On Inkshares Horror Novel

Have you guys heard about this? I recently heard about a crowdfunding site called Inkshares. It’s basically Kickstarter or Indiegogo crossbred with Createspace or Lulu. It looks like a site where you can crowdfund a novel that will have an ebook and physical presence in bookstores. Unlike Kikstarter or Indiegogo where you give them thousands of dollars and then the writer keeps a percentage and has to then hire editors and distributors, Inkshares does all of that. So if a project is successfully funded at Inshares, it includes a professional manuscript editor and distributor.

I had no idea how any of this works, so I figured I’d dive in and take a look see with my current manuscript. I’m working on a 90 thousand word novel about three strangers entering the witness protection program when they accidentally thwart a serial killer. They’re relocated to a new state, but their new home brings them into contact with horrors beyond imagination.

You can find the Inkshares page, along with fun FAQs and whatnot, and back this project here are: https://www.inkshares.com/projects/horror-novel

Thanks so much for your support!

This is Elliot Arthur Cross eternally grateful for your support. For any questions about the project, please email me at elliotarthurcross@gmail.com. Thank you and happy reading.

On Tex, the Witch Boy review

I’ve been slacking on this blog because I’ve been watching less movies and falling under Netflix’s spell. Thanks, Supernatural, for having eight seasons to get caught up on.

I recently read Stuart R. West’s YA novel Tex, The Witch Boy, in which a good-natured high school student deals with discovering he’s a witch someone’s brutally killing high school football players.

Cons: I would have liked more magic, but with this being the first in a trilogy, I can see that it’s setting it up. There were a few loose threads that might be tied up later, but they felt dangling after reading just this book. The murder mystery is solved rather easily, although it’s nearly justified why it couldn’t be solved sooner. Tex comes off a little older than a 15 year old, but he does comment on it and it helps set him up as an outsider, so not much of a qualm there.

Pros: There were a few laugh out loud scenes, mostly involving Mickey Goldfarb, Tex’s mentor. She’s not the typical wise old witch stereotype which is refreshing. In fact, none of the characters felt clichéd. The characters are the strong suit, actually making you feel for them. I was anxious and upset when one of Tex’s friends gets in trouble, and author Stuart R. West doesn’t pull any punches. In fact, the story is more about the horrors of bullying than magic, but it doesn’t turn into an after school special. West states in the afterword that every instance of bullying is something he and his friends experienced growing up. I applaud his use of turning negative life experiences into art with a positive message.

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars. Tex, the Witch Boy has fun characters, a good mystery, and an interesting take on magic. This was a great start to a trilogy, which I look forward to reading the rest of. Here’s the Amazon link for your convenience.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross wishing you happy reading.

On Will Grayson, Will Grayson book review

I was perusing the local Books-A-Million the other day and happened upon the YA novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson co-written by John Green and David Levithan. I picked it up, read it in a day, and thought I’d share my thoughts.

The book follows to alternating narrators named Will Grayson who live in the Midwest and have very different lives. The teens eventually meet and it alters their lives.

Cons: It got cheesy and smaltzy pretty fast in the final act. I don’t want to give that kind of spoilers, but it’s a happily ever book that didn’t start that way. Call me insensitive, but the Tiny Cooper character just wouldn’t be that much of a stud muffin. I’ve known a lot of overweight gay teens and they don’t have 500 boyfriends. There was a lot of realism except for this character being a little too idealized. That started out fun but got tedious going on. The two Will Graysons meet partway through the book and then have one more interaction at the end. I wanted the two narrators to interact more and bounce off of each other, but instead it really felt like I read two books called Will Grayson and just happened to alternate chapters as I read. I guess cohesion is the word I’m looking for and the novel lacked.

Pros: What a fun book. I laughed out loud several times. Green and Levithan work seamlessly together. Alternating first person POV can be confusing, but one of the Will Graysons writes in text format, which is perfect for the character and makes it immediately distinguishable between which narrator is speaking. Well done. There’s a great little conversation between the two authors at the end of the book. I was hooked immediately into the story and rooting for the characters. I’m the type of reader who either takes forever to get through a book or reads it in one sitting, and this was a one-sitter for me. The nerdy science is fun, the story heartfelt.

Overall: Three or four chapters in, I would have given it 5 stars. Then I went down to 4.5, and finally I’m at 3.75, simply because I didn’t feel the last half lived up to the brilliance of the first half.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross wishing you happy reading.

On One Frightful Date review

Here’s a clip of a great 4.5 out of 5 hearts review I got for my short M/M YA ebook One Frightful Date:

“This is my introduction to this author, but I look forward to reading more since, as a short story, I felt pulled in right from the start!  I would recommend if for mystery fans, young adult and general romance fans.”

