standard of quality because it really had everything.

Also, I struggled with some of our main character’s decision that didn’t really make sense to me. For instance, I could not understand why he did not just write the Nocturnes in private to purge himself and then burn them, so Bloom couldn’t get them, or why it took him so long to understand how dangerous Bloom was, or why he threw Kalek under the bus by confronting Bloom with what only Kalek could have told him, amongst many others.

Bottom line is there are many authors out there who are inspired by Stephen King but few are able to produce something even remotely close to my favourite author’s stories. Even if some references were a tad too obvious (Carrie, The Shining and ‘Salem’s Lot all come to mind, for example), the fact is I for one have not come across anything that came as close as The Tone Poet.
Highly recommended.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Sep 17th to Sep 21st, 2016

GR Review

Random Chat: YA and NA

What makes a good blurb?

Step up, take a seat, make yourself at home and let’s chat!

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen!
I came across this article a few days ago while browsing facebook and it prompted me to post something I have been mulling over for ages now:

Author Claims YA Does Not Exist

It links to the following article: There Is No Such Thing as the Young Adult Novel.

I am not sure if any of you have noticed, but I don’t have YA as a book genre in my blog. Quite frankly, the notion still baffles me. I am not even sure if I fully understand it, because I have seen it defined accordingly to the characters age and also to the audience’s age. It seems that the latter prevails, or at the very least a mixture of the two.

While I can understand that it may make books easier to find, defining a book by age categories seems extremely restrictive and I have found that the same formulas get used over and over again.
Ever since the YA genre came out, I cannot seem to find, for instance, a fantasy book I enjoy. Sure, there is New Adult now as well, but I cannot seem to relate to either the writing or the topics in books classified as such. On the other hand, if I pick up a YA book I am usually faced with much of the same teenage dramas, romance and, at times, tantrums.

I thoroughly miss a solid fantasy novel with characters I can relate to and which does not necessarily include romance. Something that presents a new world, one that is unique but makes sense and utterly enthrals me in the story. I cannot seem to find that anymore and I am convinced it has gotten worse since these categories were released to public.

What do you think? Have the YA and NA categories done more good or harm to the book industry, in terms of quality of books, not marketability?
Do you find any of the points I made make sense?
Tell me everything!

The Uninvited

The Uninvited

Rating: 3.75/5


From IMDB:
Anna Ivers returns home to her sister Alex after a stint in a mental hospital, though her recovery is jeopardized thanks to her cruel stepmother. Her dismay quickly turns to horror when she is visited by ghastly visions of her dead mother.


The Uninvited is one of those movies where you reach the end and want to go right back to the beginning so you can view things from a different perspective. I have to admit I did not see the ending coming.

I was very surprised by the mystery, development of plot and the outcome, which are clearly its strong points. It was very interesting to see all the characters evolve and understanding where everyone came from, why they acted the way they did.
Also, the imagery and setting could be beautiful and eerie at the same time, which is a must have in horror movies, in my book.

On the other end, as a horror movie it did have its share of clichés, which got a bit cheesy at times. I kept thinking I had seen all that stuff before – the setting, the pacing, the camera plans – and certain scenes looked very rehearsed, the main character was not natural at all. I wish the director had taken those in a different direction, although there was clearly an attempt to tone that factor down while still making them suspenseful and frightening.

In hindsight, not every single thing made sense but I still find this a very entertaining, intriguing movie and I recommend it for fans of the genre.