Angel's Feather Alina Popescu

Volo Press Reviews: Angel’s Feather by Alina Popescu

Wondering if this dystopian, homo-erotic, science fiction story is a good fit for you? Read the official Volo Press review of Angel’s Feather by Alina Popescu and find out!

 

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Volo Press Rating System

0 – Couldn’t finish it. Wouldn’t recommend it to anyone in its current state.

1 –  Poor work. Brutal to get through, but did manage to finish. Painful experience. May be an acceptable read for die-hard fans of the genre AND the author.

2 – Sub-par work. Hard to get through. May be an okay read for fans of the genre or the author.

3 – Solid work. Multiple, minor issues / one or two major issues. Recommended for most people who need something to read on a road trip or bed rest.

4 – Strong work. Satisfying to read. A few grammatical or logistical errors, but nothing too distracting. Recommended for anyone.

5 – A fantastic read. Highly recommended to everyone.

6 – Virtually perfect. My life is incomplete if I don’t have a copy in my home. Will no-doubt read multiple times throughout my life.  YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK! 

Sub-ratings:

  • Nope

  • Poor

  • Okay

  • Good

  • Great

 

Overall Impression of ‘Angel’s Feather’ (Alina Popescu)

Angel’s Feather is about a human male, Adam, who falls in love with a ‘Flyer’–angel-like beings with wings who monitor humans to make sure that they don’t try to escape from Earth. At this point in the (hopefully distant) future, humans have depleted Earth of most of it’s This Flyer is named Michael

If you enjoy fan fiction involving same-sex romantic couples, and aren’t normally bothered by character inconsistencies and grammar problems, you will probably enjoy Angel’s Feather.

Rating: 2.9

Writing: Okay

There were multiple things that bothered me about the writing, including grammatical issues and what appeared to be a lack of fluency in English. Recognizing that that could be an issue, I lifted the rating a little.

Examples:

“…had me staring at Michael, mouth gapping.” (Gaping)

“I latched on that spark of hope…” (Latch on to a piece of something, not a spark)

“…but that small ounce of trust…” (What’s a large ounce?)

And it wouldn’t have been quite as distracting if these all hadn’t happened within the first 15% of the book. The rest of the work continued on with similar issues.

 

Characters: Nope

Main Character: Adam

Lover / Overseer: Michael

 

For me, the characters were more convenient than realistic. I try to be a little more forgiving since I am a licensed psychotherapist (and I know that my analysis of human behavior can be a little more intense), but even so, I can’t think of a single character that behaved in a away that seemed consistent.

For example, Michael was presented as cold because of his disappointment with humans breaking the rules and being executed for it. Yet, within minutes of appearing in the book, he hugs Adam and licks bodily fluid off of him (calm down, just tears ^_^).

Questions that arose from that single scene included:

  • If Michael has simply been assigned to do a job, why does he even care if a human lives or dies? It’s like a soldier assigned to assassinate someone being concerned about whether or not they have prostate cancer or a cold. If it helps him do his job to be emotionally distant, he’d probably remain that way or just resign or ask to be reassigned if he couldn’t (this is possible because he does get reassigned later in the book). Maybe if Michael had fallen in love with a human before that he’d had to kill or if he was half human himself this might have made more sense.
  •  If they’ve had no physical contact in the years since
    Spoiler Alert

    Michael killed Adam’s father

    [collapse]
    , why would he suddenly lick Adam’s tears and hug him? 
    Michael and Adam apparently see each other on a relatively regular basis, so why is Adam all of a sudden in tears about this and why is Michael all of a sudden a caring and consoling being(if that’s why you call tear-licking)?
  • If Flyers are supposed to be “emotionless” and cold, wouldn’t this unusual behavior have gotten a rise out of the crowd that was surrounding Michael and Adam at the time? It seems like there would have been some shock, outrage, confusion, maybe even fear from the other people of the village who were witnessing this, but they seemed to act like it didn’t even happen.

Adam, the main character, behaved in ways that seemed erratic as well. One minute, he empathizes with Michael, and the next he’s angry at him, and then he’s letting him hold him? All in the same few seconds? And even after this intimate, yet public, scene, Adam labels Michael “as untouchable as the fake angels in our religious books.” Why? You were LITERALLY just in his arms?!

I’ve seen this pattern before in my own and other people’s writing. It seemed as thought the characters did whatever the author wanted them to do to complete a particular scene that the author had in mind. This often results in characters seeming unstable mentally and emotionally, since they are swayed by the wind of creativity in the writer’s mind instead of their own motivations or the circumstances taking place in their world.

For Adam, empathizing with beings who were essentially his jailers seemed too happenstance. He was perfectly set up to feel resentment and anger towards his father and his uncle. Honestly, he could have felt that towards the Flyers, like everyone else, and it would have fit in seamlessly. But I have to have a stronger understanding of Adam’s psyche in order to be able to validate his feelings of empathy towards beings who kill people like him.

