Puzzle

Puzzle: Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation

Today’s puzzle is based on Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation by Matt Myklusch. It’s appropriate for children in middle school.

If you complete the puzzle, feel free to share it with us by tweeting it to @BaQ_Mag! Enjoy!

 



We're including a PDF version of the puzzle, as well! Please click the button below to access it. 

Note: The PDF contains 3 pages: the puzzle as pictured, a printer-friendly version, and an answer key.
PUZZLE PDF
Book Reviews, Young Adult

Book Review: Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

ARE YOU PLAYING THE GAME OR IS THE GAME PLAYING YOU?

Vee doesn’t know if she has the guts to play NERVE, an anonymous online game of dares. But whoever’s behind the game knows exactly what she wants, enticing her with lustworthy prizes and a sizzling-hot partner. With Ian on her team, it’s easy to agree to another dare. And another. And another. At first it’s thrilling as the Watchers cheer them on to more dangerous challenges. But suddenly the game turns deadly. Will Vee and Ian risk their lives for the Grand Prize dare, or will they lose NERVE?

–back cover blurb of Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

Sometimes one stumbles upon a book that they know is not written well, but that they absolutely adore anyways. That was me with this book. There are so many reasons that I should not have enjoyed this book, and yet it was one that I enjoyed reading so much.

The writing style was nothing special. In some areas of the book it even seemed as if it were not edited to make it be the best that it could have potentially been. While the writing style was not great, it was passable, and overall it did not take away from the enjoyment of the stories.

The characters are a different story–they are cardboard cutouts that one would expect to see in a book like this. There was very little depth, and they were predictable stereotypes, but they played their purpose.

The plot was fairly predictable, but something about it made it impossible to put down. It was fast paced, and overall I did enjoy the plot quite a bit.

I did have one major problem with this book, though. As found out in the very first chapter, the main character accidentally fell asleep in the garage and ended up in the hospital because of poisoning from the car exhaust. The parents thought that it was a suicide attempt so they grounded her. For one thing, this doesn’t really even make sense. Who would ground their child for something like this, and why would it be looked at as an acceptable and loving thing if they did?

Overall, I did enjoy this book quite a bit. If you’re looking for a fun and quick read, go for it. If you are looking for something substantial, pass on this one. I give it three out of five stars.

Puzzle

Puzzle: Cub in the Cupboard by Ben M. Baglio

We’re excited! Are you excited?

This post marks the return of our puzzles! We hope you enjoy them.

Today’s puzzle is based on Cub in the Cupboard by Ben M. Baglio. It’s appropriate for children in elementary school.


We're including a PDF version of the puzzle, as well! Please click the button below to access it. 

Note: The PDF contains 3 pages: the puzzle as pictured, a printer-friendly version, and an answer key.

PUZZLE PDF
Book Reviews

Review: Evasion by Becca Boucher

A zombie pandemic has already happened and left scars behind. In the meager life that is left behind, a new problem arises – drugs. The main character, Lizzy, never saw the signs her husband was involved until it was too late. As the story progresses it becomes clear much more is being created than meth & heroin – someone wants to recreate the pandemic.

I am obligated to give my usual warnings: strong language; drug addiction; and violence. Recommended for mature audiences.

I love the idea of a man-made, mind-eating bacteria and the use of drugs as a means of distribution. Bringing in elements of intrigue, government conspiracy, interwoven lies, kidnapping, and murders, all within a small town, makes this a fast-paced page-turner. There is a touch of romance that hits out-of-the-blue. It’s a nice touch, but happens a bit too fast considering all that is going on.

Overall, the characters are well-developed, but I was more intrigued by them rather than emotionally vested in their fight. I would have liked to have had a bit more of a look at Luca and Lizzy’s relationship before the pandemic to give me a little extra emotion about what was happening to them – perhaps a prologue of life before the war.

A recommended read for government conspiracy theorists. Although this book is technically about zombies, they have a rather short role on screen.

Four out of five stars!

News, Uncategorized

Webiversary: Our New Posting Schedule

To celebrate our Webiversary, we’re adapting a new posting schedule (effective today), including the return of our puzzles! 

We will be posting a new article four times a week, as follows:

Sunday – ‘The Write Information’ Weekly Column
Tuesday – Book Review, Author Q&A, or Author Interview
Thursday – Article or Listicle
Saturday – Puzzle
Literary Magazine

Dangerous

And exhale.

The transfer was complete.

Another body, another land. Anywhere but home.

Now began the hard part – suppressing the mind and dominating the body I had borrowed.

