Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Worlds Apart by Kate Mathias AND author Q&A

Every once in a while, all of the time I spend on Facebook pays off.  This is one of those times.   You see, I am Facebook friends with someone I swam with in high school. (If you are picturing bad 90's hair, too much chlorine and the dreaded swimsuit photos for the annual yearbook, that would be pretty accurate).   I saw in my news feed a couple of months ago that Josh's (the guy I used to swim with) wife (Kate) was writing a book.   Say what?!  Hoping Josh would not think I was crazy for Facebook stalking him, I messaged him and told him about our little blog and offered to write a review.  Thankfully, he didn't think I was crazy, told me to go for it and so I did.  Last week, I downloaded Kate's newly released book, read it in two days and am excited to announce that I really liked the book AND that an author Q&A with Kate follows this review.  I think I may start Facebook stalking more often!  But first, the review.

Stay tuned.  You could win a copy!

Piper Reynolds is an energetic teacher, loyal daughter and fun-loving aunt.  Pregnant with twins and ready to start a new life with soon-to-be husband Joe, things are going great for Piper.  So why does Piper keep coming face to face with Pip, a woman who looks just like her in some sort of parallel reality?  Over time, Piper and Pip discover that they are drawn to each other during their greatest times of need.  Their recurring "jumps" into each others lives serve as the foundation for a bond that seems to lasts a lifetime.  Pip is there when Piper delivers the twins and again when one of the twins is diagnosed with leukemia.  Conversely, Piper is there for Pip when Pip is the victim of an attack.  The "jumps" aren't permanent, however, and they never know how long they will stay in each others lives.  When Pip turns up as a "perfect match" bone marrow donor for Piper's son, it's almost too good to be true.  But can she stay in Piper's world long enough for the donation?  Will her own husband Joe still be understanding and waiting for her if and when she returns back to her own reality?   And the biggest questions of all:  can their bond withstand a fatal car accident?   Sorry to leave you hanging, but you will have to read it for yourself to find out. 

Loyal readers of this blog may be surprised to learn that I really, really liked this book.  I'm not so much a fan of para-anything.  I don't have the best imagination and it's hard for me to get excited about something I don't think could actually happen in real life.  This book proved me wrong.  Why?  I think because the plot was SO unexpected (I can't stress enough how original the storyline is) and the numerous twists and turns kept me wondering what would happen next.  Normally, I would find numerous twists to be tiresome but in this case all of the twists were actually believable.   Everything that happened to the characters was something that I could actually imagine taking place.  And something about the characters made me want to keep reading to find out what happened next.

Speaking of characters, Mathias did a great job of letting us get to know the characters with just the right amount of detail.  (I do so love an author that gets in and gets to the story!) I can't really point to any character I didn't like (besides the guy that attacked Pip, of course).  As a matter of fact, the entire cast of characters seemed relatable and strong.  Kind of refreshing compared to some of my latest reads.  Worlds Apart is a quick read as well, which is always a bonus for a mom with two kids on summer vacation.  I only had to ignore them a few times to finish this book.  :)

Kate Mathias
As an extra bonus we are also featuring our very first author Q&A!  Read below to find the answers to some of our questions for Kate. 

1.  What book are you currently reading?

I just started reading Double Clutch by Liz Reinhardt.  I am enjoying it so far!  I usually read about 2-3 books a week.  I read daily while working out on my elliptical and love to support my fellow indie authors by reading their books. 

2.  How do you balance your work with family time?

If you ask my husband, sometimes I don't feel like I balance it very well!  :)  I am a stay at home mom to three children, ages 4, 6, and 9.  We were transferred to Phoenix two years ago with my husband's job.  At that time, I started to stay at home full time because he travels heavily.  I got so caught up in trying to be a good mom and wife and started to feel like I was losing a part of me.  In January, I decided that I needed to make time for myself and started to write Worlds Apart.  I would write from nine to midnight every night after I got the kids to bed and cleaned up the house.  I would also take my laptop and write when I was at my children's sport practices.  Any time I had a few extra minutes, I would write.  My characters consumed me and I needed to get my story that had been stuck in my head for three years down on paper.  I felt guilty at first for taking the time to write and worried that my writing would take away time from my family, but found as my story was coming to life that I too felt fulfilled.  My husband and children have been so supportive of my writing and I never regret the decision that I made that day to start writing Worlds Apart. 

3.  Now that you have been through it once, what advice do you offer
for authors interested in self-publishing?

I would tell other authors to go for it and follow their dreams.  I have had a really positive experience with self-publishing and would encourage others to explore that option.  I wanted to get my novel out in the public and this has been an exciting journey so far.  Self-publishing certainly has its ups and downs.  I have been solely in charge of my own marketing of the book.  I have poured over every website and information I could get my hands on.  This path has been challenging, but is very fulfilling.  I would suggest three things to think about before I would self-publish again.  First, I did try and go the traditional publishing route and sought out to find a literary agent.  The process of writing a query letter to agents was a learning experience in itself.  I would still like to be published traditionally.  I feel as though I exhausted this publishing route before I decided to self-publish.  Secondly, I came up with a marketing plan on how I would get my book in the public since I would be responsible for its ultimate success or failure.  Thirdly, I researched the social networks and writer's groups online like WAE Network, Facebook, and Goodreads.  I reached out and tried to get myself established among them.  I am currently still working on this last one!  :)

4.  As a former elementary teacher, do you have any favorite books you
recommend for parents trying to encourage their kids to read?

I taught 4th grade so we read chapter books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Bunnicula, and Where the Red Fern Grows.  I loved Where the Red Fern Grows and even named our first dog after Little Ann.  By the time that my students got to my class, they already knew how to read, but some still didn't have the love of reading instilled in them.  I would encourage parents to continue to read aloud to their children nightly even in the upper grades.  My oldest son and I read chapter books together nightly, each taking turns to read aloud.  He and I look forward to that quiet time where we can get lost together in a book and discuss what we think is going to happen.  Some parents think that their children are too old to enjoy reading with their parents, but I think they would be surprised at how much both the child and parent enjoy reading together and bonding over a good book.

5. What can we expect from the next installment of the Silver Oaks Series?  

Spoiler alert!!  Don't read this if you haven't read Worlds Apart.  I have already started writing the second book, Hiding in Plain Sight.  The prologue starts about twenty years in the future where we find Graham in a situation involving Pip and his half sister, Palmer.  The experience he has in the run down shack trying to save the important women in his life from a man who relentlessly threatens their safety, pushes Graham to evaluate how his actions have molded him.  While Worlds Apart is Piper and Pip's story, Hiding in Plain Sight is primarily about Graham and how he struggles with his identity after losing his mother and taking a man's life.  The first chapter then goes back and begins exactly where Worlds Apart ends with Graham "jumping" to Pip's world.  The second book of the series is darker and has some shocking twists that the readers won't see coming.  I believe in pushing the boundaries just enough to hopefully make the reader put down the book and still be thinking about certain scenes a few days later.  Hiding in Plain Sight will make you question whether or not that really just happened, but will make you read on because you will want to find out where Graham is hiding and exactly whom he is hiding from.

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1 comment:

  1. This is so cool. The book sounds interesting and what fun that the author gave us a Q&A section.