Who knew that rescuing a particular bird would make such an impact?: Jasper, Amazon Parrot

This week it has been 20 years since we adopted and rescued a young five year old Yellow Cheek Amazon by the name of Jasper. While we don’t know his actual birthday we celebrate in October.

I’ve tried to imagine the time prior to not having Jasper in our lives. I started rescuing birds in the spring of 1998 and the fever caught on quickly and it has been maintained to this day.

Being around birds is different then the average pets- dog, cat, fish. We have one that talks back. And before someone says he is just mimicking you I politely disagree. He has learned our mannerism, our vocabulary, to an extent, and knows when and how to respond. It does make being home alone during the day unique. So, before you say how a bird can not be in away a pet I suggest you hang out with one. They are amazing animals and will love you as their own. But when I think about it Jasper, and my other birds, are not pets. They are more than that.

He loves my husband. No, wait. That is not the right word. He feels my husband is his mate and they are a bonded pair of birds. He tolerates me to an extent. It does not matter that I am his caretaker. Not one bit does it matter. LOL But let someone try to hurt me than he is all on team mom.

But his presence in our household and lives has changed us for the better. My first children’s book is based on him. His personality shines inside the pages and it is accurate to how he is in real life.

So, “Happy, we are so glad you are in our lives, how could anyone hurt you for five years, I would give your former owner a tongue whipping, you are in your forever home where you are safe and no one will ever, and I mean ever hurt, you again, we love you, and you are part of our family, Birthday.”

P.S. I am horrible with commas. They are definitely one of my Kryptonites as an author.

Reviewing a book for authors and reviewers

 

There are so many sites writers can use for their social platforms. Goodreads is a book lovers and author’s dream. There you can share reviews of books you have read.

Leaving a review however should not be taken lightly. A number of people will base whether they will read a book on the reviews they read. We all know that some of the good reviews will come from family and friends. That is to be expected. But a good book should have various reviews whether the member thinks it is a three star worthy or a five. A good combination across the board will help not only the author but those interested in purchasing the book

I have been reviewing for close to a decade now and I take it very seriously. This is not just for the author that I am reviewing but for potential readers. It is my job to honestly state what I feel about the book whether it is good or bad. This is not always easy for we don’t want to hurt one’s feelings but to tell an author empty compliments does them no favors especially when you personally know them. One does not have to be cruel but instead use tact when the review is one that they might not like.

One thing I have learned from my writers group thankfully is how to review and critique the various books that come across my desk. I look for flow and pace. Are there any loopholes? Is it believable? For even if it is fiction it has to make sense to a point. Does it have a hook? Are the characters well-developed? Does it keep my attention or am I bored by the end of chapter one? There is so much to take into account.

You have to have thick skin to be a writer and equally so as a reviewer. People will not always like what you have to say even if it is in their best interest. The questions I ask myself is what I want people to ask when they are reading anything of mine. It may not always be easy to hear the negatives but it is one of the best tools for us to grow as writers. So while I may not always like what people tell me I am grateful for them First for taking the time to read my writings and second for telling me where it can be improved. One of these ways is from reviewers.

This is a tool that should not be ignored by anyone who wants to make it as an author.

 

 

Reviewing different genres: book review

 

 

I been reviewing books for a quite a while now. In that time I have done it for companies, authors and just for myself.

Reviewing the various genres can be challenging. In fact some reviewers will only review a book in certain genres. Some, like myself, will review anything.

My biggest challenge has always been children’s book. The reason being is one of the companies I review for requires at least 300 words per review. Doing a children’s picture book that you can read in under a minute is challenging.

You have to pull all that you know as an author and reader to find the word count needed. But reviewing children’s book is fun. You are reading a different genre and age group which will help you with your reviewing skills.

Each genre has requirements that makes it fit in the genre it is in. That is what the readers are looking for when they check out the reviews for a book. So it make sense that writers who review will stick to certain genres. It is what they know.

But to me any genre still should have the same requirements. This includes plot, development of characters, time line, loop holes, research that makes sense and more. If you are reading a book that does not have the essentials to what a book should have it does not matter what genre you read it. The results will be the same.

It will be a book that fails regardless what genre it is in and what a reader reviews it.