I’ve Opened My Doors for Review Requests

I’ve Opened My Doors for Review Requests

Shocking headline, I know. A Life Among the Pages has been closed for review requests for a few years now. It was a healthy decision on my part, but I think it’s safe to open the doors again.

If you’re an author who has a book, story, novella in need of reviews and you think I’d be a good fit, head over to my review policy. There’s a vast amount of information there on taking the next step in requesting a review from me.

For those who know my policy, it’s changed a little. It’s still lengthy. It’s still straight forward, to the point, and blunt. I know what I don’t want to see in a request and I want to make sure you, the author, knows exactly what that is. Trust me, reading it will benefit you, even if you end up not sending me a request.

I know this is a monumental event for the blog. (Maybe the book world too? Probably not. I shouldn’t think that highly of myself and my status as a reviewer.) I’m going to end this post like this. Here’s my review policy again. Click it if interested. Don’t if you’re not. That’s cool. I’m off to the library now. Let’s see if my inbox blows up while I’m gone😉

REVIEW POLICY

Favorite (Comic) Book Characters: #SpiderMan

Favorite book characters? Is this a brand new series for the blog? Maybe. I don’t know. The idea is about five seconds old because I needed a title for a post idea I just came up with. Not that I have many favorite characters or much to say about them, but if it sounds like a fun idea to post every now and then, let me know. I’ll try to keep it up. And I’d be happy to let guests write up posts about their favorite characters.

The spark for this idea was my recent reintroduction to Spider-Man. He’s always been my favorite superhero. Very early on it was Batman and/or Superman. But I think that’s only due to those two getting more exposure than the Marvel universe’s characters. Then came the X-Men and Spider-Man cartoons in the 90s. Spidey became a favorite from then on. After that I got into the comic Peter Parker: Spider-Man. Though, to be honest, I don’t remember anything specific about them.

While I don’t have as much dislike toward the Spider-Man movies from the early 00’s as most people, I have a decreasing care for them as they came out. More so now than at the time. But no need to go into too much detail. I’ve also see the two Amazing Spider-Man movies. They weren’t bad, but I can’t stand that guy as Peter Parker. He was good as Spider-Man though. Maybe it’s the mask.

Now that Spidey is in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), I had the urge to see what Spider-Man is like in more recent comics. Some people thought they should have put the Mile Morales Ultimate Spider-Man into the MCU instead. But I didn’t know much about him. I also knew that Spider-Gwen (Gwen Stacey becoming S-M instead of Parker, different universe, don’t try to think too hard. Multiverses can ruin your brain) is a popular character. On top of this, I was planning to see the Civil War movie. (Quick review: I enjoyed it A LOT more than I expected. I had low expectations because I’ve read the CW comics and knew they weren’t following much of it for the movie. But it was great. Plus: SPIDER-MAN.) Between Miles and Gwen, that’s two big differences to the Spider-Man story I didn’t know much about.  I know Peter Parker/Spider-Man. The same basic story line for decades. Maybe I should see these other people being this man-spider hero. (Ok, Spider-Gwen is technically Spider-Woman…but I see her as Spider-Man. She’s the Peter Parker of that universe, basically, and as long as Spider is in the name, I don’t care. It’ll be worth reading.) (Another side note: I haven’t read any Spider-Woman comics before. Maybe I should.)

What did I do next, you might be thinking? Or you’re thinking: “Just get on with it.” Yea, I probably should. Next, I put holds on the first Spider-Gwen collection and first two Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (the Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man) collections. I devoured them. I like Spider-Gwen, though I need more to work with to see just how much I like her. I have collections that take place before her first one does on hold. I’ll form a better opinion after reading them I think. But Miles Morales? I REALLY enjoyed those first two collections. I devoured them. I don’t know much of the Ultimate Spider-Man story line. It’s a bit different from the “normal” one, but I don’t feel like I missed out. Peter Parker as Spider-Man has died. Miles Morales gets bit by a different spider around the same time and is taking his place. That’s the basics. It’s well written. It’s all new, so it’s not just a reworking of the original. And Miles is a great character. He’s a kid. He has different motivations from Peter, and just as much drive to help. I have the 3rd, 4th, and 5th collections on hold now and can’t wait until I can read them. I could easily see Miles becoming my favorite Spider-Man (though Parker will never be far behind since he’s the original that I grew up with).

What I’m starting to realize, and what makes Spider-Man ever more of a favorite character for me is that anyone can be Spider-Man. All they need is: Spider powers, a cool costume, and a good heart. Gwen Stacey became the Spider-Man of her universe. Miles Morales took over for Peter Parker. They’re both Spider-Men in my mind. I didn’t have an issue accepting it, like I might for other superheroes. Anyone can put on the Iron Man suit of armor, but are they still Iron Man? I don’t really feel that’s the case. As much as I like Falcon from what I’ve read/seen of him, I don’t care for the Captain America thing. Falcon’s great as his own hero. (But I’m not well-versed enough to make a bigger judgement on that.) Spider-Man, so far, is Spider-Man no matter who. There’s comedy. A big heart. And he’s always dealing with the media ruining his public image…yet he’ll still do the job he feels responsible doing: Saving the day!

