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Purchases on Bookstagram

| Ad | FIS – GenPay Report |

How do you spend money on bookstagram? What are the habits of bookstagrammers in relation to purchases on social media? Who is the average bookstagram consumer?

I was approached by Global Fintech FIS about a topic I would like to present to you guys today for discussion! Have you ever thought about how our book community is spending their money and how we are influenced to purchase online?

I have been in boosktagram for almost 4 years now and I have spent thousands of euros related to purchases influenced by the bookstagram community. I learned of new merchandise related to books that I had never heard of before, and also of new payment methods that I didn’t use before.

“From the young to the young at heart, the way generations pay globally is changing. That’s why getting to know your audience is so important.”

Generation Pay report 2021

Majority, if not all, of the payments in bookstagram are cashless and contactless. Mostly via payment tools such as paypal or via credit card. Bookstagram is a huge online community with various different types of merchandise related to books. I had never heard of a booksleeve before and now I own over 30! Cashless methods are beneficial in many ways, including: reduced costs and business risks, transaction speed and convenience…

Through my observation over the last few years and also my insights of my own account @tata.lifepages (currently at 60k followers), I have noticed that the bookish community on Instagram consists in majority of woman and mostly from the Gen Z (18-23 years old) and Millennials (24-39 years old) generations.

What are their payment preferences? Where do they spend their money? Taking myself as an example (a 28 year old woman): I prefer to use my mobile wallet for payment and I purchase mostly book subscriptions boxes and special editions.

The Generation Pay report by FIS digs deep into consumer payment preferences, financial attitudes and spending habits. This report is free and can be accessed via their website. The report explores:

  • How generations adapt to new payment methods and agile businesses turned a turbulent year into a year of opportunities
  • The vital role of payment acceptance in meeting customer expectations.
  • Why future success will rely on continued digital investment.
  • Why channel mix will continue to be crucial to building loyalty.
United States data from the 2021 FIS GenPay report

This free report is most useful for business owners looking for more insights of the payment preferences of their consumers across countries and different generations.

Book review: Praserian by Kaydrie Tolbert

| Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Praserian was a delightful, romantic and exciting read! At the beginning I thought Damien would be the love interest, but the story takes a complete different turn of events the moment that she is taken to Praseria. I couldn’t put the book down and kept reading into the night!

The moment that Aleron was introduced I was already rooting for their relationship. It was somewhat predictable who he was, but that didn’t alter the exhilarating feeling I had whenever he appeared. Charming and handsome, he had me swooning! Love triangles are my guilty pleasure and I enjoyed every moment of it

The world building was easy to grasp and the characters were fun and intriguing, I loved Noni, Terri, Ezra, all of them! The story is very character driven and I grew found of every single one of them. I look forward to the next books by the author, where I hope to read more about this amazing and fun cast of characters who have found a place in my heart.

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: The Paradox of Heroes by N. Hanna

| Gifted | NA |

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The paradox of Heroes starts with three seemingly independent stories. The most dominant story is about Danny that with a group of fellow college students woke up in a castle with no memory or information. They are forced to solve puzzles and complete life-threatening challenges in order to go to the next chamber. Then there is Teddy who lost his brother in an accident 18 years ago. One night he went through old belongings of his brother and found an old phone which leads him to a hidden safe.

In the same period of time, he started dating a wonderful woman from the office. One thing led to another and before they knew it, they were together uncovering the truth behind his brother’s death. Last but not least there is the story of Seven, a trained assassin who kills at the order of a secretive company. When he disobeys orders, they turn on him and want to put him down, but he won’t go down easily. In his quest to take on the entire organization he discovers more and more about his true nature.

“Next, he put his hand under Sam’s nose – still breathing, but for how much longer? Time was almost up: they had to get out of this room – now.

The three story-lines were singularly captivating from the very beginning. I was eager to find out where each of them would lead to. As each point of view progresses, they start to complement each other more and more. Some connections you could suspect if you have a detailed eye, but others were definitely shocking. The convergence of the stories is what made the book jump from very good to great.