Groggy and disorientated, I finally waded out of the storm of transference and felt able to take control. Electric tendrils of consciousness spread throughout; it was mine. I would win the mental battle, like every time before. It wasn’t even a challenge now, I’d lost count of how many minds had shattered, retreating into the recesses of their own bodies. Bittersweet; my own, a burnt cripple only able to shit itself, lay comatose wasting away wherever. Not that I cared. I want to live.

The 'Write' Information

Hide a Book Day – September 18th

I’m sure you’ve heard of it before – celebrities hiding books in well-known places. This year is a bit different. Goodreads, for their tenth anniversary, is teaming up with The Book Fairies.

Don’t be surprised if you find a book or two on your way to work or at the park. Book Fairies will be hiding books in some unusual places to help promote reading and literacy. Pictures of Emma Watson hiding a few of her favourites are already making rounds on the internet.

This is an amazing event, but did you know you too can participate?

As a reader, I know first hand I always have excess books my shelves can’t handle. Rather than leaving them sitting in boxes this year, I plan on distributing a few around nearby towns for people to find. As an author, I’ll be adding a few of my own into the mix.

On the Book Fairies website, you can order book bags, bookmarks, stickers, buttons and ribbons to include with the books. It can add up fast, though. Authors can also offer their books to be hidden by others – an amazing idea. Other than the price, the other downside is you have to order them from the UK, making shipping time an issue. I’ve ordered mine.

If you want to participate and are out of time there are still a few options. Write a note on a sticky pad and attach to the inside cover, or, if you are the author, write a note directly in the book and sign it for an added special touch!

I’m looking forward to participating and hope to run into a few other fairies on September 18th. Thanks for reading, and see you next week for more of The Write Information.

For more information on The Book Fairies please visit http://ibelieveinbookfairies.com/

Articles

Winners in the Summer Indie Book Awards

Voting is all wrapped up for another year. The Summer Indie Book Awards hosted by Metamorph Publishing has released their winner list. Congratulations to all the winners! Let’s see how my predictions did.

Anthology

Prediction: There are so many great titles in the Anthology category, but I’m putting my money on Hugs and Kisses: A Writers’ Retreat Romance Anthology coming out on top.

Winners:

  1. The Collective by Riley Edwards and Jonathan Edward Ondrashek
  2. Ghostly Writes by Plaisted Publishing House and Many Others
  3. Man Behind the Mask by Audrey Brice (Author), Stevie Kopas (Author), S. L. Mewse (Author), D M Slate (Author), Dawn Cano (Author), Debbie Dodds (Author), Michelle Garza (Author), Alice J. Black (Author), Melissa Larson (Author), Fox Emm (Author), Dani Brown (Author), Kasey Hill (Author), Delphine Quinn (Author), Kindra Sowder (Author), Carly Holmes (Author), Jaime Johnesee (Author), Lisa Lane (Author), Rose Garnett (Author), David Owain Hughes (Editor), Veronica Smith (Editor), Jonathan Edward Ondrashek (Editor), Linnea Quigley (Foreword)
Results: I missed the mark for the Anthology genre.

Biography

Prediction: There are only three choices in this genre. It is also my first time hearing about any of them. Good luck to all three authors.

Winners:

  1. Breaking the Glass Slipper by Sherry Rentschler
  2. The Puppet Master by Stephen E. Crockett
  3. From Cropduster to Airline Captain by LeRoy Brown
Results: No prediction was made

Children’s

Prediction: Even though my kids are now grown, I love children’s books. After checking out the choices I think Where’s the Frog? could be a front runner.

Winners:

  1. Dragon Lightning by Jenny Burke
  2. Giorgio and the Olive by J.L. Gonzalez
  3. A Home for Emy by Chris Turnbull
Results: I’m left asking… Where’s the Frog? My predictions rate a zero in the Children's category.

Contemporary

Prediction: We have a competition in this one! It’s going to be a close call, but I expect ICE to lead the pack.

Winners:

  1. An Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco
  2. ICE – Knights of Silence by Amy Cecil
  3. Enigma of Life by Shandi Boyes
Results: ICE made the list.

Crime

Prediction: Dead on Your Feet could take this away. I have, however, added A Few Simple Murders to my wish list.

Winners:

  1. Take You Home by T.J. Spade
  2. Right to Silence by Lily Luchesi
  3. Blood Lust by Markie Madden
  4. Siren Song by Markie Madden
  5. Welcome to Central City by Adam C. Mitchell
Results: A fail in Crime!

