Book Reviews

The fact that I have recently published my book has hammered home how important it is for me to write book reviews about books that I have checked off of my TBR pile. This post is about my experience when it comes to leaving a review, which is inspired by a book I recently finished reading.

~*≈*~

Generally I make an effort to find at least one thing that I like about a book. That can be anything from the reason I bought the book (usually it’s the cover) or a secondary character that I’m interested in knowing more about. Well the book I recently read left me in awe of how much I hated this particular book.

I don’t generally hate books, there are a few, but we won’t get into that now. When it comes to books I don’t like/hate, I find that the book is not meant for me or my range of interests and I will say so in my review. I will then proceed to find something beyond my personal bias to state which will allow people who may be interested in the book to decide whether they want to purchase said book or not.

This book is not one of those books. Readers on my personal Facebook page were treated to my rants about the book as I read it.

To say that I was a little peeved didn’t do my mood justice. Part of me is still a bit miffed. I’m agitated to the point that I am hesitant to post my review of the book because, well, I don’t want to be that person.

You know the one. You find them on just about every product review. Their reviews appear hateful and seem to spawn from a place that is dark and ugly. Yeah that person. That’s not who I want to be, yet this book… Suffice to say it drags that person out of her hateful pit to spew her ugliness all over my keyboard.

I am surprised my version of “that person” is pretty articulate and constructive with what she hates about said book. She even has a handy list of bullet points. Seriously, she has bullet points. Nothing says constructive and non-confrontational like bullet points of said book’s shortcomings.

Now I find myself struggling with this whole adventure because the book violently shoves me outside of my normal behavioral pattern in regards to reviews. I don’t like the idea of writing a truly negative review. In reviewing this book, I’ve gone beyond a simple “one star, I didn’t like this book” type of review to a “This book was so terribad that I’m ashamed to say I read it. I want the time that I devoted to this collection of words back. Where do I go for a refund of a free book?” kind of review.

I know that I can’t wrap myself up in the age old saying “if you have nothing nice to say…” because when it comes down to it, I wouldn’t be doing the author, nor myself any favors by seeking to avoid the issue of my review indefinitely. I have to post the review, if for no other reason than to reaffirm the simple truth that negative reviews are part of the publishing lifestyle.

And maybe that is the reason I struggle with posting the review.

I know the work that goes into writing a book, the man hours that go into prepping a book for publication, and the nervous dance that happens as you wait for your first review. And while it has yet to happen to me, I know that somewhere in the wings is someone who will not tell me how amazing my book is, who will have a dark cloud full of acid rain to drench over all my hard work. I know it to be true, because I know I can’t make everyone happy with what I do. It is because of this–with an added pep talk on my part–that I will post the review soon. Right after I erase the bullet points and make it a little less that person.

Giveaway!!!

As many of you know, NaNo has kicked off today. Well I’m already 5300 words in (yay!) and it’s looking like a good year. Last year was a struggle and a lot of 10k weekends. But alas that isn’t why I am posting tonight (midnight). People like free stuff, don’t they?

So here we go:

If I can get to 200 likes I will be giving away a free copy of The Lycan Hunter in ebook format. So spread the word. Like, share and kick up your feet on Kelsey Jordan, Author

I have another one for you.

If you lovely people can help me get to 500 likes by December 1 or by the time I finish After ‘The End” (NaNo project), I will give away two signed printed copies with two custom made bookmarks per book in a random drawing.

I already have a little over 5k, so come on by and root me on. As an added incentive, I’ll have tidbits and quotes from After ‘The End‘.

Can’t wait to meet all the new faces! Hooray for free stuff!

Kahi of Nunginn

The first day of November is celebrated by many as All Saint’s Day, but on the Gardinian calender November 1 marks another celebration for Lelah, goddess of life and death. However, unlike Anamhaint, the eve of Soul Reaping, Kahi of Nunginn is a celebration of the Ghost of Nunginn. During this time, those within the Gardinian universe turn their attention to the newest members of their communities and give thanks to the goddess for the safe keeping of their young ones.

Ceremony:

The ceremony for Kahi of Nunginn is performed in the place of morning services and led by the Saireceane, the ceremonial leader.

Attire/Appearance:

Traditional attire for the Kahi of Nunginn requires that all attendants dress in the traditional white ceremonial pants, but wear a vibrant colored top. Hair and face should be worn as the attendants prefer and in accordance with their cultural traditions.