OneFrightfulDatecover

Check out the rest of the review at Hearts on Fire Reviews. or even better yet, buy your own copy of the ebook at Amazon.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross shamelessly wishing you happy reading.

On Ghosts of the Riverview released

NOTE: I just realized this wasn’t posted last month *sigh* Here’s what I meant to post a few weeks ago:

Hi all, happy to announce that my latest ebook was released today. The date really snuck up on me. Ghosts of the Riverview is a slightly erotic gay horror story (with a touch of inspiration from Edgar Allen Poe).

Billy tries his best to keep his smile, even though he’s grieving the death of one of his closest friends, he’s worried about another friend in rehab, and most Saturday nights he’s stuck watching movies with his lonely lesbian roommate. To top it all off, he can’t find a steady job and has a crush on a bartender named Reese, who happens to be oblivious of Billy’s affections.

Now and then Billy works odd jobs for a wealthy eccentric, who has purchased the Riverview, once a popular restaurant immediately after World War II. But the business closed after a series of incidents that culminated with the unexplained death of a waiter in a freezer. Ever since, there have been reports of strange sounds and lights coming from the rundown building, and teens use the remote parking lot to fool around.

Billy leaps at the opportunity to clean out the old restaurant to show off to possible investors. It might also be a chance to get closer to Reese. Together with a small crew, he must brave a harsh winter storm to travel to the Riverview and make it presentable. But when they’re trapped in the eerie building as the snow piles up outside, strange things start to happen. Is any escape from the Ghosts of the Riverview?

GhostsoftheRiverviewcover

You can find the book at JMS Books (the bookstore is really great and you can accrue points for discounts with each purchase) with it hitting major retailers in a week.

UPDATE: You can also find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.

And I already got my first great 4 star review. From MM GoodBookReviews:

“Oh, wow! For a short story, this was awesome. It has good flow and follow-through. The tension you could feel as if your there. First, the sexual tension between Billy and Reese, and then the scary chills in the restaurant. I can’t say more without giving it away but it’s scary, sexy, one heck of a twist and still a happy ending… well sort of.”

This is Elliot Arthur Cross wishing you happy reading.

On Sliding Beneath the Surface

I received this book free from the author for an honest review. This did not color my opinion. Mild, first 1/3 of the book spoilers ahead.

Sliding Beneath the Surface is the first in the St. Augustine Trilogy, a series of supernatural YA books steeped in the rich history of America’s oldest city. In the first book, teenager Jeff Golden has recently moved to St. Augustine and finds himself troubled with repeating nightmares that set him on a crash course with a centuries old battle between US soldiers and Seminole Indians.

Author Doug Dillon clearly has respect for historical facts and I found myself actually interested in learning about a time period I’m no expert in. He paints the city of St. Augustine as a colorful place that I’d actually like to learn more about, and probably can when the two sequels are released.

Cons: I had a few issues that kept pulling me out of the story. The book is narrated in the first person by the protagonist, which is fine, but it’s far too conversational. Things like “you know what I mean” and “don’t ask me why I did it” are fine in dialogue but jar me in narration. This seemed to happen less often as the book progressed, or I settled into the rhythm, but it was a stumbling block in the beginning. Also, the narrator seemed oddly attached to people he only just met, or knew for a couple weeks. This isn’t a huge issue, but it pulled me out of the story a few times when he was shocked that the Native American shaman he just met smiled, as if he’d spent years with the man and never seen him smile before. The only other problem I had was the speed of the story. On my iPad, the first 100 of 340 pages was Jeff telling his friend about his nightmares, crossing the street, and learning that supernatural elements really do exist from the shaman. That didn’t need 100 pages. I think with some tightening the book could be a lot stronger.

Pros: Once the story got into it, I was interested in what would happen with Jeff’s supernatural problems. The characters were interesting, the setting was great, and the history was fun. I could tell how well researched the Seminole Wars were and that the facts weren’t made up for the story, which the author verified in his notes at the book’s conclusion.

Final Thoughts: Three out of five stars. Liked it, didn’t love it. Once the protagonist learns that the supernatural exists, things do speed up slightly, which makes me interested in book 2, which I may read when it’s released.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross letting you know you can learn more at DougDillon.com. Happy reading.

On Tanglewood Road review

Hey gang, I thought I’d share the first review I’ve seen for my paranormal YA Tanglewood Road (available as an ebook or in paperback).

Pixie from MM Good Books Reviews gave it 3 and 1/2 out of four hearts and ended with: “I am looking forward to the sequel Clearclay Park to see what this group of people faces next.

I recommend this to those who love young adult stories, paranormal bordering on horror, twists and taking on the paranormal and a happy for now ending.

Check out the whole review and plenty of other M/M book reviews at this fun site.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross wishing you all happy reading.

// //