Category Archives: Reviews

Another Beta Reader review

Thank you to M.M.A Taylor! I met this gem of a Beta Reader and fellow author on Facebook and he has been an amazing help. Not only was he the only one of many readers who realised that I had two chapter 5s. I know. You cannot believe how frustrating that was, considering that every time I open the file, the first thing that I see is this:

So I really should have seen that there were TWO chapters with the SAME number. But that burn is fading slowly and despite the fact that I know I should let it go, because I’ve fixed the problem, it bothers me.

 

I know I know, the editing process is hard and literally everyone who has ever written anything will tell me that it’s usually the most obvious mistakes that we find last. I know that. It doesn’t stop it rankling.

Moving on. M.M.A Taylor was exceptionally polite and brilliantly helpful. If you want to support him (which I highly recommend you do) head to his website.

I fully intend to help my fellow author with the editing process in his upcoming works.

 

In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, and the promotion of others, if you’re interested in Beta Reading, or want something Beta Read, send me an email at tjburgin(dot)com(at)gmail(dot)com — simply replace the (punctuation) with the correct symbols, and we’re off to the races!

Thank you to Jesslyn Chain

I recently completed the first draft of Abel’s Legacy and sought a number of beta readers to test my story out on people.

I was approached by Jesslyn on Facebook and I then paid her to read my work; I didn’t realise before I paid but it turned out she was not only interested in only beta reading but also content editing and story analysis. This discovery thrilled me, as you can probably imagine, and it has been a spectacular week or so as an author.

To put this into perspective, after reading the first chapter Jesslyn sent me an email with a beautiful detailed critique of just that eight page section. She sent four whole pages of suggestions, comments and praise. Just for the first chapter.

This alone would have made my day but her commentary wasn’t just detailed. It was easy to read, completely lacking in anything that made me feel offended or otherwise lowered my mood, and every comment had a sound thesis. Everything was clearly explained. I felt like she gave me so much bang for my buck that I just needed to get the word out.

 

Thank you so much.

If you’d like to have  look at her site, click here

Fighter’s Block!

Fighter’s Block – A new writing tool to combat Writer’s Block!

If you have writer’s block, or lack the impetus to get a story out of your head, then this is a site for you.

First off, you set your goal. Then, you hit FIGHT.

The typing is a fight. You have to type, and each word is a hit on the monster. if you stop typing the monster gets some hits in, each hit one point off your one hundred point total. When you complete your word total, the monster dies. You then go into the sidebar menu and pick a new monster. The fight begins again and you really have some incentive to keep going. It’s like typing without a concern for typos or spelling errors or whether it’s good enough to go on a page; it’s enforced word vomit and the enforcer is a (initially) egg shaped creature that seeks to destroy a small elf-like avatar (ie. you).

 

I can’t explain what is so encouraging about the little egg trying to beat the bejesus out of a small cartoon. As your ‘health’ gets down, the ability for your avatar to land a punch seems to drop; I didn’t notice this until I had a brief pause to remember how to spell something and when I started typing again I realised I had to put in enough words to bring my health back up to one hundred before I could start hitting the monster again.

I will definitely be using this app more often. It has saved my characters twice now in the last three hours.

The Bone Collection by Kathy Reichs

 

Having just finished my Bachelor’s degree at the end of 2016 I was looking forward to being able to maybe move into a world where I didn’t have homework for the first time since 2000. That isn’t going to happen in the long term (I will need at least two more degrees to achieve anything in my field) but for this year I am having 12 months of homework-free time. When it came to shopping for Christmas I wondered into a book store and saw an entire stand of  Kathy Reichs’ new book; The Bone Collection. Honestly, I haven’t been a huge fan from the start of her work –  despite my love of Bones – but when it came time for my relatives to give the traditional “What do you want for Christmas darling?”, this year I actually had the answer. I don’t usually read blurbs but when I saw the new book in the store I picked it up and flipped it over. I don’t know what made me do it but a single line caught my eye.

In ‘First Bones’, a prequel to Reichs’ very first novel, ‘Deja Dead’, she at last reveals how Tempe became a forensic anthropologist…

That line held me for a second longer than I would usually peruse a blurb and that made me decide I wanted the book. I wanted to buy it but I was conscious that my father is prone to chastising me for buying things close to Christmas and birthdays because it eliminates options for him to buy me things. So that was how I answered the pesky question of what I wanted. And then the book, well written and interesting and intense, took me about 18 hours to read.

The first of the four stories is called Bones in her Pocket. It is a neat story; simple writing but I appreciate the first person POV. I loved the twist at the end and the depth Kathy managed to convey in her characters without having too many words to fling around. I also appreciated the dialogue, and how each character managed to embrace their own way of speaking without making the words too difficult to understand. Overall this first short story was fantastic and it really sucked me in. It was definitely a story that made sure I finished the book in less than a day.

Next comes Swamp Bones. I really liked the injection of another forensic professional; I liked the typical danger faced by Tempe and the fact that both her knowledge and inter-personal skills were tested. Like the first story, little facts were scattered throughout the story and I liked the little nuggets of information.

Bones on Ice was a fantastic story. I loved the intrigue; there was something almost Matthew Reilly about it (not that I particularly love him as a writer, but I like some of his old stuff). The conspiracy and the concept of the illusion of wealth and power… It was a fascinating story and I would have liked to see it in a movie or something.

Finally, the story I wanted this book for; First Bones. I mentioned before, and in previous posts, that I graduated recently. Without revealing too much, essentially I have a degree in science and my major is Biological Anthropology and one of my minors is Forensic Anthropology. I was an avid watcher of Bones and I knew what I wanted to do with my life was identify unidentifiable bodies. This was my end-point until one of my lecturers mentioned that in the whole of Australia, a country with a population of over 20’000’000 people, there are (or were) only 2 professional full time Forensic Anthropologists. Only 2. This somewhat blew my endpoint out of the water. The reason for this of course is that Australia has a much lower homicide rate that other places, such as the USA, and fewer unidentifiable bodies too. That’s why the last story in this collection sung to me so loudly; it’s about Tempe getting her start. Because she doesn’t always want to be where she ends up. For some reason, I just really like that fact that it came upon her by chance – possibly because unless chance gives it to me I’m not going to get to where I want to be.

So, in short, I loved this book. I think I might go back and reread her other books too, because maybe I just didn’t judge them right at the time.