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Jenny Schwartz
Catching Up & Hoping for More Reviewing in 2016

I have been so busy I couldn't string together a coherent review, so I'm going to try and do a small batch in a tick. First, my excuses...

 

"Sky Garden", my unpublished romantic suspense novel, has finished its 30 day Kindle Scout campaign and I'm waiting to hear if the Kindle Scout editors will say yes or no. If no, I will self-publish it! Decision made. If you're curious about the author experience of running a Kindle Scout campaign, I wrote it up on my blog. The campaign was exhausting (and the waiting is, too) for the low-level stress I had to push through to get other things done.

 

Second excuse: "Djinn Justice" is a paranormal romance novel I've been promising for a while. Publication slipped from November, and I was determined to have it out in December come hell or high water. So I added stress to my life and set up a pre-order date of December 9 on Amazon. The rule for that is that the final, perfect copy must be submitted 10 days earlier - and being a panicker, I wanted it in earlier than that. Proofing is finished and the final version is locked in. At the same time as finalising the manuscript, I was also organising promotion around its release -- and damn, that is getting harder all the time. I missed the window for booking a release day promo tour, so will have to do something else, next year.

 

I'm determined that 2016 will be more organised. I'm currently plotting a sequel to "Djinn Justice", aiming to release "Dragon Knight" at the end of February. Then it's back to romantic suspense with a manuscript with the working title, "I Stole An Island", for the end of May. I'm aiming to keep to a tight writing schedule that will allow me to read a bit wider, and review, because I won't be floundering in chaos and stress. Well, that's the hope!

 

 

PS "Djinn Justice" will be free on Amazon for its first weekend, Dec 11-13.

 

 

 

Review
5 Stars
Review: Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews
Sweep in Peace  - Ilona Andrews

*happy sigh*

 

"Sweep in Peace" downloaded to my kindle and I'm not ashamed to say, I read it immediately! And it was good.

 

You definitely need to read "Clean Sweep" first. The whole thing (especially the emotional plot) works better if you do.

 

That said, this is a great series. The world building is strong. Fans of George and Jack (from Ilona Andrews' "The Edge" series) have a real treat in store. No spoilers, no spoilers! 

 

I thought this had a tougher emotional plot than "Clean Sweep" which was more a light romantic adventure - albeit in a fantastic alternate reality. 

 

I'm just really happy, and "Sweep in Peace" goes on my re-read shelf.

Guest posting!

I'm visiting Mahala, Spare Ammo, at 38 Caliber Reviews and chatting about the holidays, hot chocolate and giving away copies of my latest sci fi romance, Beyond Regeneration.

 

Click this link to comment and receive a copy of Beyond Regeneration.

 

My post kicks of a wide range of holiday posts, so check back at 38 Caliber!

 

 

Thanks, Mahala, I was so thrilled to be invited to your blog :) 

Weekend! *falls off chair*
Enticing Benedict Cole - Eliza Redgold

It has been a long week/fortnight. Two more weeks to go before my Kindle Scout campaign for Sky Garden finishes. Can we all say "emotional exhaustion" together? Yeah, this path-to-publication is not for the faint-hearted, and there are no guarantees. I've been blogging a bit about my experience of Kindle Scout on my blog. Do I regret it? No! My crit partner had something important to say to me this week, a question I'm going to remember for those times when I doubt the choices I've made -- "how else could you have learned?" My crit partner, Eliza Redgold, is very wise. [She also has a new book out, Enticing Benedict Cole. I knew Ben when he was a baby, so to speak.]

 

I've woken up tired this Saturday morning. No idea why. It was an early Friday night after some mindless TV. Does anyone else watch Escape to the Country? Yeah, wild times on a Friday night!

 

My computer just downloaded a file from a discussion board without asking permission. Cue panic (if I weren't so tired). So the Virus protection is running as I type this. Here's hoping everything's okay.

 

Am I rambling?

 

I'm catching up with some writer friends for coffee later this morning. I have to get into the city and be awake ... thank goodness we're meeting over coffee.

 

I'm in shock that it's already November. This is like last-chance time to plan for 2016. Already??? *wails* I'd like to put together a solid writing and publishing schedule for next year. I'm thinking of a new paranormal romance series (I have such a cool idea - one from folklore that I haven't seen anyone attempt...sshhh secret). That would be three inter-connected books. Ambitious. I'd also like to write an unconnected book ... oh, and find time to have a life.

 

I think there's a reason I'm tired *wry smile*

 

Okay, enough of me rambling on!

 

Sweep in Peace will be out this week and I plan to enjoy the heck out of reading it. I love Ilona Andrews' books.

 

Have a great weekend! I need to think about getting some words down before dashing off to catch the train. 

 

I won it!
The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith

I don't enter many competitions, and so, I seldom win anything. Cause and effect. But today's post brought me "The Cuckoo's Calling". I haven't read the first in the series - whose name I can't remember - but these are the books JK Rowling wrote under another name, ie, Robert Galbraith. Hope it's good.

Review
5 Stars
Review: My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
My Life as A White Trash Zombie - Diana Rowland

I never thought I'd read a zombie novel, but it's nearly Halloween, so I tried something different. It was good! Not the zombie bit - although that was intriguingly portrayed, strung out like a mystery - but the heroine's journey into believing she can do better. From the "loser" she calls herself to deciding to be more. That was great!

Reblogged
Kitty's Book Spot! 1st Year Blogiversary is NEXT WEEK!