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Who are some of your favorite characters? I’d love to hear about them. If you’d like to write up a guest post on one for the blog, let me know. I’m happy to have you as a guest. Just use this contact form.

#Review: Season of Second Chances, by @WriteAsRain_

Season of Second Chances

Title: Season of Second Chances
Author: Brighton Walsh
Rating: 5/5 stars

“When a storm strands Claire Hanlin in Chicago on Christmas Eve, the last person she expects to come to her rescue is Logan Dawes, the man she almost married two years ago. The chemistry between them is dangerously potent, but with nowhere else to go, Claire accepts Logan’s offer to stay with him for the night.

Back in the home they shared, surrounded by reminders of Logan and his young daughter, Claire begins to realize how much she misses the family she almost had. After a few cups of Christmas cheer, she falls right back into her ex’s arms-even though she knows it means setting herself up for heartbreak all over again.

The magic of the season has thrown him together with the woman he’s never stopped loving, and Logan’s not about to pass up this gift. He’s not the workaholic he was two years ago-his family comes first. Now all he has to do is prove it to Claire, before the snow stops and she flies out of his life for good.” (description from Goodreads)

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It’s been a little while since I’ve read a romance, and jumping back into the genre with this novella was a great choice for me. I’ve been wanting to read Walsh’s work for some time. Finding this quick, yet well-written read left me wanting to read more of her work.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this story was the setting. I read this novella on a plane. A very warm plane. While that isn’t always the best setting to be reading in, the writing pulled me out of the real world and deep into the snowstorm enveloped city of Chicago. Walsh knows how to describe things accurately, briefly enough for a novella, and beautifully to make me want to stay in the story for a long time.

The author’s characters were always a pleasure to read. There was a good balance of imperfection and development driving the story. I was also pleased with the switching in POV, something that’s often hit-or-miss with me in books. I didn’t find that either characters’ POV chapters made me dislike the character in any way. Though, this may have been helped by the fact that it’s written in the 3rd person. Either way, I sympathized with both characters, despite their troubled pasts and wanted the best for them in the end.

This is a great novella from Walsh and won’t be one I forget for some time.

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You can grab this story from

Amazon | B&N | KoboiBooks

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About the Author:

Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with her first love: writing. When she’s not pounding away at the keyboard, she’s probably either reading or shopping—maybe even both at once. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children, and, yes, she considers forty degrees to be hoodie weather. Her home is the setting for frequent dance parties, Lego battles, and more laughter than she thought possible.

She is multi-published with Berkley, St. Martin’s Press, and Carina Press, and is represented by Mandy Hubbard of D4EO Literary Agency.

For more:

#Review: Their Natural Habitat, by @Silvia_Violet

Their Natural Habitat

Title: Their Natural Habitat (The Forestry series #2)
Author: Silvia Violet
Rating: 5/5 stars

“Dan and Parker want a nice weekend away, but bear baiters are camping in the forest where Parker works as a ranger, putting both humans and animals at risk. Dan is worried that Parker will be harmed, angry at their lack of time together, and terrified their developing relationship can’t take the strain.

This is the sequel to Silvia’s story His True Nature.”

(description from Goodreads)

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Similar to how I felt about His True Nature, I am happy I grabbed a copy of this story.

With it being a continuation from the first story, I knew what I was getting into. What I didn’t know was that the author would grab me yet again with an even better story than the previous one.

The characters and their relationship developed even further, as it should, though uncertainty is found throughout the story. There’s also a good amount of suspense in certain sections of the story that caught me off-guard. This added more enjoyment to the reading experience. It could have been a story about a struggling relationship, but instead, it wasn’t a simple quick story between two characters.

The only issue I have with the story is that I want more of Dan and Parker. If the author were to write a third story for the series, I’d be one of the first to go out and get a copy. There may be a fitting end to this one, but there’s always room for more adventure. Maybe even a longer one so I can spend more time with them.

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You can grab this story from

Amazon | SmashwordsB&N | KoboiBooks

and if you haven’t grabbed the first story, His True Nature

Amazon | SmashwordsB&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Silvia writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including sci fi, paranormal, and historical. She can often be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinful chocolate treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading children’s books to her wickedly smart offspring.

For more:

#PoetryMonth – Poetry from #Youtube

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I think you realize by now that I’m not giving up on Poetry Month. I’m going to milk the shit out of it on this 30th day of April. There’s only so much poetry I’ve shared and even more poetry I can continue to share after that.