Diversity

Prediction: I’m predicting Catch Me If I Fall, but with only four to choose from, this is anyone’s game.

Winners:

  1. Catch Me If I Fall by Kay Blake
  2. Freak by Erin Lee
  3. Her Name was Sam by Erin Lee
Results: Successful prediction

Dystopian  

Prediction: I’d be surprised if Untamed didn’t walk away with this.

Winners:

  1. Untamed by Madeline Dyer
  2. Border Lines by L.E. Fitzpatrick
  3. Operation Child by Jaci Wheeler
Results: Successful prediction

Erotica

Prediction: Pandora’s Destruction by Kitten Wallace has potential in this category. I will note there is a distinct absence of some of this year’s top indie erotica titles.

Winners:

  1. Disgraceful by Dee Palmer
  2. Blurred Edges (Volume 2) by Kane Caldwell
  3. Waiting by R.M. Gauthier
Results: Failed prediction

Fantasy

Prediction: This is the category to watch! It’s so tight, anyone could take this. I’m looking for Crown of Delusion or More Things on Heaven and Earth to place well. The competition is going to be tough though with the likes of Grant Leishman, Mark McQuillen and R.R. Virdi being among the authors to choose from.

Although one of my own books was nominated in this category, I don’t expect it to place in the top five.

Winners:

  1. Hat Trick by Jeremy Croston
  2. Color of Evil by S K Wee
  3. The Council by Kayla Krantz
  4. Playing with Fire by Clare Meyers and Cris Meyers
Results: Failed prediction

Historical

Prediction: This is a hard choice, but I’m betting on The Beekeeper’s Daughter doing well.

Winners:

  1. Letters Away by Elias Raven and Sharon Johnson
  2. A Nest of Hornets by Robert Krenzel
  3. The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Jane Jordan
Results: Successful prediction

Horror

Prediction: Yolanda Olson has a couple titles listed and both are probably going to end up topping the list. I’m looking for Dawn of a New Breed to stake a claim in the top few as well.

Winners:

  1. Shadow Puppets by Carver Pike
  2. Odium IV by Claire C. Riley
  3. Dead Normal by D M Singh
Results: Failed prediction

Holiday

Prediction: Only two titles are listed. It could be exciting to see who comes out on top. I can see both being in the top two.

Winners:

  1. Christmas Miracle in July by R.M. Gauthier
  2. Horny Santa by Ethan Radcliff
Results: I nailed the prediction in this category!

Humor

Prediction: This is another category with only a few choices. I expect to see Actually, Don’t Write a Book About Me come out on top.

Winners:

  1. Welcome to E. Mayberry by Chris Genovese
  2. Actually, Don’t Write a Book About Me by Leia Star
  3. FaeTal by Becca Moree
Results: Prediction placed second

Mystery

Prediction: I’m picking Agents of Shadow to rake-in the votes on this one.

Winners:

  1. Severed Heart by Kristy Ferguson
  2. Agents of Shadow by Richard Crofton
  3. Patriots Passing by Summer Prescott
Results: Prediction placed second.

New Adult

Prediction: I can see Jenna’s Story doing well.

I’m not picking a clear winner as one of my own titles is in the mix and I have to keep my fingers crossed. Good luck to all the authors.

Winners:

  1. Tomoiya’s Story: Escape to Darkness by C.A. King
  2. Concealed by the Night by Michael James
  3. In Her Woods by Jaxson Kidman and London Casey
Results: Surprise - shock! Thank you!

Novella

Prediction: Another tough fight. I’m looking at Snowed to be near the top. Kiss of Vengeance should also place well.

This is another category for which one of my books is nominated. As a sequel in a series, I don’t think it has the following needed to hit the top.  Good luck to all the authors nominated!

Winners:

  1. Tomoiya’s Story: Collecting Tears by C.A. King
  2. The Ghost in the Mirror by Faith Gibson
  3. Kiss of Vengeance by E.A. Copen
Results: Prediction placed 3rd. I’ll add some surprise and shock for my novella placing first. Thank you.

Paranormal

Prediction: This genre is packed with choices! I expect to see Embellished by Karen Glista finish high on the list. I’m not counting out Jill by Rose Montague, either. This is going to be a tight race to the finish and one of the more exciting categories to follow.

Winners:

  1. Deceit Can be Deadly by Nicky Charles
  2. Night Orchid by L. Lombard
  3. My Champion by Alanea Alder
Results: Failed prediction

 Poetry  

Prediction: Wow! Talk about some great poets! I’m picking Transverse to edge out the competition. Look for Stained Glass to place near the top.

