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A Blast From My Not too Distant Past

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You’ll Never Look at Sydney the Same Way Again!

When thinking of what book to choose as this blogs first review, I had a lot of options. There are so many great authors I have come to love since finding the Indie Community and there are so many in the traditional book world that I have loved for years.  For those that know me, my ultimate selection wont be much of a surprise, but the reason for it might be.

My friends will tell you, “Of course she picked Night Walker, she’s obsessed with Dante Delavega….it’s main Vamp in charge.” But, while that is a compelling reason, in the end it wasn’t why I chose it.  So, why did I?

It’s really quite simple…I consider it’s Author, Aaron L. Speer to be the first real friend I made in the Indie Community to have a work that deserves as big a spotlight as we can put on it. Now, don’t get me wrong…I had already been in the Indie Community for a bit and was a part of several kick-ass street teams for ladies that create amazing worlds and deserve as much success as they can garner.  But, at that point in time, although friendly…I wouldn’t have called any of them friends.  And those I did consider friends weren’t authors…bloggers, graphic artists, editors, book lovers, and maybe aspiring writers,  yes, but not authors.

When I first met Mr. Sneaky Pants Speer, I had no idea he was a published author…he doesn’t run around shouting it from the rooftops in every interaction he has on social media. The meeting was quite random as they often are on FB.

I joined a group and began reading a thread in which this guy and one of the admins of the group were having a back and forth that should have been my first clue that they were both writers.  I was quickly finding it hard not to laugh out loud at their antics and began to pull a select group of friends into the group with me.  And, then came the point where I couldn’t contain myself any longer and jumped into the fray.

Now, as anyone that has spent much time on FB probably knows, jumping into someone else’s convo, already in progress, can sometimes fall flat…especially when you don’t know any of the participants…you risk being ignored, or put in your place.  However, to my delight, both participants welcomed first me and then the rest of my friends, as they began to straggle into the group, with open arms.  And then they continued their back and forth antics, now allowing for smartass and funny remarks from everyone joining in, in what I have since discovered is called a “live” write.

Time has passed and I no longer remember the exact moment that I realized Speerzie (Sorry, Sara) had an already published book with another one soon to be released. But, when I did…I knew I had to read it and I started pestering several friends to read it with me. I mean…if this guy could make me lose it with off the cuff remarks and writings…what could he do with something he spent time and effort putting together?

I was very patient and waited for my friends to clear their schedules so we could do a group read, however, one friend jumped prematurely and finished the book in a matter of hours (her picture should be in the dictionary next to speed reader) without ever telling us she was jumping into it.  Her reaction made it pretty impossible for me to hold out any longer and the next night I found myself reading into the wee hours of the morning.  And thus began my obsession with the Vampires of Sydney, and most particularly Dante.

Thankfully, Sydney is fourteen hours ahead of me…because I forced Mr. Speer to listen to my reactions as I read….gasps, giggles, fanning myself,  questions, outrage…you name a reaction and I probably had it and either complimented him on it or yelled at him about it.  And then came that moment when Jessica, the speed reader, woke up and got pulled into my final hours of reading as well. It was my first Speer Induced Book Hangover, but not my last.  Basically, he spoiled us and I can think of a few authors that might like to slap him for letting me get away with it as this is now my much preferred method of reading a book for the first time, LOL.

So, I have to wonder how many of you in Book Land have read Night Walker already and how many are still clueless and unaware of what you are missing. And, I’m hoping that those that read this post will get pulled into their own binge read (there are now two books out in the Undeadly Secrets Series and Speer is working on the third installment) and give me a holler to let me know how it goes. To help with that…I am going to show you the review I wrote for it all those months ago when the emotions were still running very high (although, to be honest….where these books are concerned my emotions don’t really ever calm down). So, without further ado….my review which I posted all those months ago, after assuring the author that I loved the book.

Night Walker by Aaron L. Speer  (Review by Jo Lawless):

Move over Rice and Meyer because Speer is setting up to not just shake the streets of Sydney but the whole hierarchy of the Vampire Genre. There are two new names in your world: Speer and Dante and they make a Kicka** team. Speer has intertwined history, modern day politics and fiction together so well, he left this conspiracy theorist wondering: Is Dante real? If so, where is he? Can I find him? Can he find me, please…even just in my dreams? This journey is going to give it all to you and leave you begging for more. You are going to lust and love, obsess and hate, fear and hope. Plot twists abound and are going to have you questioning your ability to judge what is real, right along with the characters. And along the way, there is Dante, who made this all about the eyes girl…turn into a fang girl, darn those lips and fangs. Speer is setting himself up to join the greats that keep me one-clicking on sight….1. It is a fast paced read with a great plot that kept me up all night to finish it in one sitting and left me with a doozy of a book hangover. 2. He emotionally connected me to the character’s, whether I was hurting and getting butterflies for the ones I loved or yelling at and threatening bodily violence upon the ones I hated. And in the end all this booklover can say is job well done, Mr. Speer, well done indeed!