 

Reblogged from Kitty's Book Spot!
Review
4 Stars
Review: A Murder in Mount Moriah by Mindy Quigley
A Murder in Mount Moriah - Mindy Quigley

I thought I picked this up free, but it's not free on Amazon today (I just checked) so maybe I paid full price? My brain is all over the place, so who knows? The thing was, this was an impulse buy and I had no idea what to expect.

 

What I got was a book with a solid sense of its North Carolina setting and a focus on warm, well-developed characters. In fact, the mystery felt secondary to the heroine's emotional journey - but there was a mystery (I've found some other cozy mysteries to be lacking in mystery).

 

A pleasant read that still managed to deal with some difficult issues - like family relationships.

Review
5 Stars
Review: So Far Into You by Lily Malone
So Far Into You - Lily Malone

Gorgeous romance with real, strong, likeable characters, and the Australian countryside couldn't be more vividly brought to life. Loved it!

Nominate SKY GARDEN for Kindle Scout

I need your help. For Kindle Scout to consider my romantic suspense novel, “Sky Garden”, for publication, I need nominations for it. If you have an Amazon account, it’s simple. Click the “Sky Garden” link, and you’ll go to a page with a blue “Nominate Me” button, the cover of “Sky Garden”, an exciting blurb and a chance to read an excerpt. In addition, if Kindle Scout does select “Sky Garden” for publication, on release, you’ll receive a free digital copy! It’s lovely that your kindness will be repaid. So, please, click the “Sky Garden” link and consider helping a great story get published.

 

Sky Garden, Jenny Schwartz, kindle scout

 

For those of you I've been boring all year with my writing struggles, this is the Secret Project. I've blogged about my decision to try Kindle Scout rather than hunting a literary agent for it.

 

I am sooooo nervous!

Review
4 Stars
Review: Mystic Mayhem by Sally J Smith & Jean Steffens
Mystic Mayhem - Jean Steffens, Sally J. Smith

Light romance/mystery. Character rather than plot driven. Easy read, and what's wrong with that? :) 

Review
5 Stars
Review: The Finn Factor by Rachel Bailey
The Finn Factor - Rachel Bailey

Cute & sexy. Who knew learning to knit could be sexy???

 

Nice break after a morning doing taxes. Ugh.

Happy weekend!

Thanks to everyone who has snapped up my new release, Beyond Regeneration, while it's free. Especial thanks to those who shared the news -- huge thanks!

 

Just a quick note to hope you all have a lovely weekend. I'm struggling through the Book Launch Swamp and wouldn't know if I'm standing on my feet or head. Crazy. Actually, I guess if I was standing on my head in a swamp, I wouldn't be breathing...

 

I think I'd better go have a coffee. I'm not making much sense :)

FREE New Release - Beyond Regeneration
Beyond Regeneration - Jenny Schwartz

My new science fiction romance, "Beyond Regeneration", is just out AND free till Monday! You can grab it now on Amazon. I'm just so excited. Compliments on the cover will be happily received -- I designed it! If you don't like the cover, please download the book anyway! LOL

 

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0169S6H44/
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0169S6H44/
Amazon Australia http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0169S6H44/

 

It’s complicated. Charley Rowdon knew Dr. Jack Bradshaw years ago, before the accident, before she lost her left arm. Before her husband died. Jack is an internationally respected regeneration specialist, and he’s just made the breakthrough of the century: using QNA to grow non-human bio-enhancements on people, including himself. Think superhuman senses, claws, and even, wings.

 

However, when, as a journalist, Charley accepts Jack’s invitation to accompany him to his private clinic, a luxury resort on the beautiful south west coast of Australia, she finds more than medical science and altered humanity.

 

Murder, espionage and a scientific development that Jack never ever predicted will challenge Charley to shed her grief and fear, and solve a mystery beyond imagining.

But as Charley regenerates her life, how much will she risk by loving again?

 

 

“Beyond Regeneration” is a novel of old grief and new beginnings. The science is fabulous, more fiction than fact, but the emotions are real. This is the story of a woman badly hurt by life who finds the courage to embrace the unbelievable, and love again.

Review
4 Stars
Review: The Last Necromancer by CJ Archer
The Last Necromancer - C.J. Archer

I finished "The Last Necromancer" by CJ Archer and picked up the sequel. It's Regency with a noir, paranormal twist, even if it's set in the late Victorian era. 

 

It was the characters that hooked me. The hero, Lincoln (not a fan of the name, btw) is mysteriously awful, with redeeming characteristics. 

 

A bit of the Stockholm Syndrome in the heroine's response, but Charlotte is a vivid character and the book works well, written from her perspective. The plot perhaps wobbles a bit towards the end.

 

***

 

Related note: I've noticed that a lot of books, especially those self-published, are placing near-cliched characters and banter at their heart, with the plot secondary. When I'm in the mood that appeals to me, but I've read a few like that lately that I simply don't bother to review. They're like sitcoms...I can almost hear the canned laughter soundtrack.

Review
4 Stars
Review: Beyond the Darkness by Katie Reus
Beyond the Darkness - Katie Reus

I'm surprised I haven't read anything by Katie Reus before. I picked up "Beyond the Darkness" as a 99c special yesterday and kind of skim-read it. It's the third book in the series, so there were characters and references to events that I wasn't emotionally invested in. That said, it was a solid example of a very sexy, paranormal action adventure instalment in a series. 

 

Weirdly, I found myself way more interested in a side character who is clearly about to get her story in the next book.