Winners:

  1. Love Letters Destroyed by Winter M. Balefire
  2. Inhale Love Exhale Poetry by Lo-arna Green
  3. Nova by Joanne Van Leerdam
Results: Failed prediction

Romance

Prediction: This is an impressive list! I’m expecting to see Refusing to Expire by Tricia Daniels and Advance by K.A Duggsy to take the top two spots.

Winners:

  1. My Light by Echo Hart
  2. Refusing to Expire by Tricia Daniels
  3. Fit for a King by Susan Fisher-Davis
  4. Hart of Country by Kris Nacole
Results: 50-50

Science Fiction

Prediction: I expected this genre to be slam packed with titles. As it turns out, it is a manageable size. I’ll be looking for Starstruck and The Riddle of the Gods at the top of the pack

Winners:

  1. Riddle of the Gods by Lyra Shanti
  2. Starstruck by S.E. Anderson
  3. Zeeka Chronicles by Brenda Mohammed
Results: Successful prediction

Self-Help

Prediction: With only three titles listed, all will place well. I’m taking a pass on predictions on this one.

Winners:

  1. Victor or Victim by YM Zachery
  2. One Good Reason by Erin Lee
  3. The Lion and the Peacock: How I Conquered Anxiety by Jennifer Peacock-Smith
Results: All three did place well!

Short Story

Prediction: There are a lot of good short stories on this list. I’m taking a pass on picking the top spots as one of my own titles is in the running. Good luck to all the authors nominated.

Winners:

  1. New Horizons by Joanne Van Leerdam
  2. Freeing his Dark Edges by Kane Caldwell
  3. When Leaves Fall by C.A. King
Results: No prediction made

Thriller

Prediction: I’m expecting Amanda Evans’ book Finding Forever to place at the top, but I can’t count out R.M. Gauthier’s two nominations either. This could be an exciting finish.

Winners:

  1. Finding Forever by Amanda J. Evans
  2. Cain – Rage of Angels by Elias Raven
  3. A Tale of a Rough Diamond by P. J. Mann
Results: Prediction successful

Time Travel

Prediction: An interesting category! This one is anyone’s game and I simply can’t pick a clear-cut winner. I’ll be watching the results closely!

Winners:

  1. Booth by Jason Pellegrini
  2. Do You Realize? By Kevin A. Kuhn
  3. A Love Beyond Time by Bella Emy
Results: No prediction made

Young Adult

Prediction: Again, I see some familiar names I expect to do well, but I am predicting a surprise victory for an underdog title in this one!

Winners:

  1. The Adventures of Nick and Billy by Michael Hoard
  2. 16 Myths by Aim Rivivar
  3. Fragmented by Madeline Dyer
Results: You decide!

Congratulations to all the authors both winning and nominated.

There is no exact science to predicting the results of a vote like this. In a fan-based award, it’s anyone’s game. Just being nominated is an achievement to celebrate. I’m following all of these authors and look forward to reading more from each over the next year!

Until next time, happy reading.

Articles

Things to Know About the New IT

I’ll try to keep this as spoiler free as possible. We all know the story, but not the surprises.

IT was the very first Stephen King novel I ever read. I was a teen at the time, and after finishing IT, I found myself led into a fairly long love affair with his other books, although none ever quite lived up to the first.

As a Tim Curry fan, the miniseries in 1990 combined two things I adored. Over the years, I watched it multiple times. It strayed from the book and I wasn’t a fan of the ending, but overall I found it as an acceptable from-book-to-screen transformation.

When they announced a new IT was coming to theatres I was elated. Even better, it carries the seal of approval from both Stephen King and Tim Curry. I made sure I was at the first showing available. I stayed away from articles and trailers hoping for that “WOW” factor that not knowing brings. In retrospect, I wish I had known a few things.

  1. IT was split into two parts. The movie which was just released follows the children in Derry only. I found it reminiscent of The Goonies.
  2. The adult half is not being released until 2019.
  3. There are Easter eggs. Make sure you watch closely to collect them all. Some I found quite amusing.
  4. Be prepared for a long movie. IT ended up being over two hours, plus the usual beginning advertisements.

My Personal Thoughts on the Movie

Strictly from a film standpoint, I agree with the critics – it is good. A few spots were a bit slow for me, but all-in-all it was an enjoyable flick. The child actors were great choices and spot-on. There are some great shock-value scenes, which I loved.

From a book standpoint, it is a different story. The movie deviates so far from the novel. I was disappointed. While I understand some of the reasons why it does, I can’t help but feel too much was missing.