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Speer and Delavega make a Kickass Team.

After Night Walker, make sure you read Day Dreamer and by the end of it….I am sure you will know why I call Speer, The Master of the Tease.

Disclaimer:  I have gotten in trouble a couple of times since reading Night Walker for making friends think of it as a romance, so I want to make sure I advise anyone going in for the first time to keep an open mind….I can find romance anywhere and I definitely see it in this first installment but others don’t agree….you need to leave your mind open and make that decision for yourself…but I can tell you that romance  has a definite role in the rest of the series that no one can argue against.

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Grand Opening Post

An Introduction:

If you’ve found this blog through its FB page of the same name then you might be aware that starting a blog was never my intention….but “the best laid plans of mice and men”, right?   Long story short: I was happily minding my own business and pimping my favorite authors, on my personal timeline, when Facebook decided I was representing someone other than myself and forced me to start a separate FB Page to use for that purpose.

It’s been a few weeks now and I have began to get used to running a page and to some of the benefits it provides; such as being able to make quick and easy slide shows and track how many people view them or how many people my posts are reaching. I’ve spent those weeks trying to decide how I wanted to use the page…Do I want to pimp on it? Of course I do….That’s what I enjoy about this community…getting to share my favorite authors and books and helping my friends.  Do I want to blog? Ugh! My gut instinct screams NO!  I’m not experienced at this blogging thing and I have several friends that blog in big ways and make it look like a snap…but, I know that’s an illusion….it takes time and a lot of work to run a successful blog that builds a following quickly.  Time and work I’m not sure I can give.  So, you must be wondering, why you’re reading an introduction to a blog run by me?  It’s a good question and I hope my answer offers a good explanation.

The answer revolves around one question:  Who says I have to run my blog, or it’s corresponding FB Page, the way everyone else does?  As far as I know, there aren’t any blog police out there waiting to jump on me and throw me in blog jail for not following a set of blog rules. And, if they do exist?  Oh well, I wont be shaking in my boots.  I mean, the name says it all….This is going to be The Lawless Land of Books and that means I am going to be breaking some rules.

First up…I wont be accepting book review requests on a regular basis.  At this point, I am all on my own here and I refuse to go back to working on a deadline after deadline to get reviews out.  It turns all of this into a job and steals the fun of reading and sharing. I still have a small selection of authors that I beta for or automatically accept ARCs from but for the most part I will review books that I want to read as I want to read them.

Second, there is no telling what you are going to see on here… book reviews, tips on promoting your favorite authors, a ramble about why I listen to a certain play list while reading a certain type of book, or why a book was better than a movie or vice versa.  And some days….*GASP* you might not see anything new at all….remember that tidbit about this not being a job?  I meant it.

Another big difference, and I can already hear some groans, (LOL)  I wont be running a lot of contest and giveaways.  Do they build an audience for a blog? I totally believe they do and quickly.  But, as I am not treating this as a job…I’m not going to let myself worry about how quickly my audience grows.  Giveaways take time and effort and they might have a place in the future of this blog but, for the moment, it’s just not something I am willing to focus on.

What am I willing to focus on?  The books and the authors.  I hope this will be a platform that will attract like minded people.  People that love the same types of books that I love.    People that I will be able to introduce to the worlds created by my favorite authors.  People that will come to trust my opinions on books and authors. This leads to a big difference in the reviews I will choose to write for this blog versus the ones I choose to write for Goodreads, Amazon and other retailers.

On those sites, I don’t leave a review for anything I can’t give at least a 3 star review. If the book was given to me specifically for a review, I contact the author personally with my apologies and with critiques that I hope are helpful.

I wont promise the same treatment on this blog.  When I review a book that was given to the world in a serious vein, I will always try to be cognizant and respectful of the time, effort and sheer bravery it took for that author to put their work out into the world for others to judge. And judge it, we do.  It’s one of the reasons for this blog.

I hope readers will come to trust my opinions about what books and authors are worth their time and money. In asking for this trust, I feel I owe the reader a solid in the form of a heads up about those books that don’t make the cut for me.  Not every book  can be a five star read. And here on my own blog, I’m not going to be shy about pointing out those books that I think can or should be passed up in order to focus on offerings that I find to be better options. And don’t get me started on those “books” that were copied and pasted or slapped together in a day for the sole purpose of tricking some poor soul into spending money on something that doesn’t even deserve the name. They will get no respect from me.

So, to sum up.  I am just starting this blogging journey and I continue to grow as a reviewer.  I hope you choose to follow along and I hope I’m able to provide some great advice (reading, pimping, listening lol).   Hold on tight because the road might get bumpy as I attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Feel free to comment on any and everything…whether you agree or disagree.  I am fully aware that these are only my opinions and that it is quite likely there are others that will disagree.  Just don’t expect to change my mind…and while I encourage a dialogue…I’m not looking for arguments that are just a waste of time. We could be using that time to read a good book!  Thanks for giving me a shot….Now, Let’s do this!