The series of real-life escape rooms was very intense and exciting. I felt I was there solving the puzzles alongside the characters. It is a very satisfying feeling when you can solve a puzzle on your own before they do. The story on Teddy was also very pulling, but was a little bit less intense on action and had some romance, thus those chapters served as a break from the very intense escape rooms. The chapters on Seven came in less frequently, but were always on point.
The chapters were very short and the alternation between the three different story-lines is on point, which made it easy to follow. It was a fast-paced book where I could not stop reading. There was no lingering or any unnecessary background descriptions. Everything had its place and meaning. Definitely a read that will stick to your thoughts afterwards, I will await eagerly for the sequel.

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: The Last Lumenian by S. G Blaise

| Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was pleasantly surprised with this read, Scifi is not a genre I read as much as I would like to (even though my favorite book of all time is scifi), what I really loved about this book is that it was able to keep my attention throughout the whole story, it is a very compelling read. The addition of the glossary on the back of the book was super helpful with the world building and understanding the elements of the story itself. 

The Last Lumenian tells the story about a young girl in a fight for justice, forming part of the rebellion to help the refugees in her home planet. She can’t stand the fact that her people are being mistreated and it needs to be stopped. Lilla has been raised by her father, the king and her stepmother who is absolutely horrid with her. Lilla struggles with anxiety which causes her to have moments where she is vulnerable. It’s great to see real world issues incorporated into a fictional world, this shows us that even heroes struggle with mental health. I have been actively seeking out fiction books that portray psychological struggles and I am so glad the Last Lumenian brings awareness to this topic.

The main character showed traits of determination, bravery, and wittiness. I loved the connection she had with her late mother through magic. I was compelled to keep reading with the plot being fast paced. The elements building the world were captivating! Although I am not the biggest fan of what I sensed was insta-love, which made me a bit apprehensive, the rivalries gave it the perfect touch to steer in an enemies to lovers trope! This was a great addition to develop the plot, the dynamic between Lilla and Arrov was great! I love a good banter and angst in books.

I will be looking out for more titles by SG Blaise! If you are into fast pace and some romance in your books, this is definitely for you!

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: After Eve by J.B. Lexington

| Gifted | romance |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It is not often that I like a sequel more than the first book, but this was definitely the case with After Eve! We follow Izabel a couple of years after the events of Forever Eve. Life seems perfect, she has an amazing, caring, sexy husband that loves her completely and she has a baby on the way… After eve dives deeply into the psychological issues caused by people who undergo severe traumas, combined with post-partum depression.

I love that the author has brought to light such an important mental health aspect that is not addressed so often in our society. I found it easy to connect to the story and to Izabel, which made this a super fast read! I could really understand what she was going through and her emotions because the author describes it in such a realistic way (even though I haven’t gone through these issues myself). I love how strong Izabel is and how she knew to admit when she needed help by seeking out another regression session for help.

This book really inspired me to be a mom, I found myself smiling and at times even had tears in my eyes at some absolutely beautiful family scenes. It just made me so eager to have a baby (or two? :P) of my own. The bathtub scenes, them crawling around the house, all the little things with the babies bring out a heartwarming cozy feeling while reading.

The ending! Everything connected in such a way that I found myself astounded at the end. When I started After Eve I thought that we wouldn’t be reading about Eve anymore, however the author is able to masterfully link everything in a way that we still have pieces of Eve throughout the story

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: Malice by Heather Walter

| Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I have been wanting to find a Sleeping Beauty retelling and I am so glad DelRey reached out for me to take part in the book tour! I absolutely love retellings and specially when they have a darker more sinister take to them. Malice delivers a completely unique story that is loosely based on Sleeping Beauty, and at the same time with great LGBTQ+ representation.

One of my favorite elements of the story was being able to see the villain’s point of view, Alyce (also known as the Dark Grace) is very relatable with compelling motives that really got me to connect to her.

The beginning is a bit of a slow burn, where you mostly digest the setting and the entire magic system of the book. You can tell that the author put in a lot of work into the world-building to make the readers have a perfect visualization in their minds. The ending was unexpected and makes me wonder if there will be a sequel…

Thank you to the team at Penguin Books & Del Rey for gifting me a proof for review!