In this post, the third of the day, I’d like to throw together a small playlist of my favorite poetry videos from Youtube. I’ve shared many of them on Facebook and Twitter, multiple times over the years. Despite this, I’m sure some of you are seeing at least one or two of them for the first time. Even if only one person is seeing one of these videos for the first time, it’ll be a good day.

The poets I’m sharing are poets I want everyone to know. Sarah Kay may be one of my favorites. B, the poem she’s reading in that first video, is a poem I’ll never get tired of reading or listening to. Phil Kaye, her friend (and as you’ll see, not relative in any way) is another great poet to check out. Not just his work with Sarah, either. Nathalie Handal is a pleasure to listen to and the poet who introduced me to Lora. I’m still discovering work from Shane Koyczan, and I haven’t found anything bad in it. It’s all amazing work. Taylor Mali, what can I say about him? There’s really nothing. His works speak volumes for him already. Listen to the one here and go listen to them all! Lastly, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz. One of my favorite collections I read in the last few years what her book Dear Future Boyfriend. Listening to her read is an experience I’d like to share with all of you. But the collection is full of even more great poems to shove into your brain space.

Remember what I keep droning on about this month: Poetry isn’t only to be read. It’s to be listened to, felt, experienced in every way possible in our lives, daily.

Don’t stop enjoying poetry one the clock strikes midnight, May 1st. This is only a month to be hyper aware of poetry. The rest of the year is the time to enjoy it…without me shoving it down your throats daily😉

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#PoetryMonth – Free and Cheap Poetry

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Poetry Month ends today, right? Yes, it does. But that doesn’t mean the fun has to end before the month does!

As a bonus post, I want to give you another opportunity to fill up your ereaders will poetry…and for very little money! Sounds good, doesn’t it?

I’m not going to let this message get too long and in the way of the list of books. I’m just here to provide links to FREE and CHEAP (under $5) ebooks of poetry you may like. I’ve read some of them. I own some others. And if you look closely, you can get ALL of my poetry for free. Those coupons last until tomorrow, though, so HURRY! DON’T MISS OUT! From Where I Stand has been free all month, so I’m sure you’ve grabbed a copy already.

And if any poets out there would like to promote a free/cheap collection to go along with this post, let me know. I’ll add it. But today only, so there’s not really much time. I hope you let me know though, or just for the future. I can do a promo if you’d like.

Now, without further distraction, here are the book!

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Free

Cheap

#PoetryMonth – This is the End…

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This is the end…or is it? Is that just me quoting one of my favorite poets in the music industry, Jim Morrison? Well, both, I think. It is the end. It is the end of April and with that National Poetry Month.

But what does this mean? Do we go back to our regularly scheduled lives and read fiction until April comes around again? Do we forget about all the poetry surrounding us in our every day lives? I hope not.

I had a few hopes for the outcome of this year’s Poetry Month celebration. One hope was that I’d be able to have at least one post for each of the 30 days in April. Another, to build off that, was for more people to come to the blog and discover some new poetry. And ultimately, I hope those who stopped by will keep discovering poetry, reading poetry, and stepping out of their comfort zone if they’re still not sure about letting poetry in to their lives.

Were my hopes realized? Well, today’s post is number 30. I need to thank all my guests for that accomplishment. I wouldn’t have been able to come up with enough content to fill 30 days without all of you. I also have to acknowledge that my daily view count has gone up. This month I’m averaging about 20 views a day. Ok, all you seasoned bloggers out there, I know that’s barely a blip on the “great stats” radar. But this is what blogging seems to have come to. At least on A Life Among the Pages. These are great numbers for me in the last year. The only thing lacking, still, is interaction. There’s been only a handful of comments for all 30 posts. I get some interaction through RTs in Twitter and sharing on Facebook. I’d just like to make sure my readers are enjoying what they read. So maybe consider interacting in the future? I know I’m kind of bad at it myself. Let’s all improve.

As for people reading more poetry and discovering poets, etc. I do think this has happened. Even I discovered new poets this month. Some are poets featured on the blog. Some I found in other places. This is something I’ll keep doing. It’s a thrill to discover new writers.

On a more personal level, I think I’ve finally figured out that I can, and should continue, read an entire poetry collection in a short period of time. It used to take me months because I’d skip around collections finding gems here and there. Doing that, I wouldn’t finish nor appreciate collections as much. I’m glad that’s changed.

So, what now? The month is over. What shall we do now? I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to read some of the collections I’ve borrowed from the library. Read more that I have on hold. And I’m going to keep reading poetry until I can’t any longer. I’m really enjoying this reading mood I’m in, even if it means I’ve barely read novels this year.

Before I leave you to go on your merry way, I have a question. Maybe a few. Did you enjoy Poetry Month? Would you like to see it again in 2017? If so, please let me know if there’s anything I can do to improve upon it. Also, if there’s anything else you’d like to see on the blog in general, let me know. I hope you’ll continue coming to the blog, even if I’m not posting daily.

Thanks again to all the poets, readers, and everyone else who made this NPM a great month!