Ceremonial Space:

The altar space should be prepared (usually performed after every service) with the Rite of Cleansing. In the center of the altar should be a replica of the Tree of Liflasir (World Tree). Ceremony attendants should place personal items of significance on the altar. A white candle is lit for each attendant of the ceremony should be placed within the altar space.

Ritual:

The Saireceane will step forward and motion everyone into prayer pose. The leader will recite the following words:

Rejoice for Life has ceased her slumber.

Blessed is she, our holy Lady and Keeper of Souls.

She is our usher into the mortal realm

—Our Lady of the First Dawn

Pray that she will guide us in the coming year

and protect the young ones that we hold dear.

May Life bless us as she deems fit

with new life from souls reborn.


All:

Bless the young ones

who have joined us in this past year.

May the Keeper of Souls bless us anew

in the year to come.

We wish the young ones 

a long life with our Lady’s blessing.

May they live well and true to the Noble Cannons

and find their Passing in their elder years.

Presentation: The presentation occurs when there are children who have been born within the last year. These are the ceremony’s “young ones”. Upon being brought before the Saireceane, they are anointed with a holy oil blessed by the goddess herself. The Saireceane will draw two linking infinity marks upon the wrists of the presented young ones. This is the symbol of Lelah’s domain over Life and Death.

The following words are said to each young one after the anointing oil is applied:

And so you are blessed by our holy Lady. May you live a long life and forever cherish her blessing.

Should there be no young ones to be presented, the presentation ceremony is changed to include all young ones born with the Keeper of Soul’s grace. The Saireceane will say the following in the event of no young ones in attendance.

As there are no young ones to present, we will honor all young ones born under our Lady’s domain. May they live long and cherish her blessing.

Prayer: The Prayer is said by all in attendance.

Lady of the First Dawn

it is in reverence of our young ones

that we gather to worship you.

Your grace has no limitations 

and for that we are eternally grateful.

May we continue to receive the benefit of new Life.

All honor to you, Keeper of Souls.

Feast:

The feast is a breakfast buffet which features fruits, vegetables, sweet breads and cured meats.

*From the Author*

Anamhaint

As most of the world recognizes All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween, the residents of the Gardinian universe pay homage to Lelah, goddess of life and death, on the night of Soul Reaping. Those of Gardas celebrate the last night in October with a night of remembrance for loved ones who’ve passed, relief for the resting souls of their foes, and fear of the Kahi (ghosts) who still linger within the mortal realm and haunt the living.

Ceremony

The ceremony is performed in the place of evening services and only after the sun has fully set.

Attire/Appearance:

Traditional attire for the Anamhaint requires that all attendants dress in all black with Sashes of Mourning tied at their waist. Hair should be pulled back or away from the face. The face should be free of adornments (applies to females, but also males in some cultures).

Ceremonial Space:

The altar space should be prepared (usually performed after daily services) with the Rite of Cleansing. In the center of the altar should be a replica of the Tree of Liflasir (World Tree). Ceremony attendants should place mementos or pictures (paintings, photos, etc dictated by the technology of the world) on the altar. A black candle should be lit for each Beloved to be honored and displayed near the edge of the altar space.

Beloveds:

Those recognized within the ceremony are the Departed who have Passed since the last celebration of Anamhaint. If there are no new Beloveds to be recognized, the Saireceane, or ceremonial leader, will light one candle to symbolize all those who have Passed and the ceremony will proceed as normal.

Ritual:

The Saireceane will step forward and motion everyone into prayer stance. The leader will then recite the following words:

On this darkest of nights the Kahi roam freely

The pull of their Judgment held at bay

while Life slumbers and Death comes to play.

We call on her–our Lady of Night

to call the Restless Ones home and give them eternal peace

May Judgment’s scales be like Mother Death

ethereal and haunting; unwavering and just.

Lady of Night guide them on their journey home within your gentle light

May your eternal peace find them on this Hallowed Night.

Presentation: Beginning with the eldest member of the ceremony’s attendants, individuals will present to those gathered words left unsaid to those who have Passed. They will share a memory that means the most to them.

Each individual will close their moment with the following words:

May Death’s hand be kind and my Beloved rest eternally.

When the last member has shared their memory, the Saireceane steps forward to say the final prayer.

Prayer:

It is in remembrance of Beloveds lost that we gather in your name.

Our memories are held close to our hearts,

while the strength of your spirit bids us to mourn no more.

Bless this night, for it is eternally yours.

All Honor be given to you, Lady of Night.

Feast:

The feast is a potluck affair where attendees bring the favorite meal of their Beloved to be shared with other attendees.

*From the Author*