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: Heir of Vashaa by Celine Simpson

| Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was one of my highly anticipated reads of the year and it delivered! The author writes in such a beautiful descriptive way that I can visualize perfectly the settings, as well as comprehend exactly what feeling and emotion each character is going through. I specifically love how Celine describes nature through Terra’s eyes. The first half of the book is a bit slower, as Terra is finding her way out of captivity and regaining her strength, while Silas is in grief.

However the second half picks up and we come to understand exactly how powerful and important Terra truly is. Can I just say; YES YES YES, to the romance between Silas and Terra. I was smirking in glee at the sexy scenes (YES WE GET SOME!).

We also get to know some new characters like Dee, and we come to learn of an ancient and dark magic that is threating everything. I truly love the theory behind the elemental powers of the royals, it is my favorite aspect of the story and makes me want to grow vines from the ground too! I love how we also come to learn more about the lands beyond the undiscovered sea, the worldbuilding is excellent! The entire concept of the soulbound was really intriguing and I can’t wait to see the extent of this link in the next book!

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

| Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Prison Healer had my complete attention once I flipped the first page and saw Kiva’s code, I immediately went to translate the cover! I love the beautiful maps included, they are so detailed! Kiva has been a prisoner at Zalindov prison for 10 years, ever since she was captured as a child. She receives secret coded messages from her family, and hopes to one day be rescued. She learned how to survive by keeping her head low and eventually becoming the prison’s healer.

She is seen by the other prisoners’ as a traitor, since many who visit her infirmary do not survive, also because she is the prison’s carver, cutting into the skin of new arrivals to brand them with the prison’s mark.

 Don’t let her die. We are coming. 

I loved the other characters in the story! Specially Jaren and Tipp! Tipp is a spark of light in the darkness, and Jaren… well he is just amazing. The story reads with a very dark atmosphere that had my eyes glued to the pages! I loved the plot twists and specially that ending… I need the sequel asap!

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

North Street Book Prize – contest for self-published books

tata.lifepages | ad | news

As you guys know I often review books by self-published authors, also known as indie authors, to help promote and spread word about their books. More and more writers are choosing the path of self-publishing; this allows them to have complete freedom and control of the publishing process.

I was recently contacted by Winning Writers, a platform that creates resources for poets and writers, about an ongoing contest for self-published authors. This contest provides not only exposure to self-published works as well as some incredible prizes.

  1. Grand prize winner: $5,000 and a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $525 value).
  2. Top winner in each category: $1,000 and a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and one free ad in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $175 value).
  3. A honorable mention in each category: $250,00.
  4. Published online excerpts from all entries that win a prize, along with critiques from the judges.

Various categories of self-published books may join the North Street Book Prize contest (Mainstream / Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction & Memoir, Poetry, Children’s Picture Book, Graphic Novel & Memoir, Art book) with no restriction of the publication date.

Fee per book entry: $65,00

Grand prize winner 2020

I will be supporting Winning Writers this upcoming months in spreading word about their contest and their work. The North Street Book Prize is recommended by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), a designation for “contests which are organized for the benefit of the author rather than the profit of the organizer.” Are you a self-published author? To find more information on the North Book Prize contest for self-published works check out their website.

Book review: A Gallery of Mothers

| Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A Gallery of mothers was a pleasant surprise, it is rare that a sequel is better than the first book but in this case it is! It is noticeable how much work the author has put into this sequel, specially with the development of the characters which has undoubtedly matured.

The alternating timelines between present and past gave us a deeper insight into the events that lead to the Threat Below.

The past was my favorite time-line as it helped me to understand the story and the creation of Mountain top. The book feels like watching an action movie, it flows in a gripping and fast paced manner. Many secrets, betrayals and morally gray characters are present which makes everything more captivating! We are constantly torn between which side to take as further events are unfolded.

Overall an adventurous novel full of plot twists and jaw dropping events! I look forward to more books from this author!

You can check out more about the book and the author here.