The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

Tag: reviews

Book Review: When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes

I originally posted this review in March of 2012. We’ve recently pulled this book out and started going through it again, mainly because it has a lot of good advice for staying warm in the event that all of these winter storms knock out our power. I stand by my original review — the info in this book really holds up. It would make a great Christmas gift for anyone on your list who might need some coaxing when it comes to adopting a preparedness mindset.

You might know Cody Lundin from The Discovery Channel’s Dual Survival. Or you might know him as that guy from Youtube with the sustainable underground house. But if you don’t know, Lundin is a survival instructor based in Arizona whose instruction focuses primarily on indigenous skills—in other words, surviving off the land the way the Native Americans used to do it.

But Lundin broadens his teaching focus for When All Hell Breaks Loose, his manual for urban survival in a SHTF situation. Whereas in his survival school Lundin primarily works with hikers, campers and other outdoor sports types who are at a greater risk of getting lost in the desert or wilderness for a stretch of days, his book is more concerned about long-term survival for the entire family, and it’s deliberately written in terms that even Grandma and Grandpa can understand.

The Bear Grylls Survival Knife and Adventures In Fire Making

Right now I smell like smoke and, as my husband keeps pointing out, I need to take a shower. That’s because I just came back from an afternoon spent in the back yard getting acquainted with my Bear Gryll’s Survival Knife. My husband got this for me about a month ago, as an early Christmas present, but today was the first time I found time to get out there and practice with it.

New Review for Restless Spirits

One of the Municipal Liaisons for my local NaNoWriMo chapter was kind enough to not only take time out of her Camp Nano frenzy to read Restless Spirits, but also to post a review of it in her blog.

(…squee!)

Book news, if Russia will let me share it

Well, that was a fun break from blogging. THANKS, RUSSIA! But now that we’re back (…for now), here’s some book news that I’ve been meaning to share.

  • Restless Spirits is now available in trade paperback. If anyone is interested in signed copies (…Bueller?), let me know, and I’ll figure out a way to make it happen. Just keep in mind that it would have to ship twice–once to me and then to you–so that would need to be reflected in the price.
  • Fragments & Fancies is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It’s 99 cents at both, because that’s the lowest price point those sites allow you to set. It’s still free on Smashwords, although I’m not sure how much longer it will stay that way.
  • Speaking of Smashwords, there are only three days left on their site-wide summer sale, during which you can get Restless Spirits for half off with coupon code SSW50. On August 1st it goes back up to $2.99.
  • Also, Restless Spirits got it’s first (totally unsolicited and by a total stranger) review on Amazon, and it was a good one. They gave it 5 stars and had this to say:

    This is an imaginative take on the traditional ghost story. Ghost hunters might think they’re smart and informed about hauntings, but as this story demonstrates, the reality just might be that they not only don’t know anything, they probably don’t even suspect anything. That’s what I liked about the story, as it gradually revealed the intricate secrets (that never make it into official accounts) of the lives and deaths of everyone who had ever lived in the tiny universe of a single address, and how the fate of the spirits who haunt it could inspire the lives of the living and the dead. The story is well told with creative character development, charming wit and ever-increasing suspense. It is as they say, "a ripping good yarn."

    To which I say: Squee!

I have another Indie Author Spotlight coming up soon, but I’m saving that until actually being able to post is more of a sure thing. Right now I have zero confidence that this will actually go through (as I’m currently on my 3rd 4th [I stopped counting] try). *crosses fingers* But here’s hopin’!

 

Starve Better

I spent most of last weekend devouring Starve Better (see what I did there?) by nihilistic_kid, aka Nick Mamatas, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make money writing. This book is along the same lines as John Scalzi’s …Coffee Shop, in that it’s made up of essays from Mamatas’s Livejournal and various other articles and essays he’s written over the years, but unlike Scalzi’s book, Starve Better is more focused on practical advice on how to sell your work.

It’s divided into two sections – The Book of Lies and The Book of Life – the first of which discusses writing and selling short stories. This section has inspired me to try selling my short stories before self-pubbing them, once I get around to having time to write some short stories after the novel is done, that is. The second section focuses on non-fiction writing and gives a good, unintimidating view of the query process, as well as good advice on which markets to target, coming up with article ideas to pitch, and other useful facts.

I have to say, my favorite part of the whole book was a chapter about Demand Studios. Well, content mills in general, but DS is held up as a prime example. If you know me, then you know I have a love-hate relationship with Demand Studios. I love that they’re a reliable paycheck when I need one, but I hate writing for them, and this chapter outlines a lot of the reasons why. It also confirmed my suspicions that I need to take some of the time and energy that I’ve been giving to DS and instead spend it trying to write for better paying markets who have more respect for their writers.

At any rate, if you’re in pursuit of a writing career, Starve Better is a must-read. So go read it.

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