I’m interested to see the direction in which part two goes.

The 'Write' Information

My Top Picks for the Summer Indie Book Awards

It is September and that means the polls are open for the Summer Indie Book Awards hosted by Metamorph Publishing. Readers can vote in flocks for all of their favourites from September 1st to September 11th, 2017. This is the event’s second year and so far it looks like the growing pains it experienced in 2016 have been eliminated.

Full List of Books Nominated for the Summer Indie Book Awards


It’s still early, but here are the categories and my personal picks for front-runners in each:

 

Anthology

There are so many great titles in the Anthology category, but I’m putting my money on Hugs and Kisses: A Writers’ Retreat Romance Anthology coming out on top.

Biography 

There are only three choices in this genre. It is also my first time hearing about any of them. Good luck to all three authors.

Children’s 

Even though my kids are now grown, I love children’s books. After checking out the choices I think Where’s the Frog? could be a front runner.

Contemporary

We have a competition in this one! It’s going to be a close call, but I expect ICE to lead the pack.

Crime 

Dead on Your Feet could take this away. I have, however, added A Few Simple Murders to my wish list.

Diversity 

I’m predicting Catch Me If I Fall, but with only four to choose from, this is anyone’s game.

Dystopian 

I’d be surprised if Untamed didn’t walk away with this.

Erotica

PanDora’s Destruction by Kitten Wallace has potential in this category. I will note there is a distinct absence of some of this year’s top indie erotica titles.

Fantasy 

This is the category to watch! It’s so tight, anyone could take this. I’m looking for Crown of Delusion or More Things on Heaven and Earth to place well. The competition is going to be tough, though, with the likes of Grant Leishman, Mark McQuillen and R.R. Virdi being among the authors to choose from.

Although one of my own books was nominated in this category, I don’t expect it to place in the top five.

Historical

This is a hard choice, but I’m betting on The Beekeeper’s Daughter doing well.

Horror 

Yolanda Olson has a couple titles listed and both are probably going to end up topping the list. I’m looking for Dawn of a New Breed to stake a claim in the top few as well.

Holiday 

Only two titles are listed. It could be exciting to see who comes out on top. I can see both being in the top two.

Humor 

This is another category with only a few choices. I expect to see Actually, Don’t Write a Book About Me come out on top.

Mystery 

I’m picking Agents of Shadow to rake in the votes on this one.

New Adult 

I can see Jenna’s Story doing well.

I’m not picking a clear winner as one of my own titles is in the mix and I have to keep my fingers crossed. Good luck to all the authors.

Novella 

Another tough fight. I’m looking at Snowed In to be near the top. Kiss of Vengeance should also place well.

This is another category one of my books is nominated in. As a sequel in a series, I don’t think it has the following needed to hit the top.  Good luck to all the authors nominated.

Paranormal

This genre is packed with choices! I expect to see Embellished by Karen Glista finish high on the list. I’m not counting out Jill by Rose Montague, either. This is going to be a tight race to the finish and one of the more exciting categories to follow.

Poetry

Wow! Talk about some great poets! I’m picking Transverse to edge out the competition and Look for Stained Glass to place near the top.

Romance

This is an impressive list! I’m expecting to see Refusing to Expire by Tricia Daniels and Advance by K.A Duggsy to take the top two spots.

Science Fiction 

I expected this genre to be slam packed with titles. As it turns out, it is a manageable size. I’ll be looking for Starstruck and The Riddle of the Gods at the top of the pack

Self-Help 

With only three titles listed, all will place well. I’m taking a pass on predictions on this one.

Short Story 

There are a lot of good short stories on this list. I’m taking a pass on picking the top spots as one of my own titles is in the running. Good luck to all the authors nominated.

Thriller 

I’m expecting Amanda Evans’ book Finding Forever to place at the top, but I can’t count out R.M. Gauthier’s two nominations either. This could be an exciting finish.

Time Travel 

An interesting category! This one is anyone’s game and I simply can’t pick a clear cut winner. I’ll be watching the results closely!

Young Adult

Again I see some familiar names I expect to do well, but I am predicting a surprise victory for an underdog title in this one!


Good luck to all the authors nominated. I can’t wait to find out the winners! Whether you agree or disagree with my picks, you can have your say by voting daily!

Until next time. Happy reading!


KEEP READING! ARTICLES ON BOOKS AND AUTHORS MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE: 

Q&A: E.A. Comiskey
Q&A: Karen Glista
Q&A: Amanda J. Evans
Review: Grave Beginnings by R.R. Virdi