Plot: Good

In theory, this is a really cool plot. The idea of having made contact with a myriad of non-human life forms and trying to get off of a planet we abused irreparably is strong. I also like the idea of a charge falling in love with someone who has been told to monitor him, especially with the history between them. And, of course, man-on-man action gets me through my day, so that helped a lot. Even though there was only a single sex scene in the whole book! Boooo! ^_^

All that was missing for me was the solid execution of the details of a plot like this one. It’s like having all the puzzle pieces sitting on a table near each other, but never clicking them together to make the final, smooth, whole picture.

 

Have you read Angel’s Feather by Alina Popescu, yet?

Leave a comment if you have. If you haven’t, click here to get your copy now!

 

 

 

 

 

Supporting Indie Authors

3 Ways to Be a Great Fan

It’s one thing to like someone’s writing, but true fans are hard to come by for a lot of literary professionals. Here are three ways you can do your part to help your favorite authors become successful in their craft and be a sincerely great fan of their work!


 

1. Tell the World

Good fans read the books, blog posts, and magazine articles written by their favorite authors. Great fans encourage others to read their favorite author’s stuff as well. They tweet, blog, email, and post about the book. They pin and Instagram pics of the book when they get it in the mail or download it onto their e-reader. They recommend the author when they text, call, or chat. The never miss a chance to mention the author’s latest book when speaking with a friend, colleague, or family member. These are the behaviors of fans who help create careers for writers that last!

How do you measure up? When is the last time you tweeted about your favorite author’s work or passed one of their books along to a friend or co-worker?

 

2. Get Involved

Many authors (especially independent ones!) have ways that you can get involved with the publishing process for their work. This could mean anything from pitching plots or characters to joining an ARC list. Authors with a little more notoriety may already have a few Goodreads or Reddit groups about them. But if they don’t, a great fan may be the one who starts that group for discussion about the writer themselves and the works that the writer produces. Sometimes just realizing that there is someone in the world devoted enough to a particular artist to create a group based on their career is what can draw other people into considering becoming fans as well.

Have you gotten this deeply involved on behalf of your favorite author(s)?

 

3. Buy Direct

As much as you are able, try buying directly from the author. This could mean purchasing their work from their shop, their website, their booth at a book fair, or directly through their publisher’s site. Purchasing through third parties such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble often takes a healthy chunk of profit out of the author’s pocket. While it isn’t always an option based on where you live, how far you’re able to travel, and other factors, consider doing what you can to deal as directly with the author as possible.

 

 

What else do you do in order to help your favorite author’s succeed in the publishing world? Leave a comment and let everybody know!

Voice Actor

Calling All Producers: Show Her Audio Book

For immediate release. Please pass along to any producers and voice talents who might be interested. 

Publisher Seeks Producer for Latest Audio Book

CLARKSTON, GA, June 4, 2017– As of midnight on May 31st, Volo Press found itself without a producer for its latest book, Show Her. Now, it is opening auditions up to the public via the Audible (Amazon) site ACX.com in order to draw talent from all across the world.

“It’s an unfortunate and bizarre circumstance,” says T. L. Curtis, Founder and CEO of Volo Press. “We had a producer who actually recorded the entire piece, then didn’t finalize the project by the due date of May 31st. Now we’ve got to start over from square one.”

California radio DJ Don Abad was hired to take on the project. He had recorded and submitted the entire book for final revision requests. But, according to Curtis, once the revisions were requested, there was no response.

“I thought maybe he was just working on it. Got busy with some other projects, you know. But I never heard back from him. At this point, it’s time to make sure the project gets done at all. I hate it though, since he had done a good job over all.”

Volo Press invites interested parties to submit auditions at https://www.acx.com/titleview/AYJ473JO41T3J.

The audition script is available on the ACX website.

Show Her is a dystopian, psychological thriller that follows the story of Erika Wogo as she battles threats to her marriage and her “perfect” life. The book currently holds more than 4.5 stars on Amazon.com, 3.5 stars on Goodreads.com, and 4 stars on BarnesAndNoble.com.

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For more information, T. L. Curtis can be contacted at TLCurtis@Volo-Press.com or 404-666-1126.

Writing Group Indie Author

How to Accept Constructive Criticism in Writing Groups

Writing groups are a great way for independent authors to get support, make connections, find resources, and–perhaps most importantly– hear critique on their works in progress. However, getting this feedback without becoming resentful, angry, or sad can be tricky for some. Here are three things to remember during the critique delivery process that can help you actually enjoy it.

 


 

1. “This is what I’m here for.”

Remembering this can help ease some of the defensiveness you might feel when people start dissecting your writing. The entire reason that you joined the group and decided to submit your book / chapter / poem for critique was so that you could get honest feedback about how it could be better. If you didn’t join the group for this express purpose, then the fault really lies with you for presenting yourself as someone who wants to strengthen their craft, yet all you really wanted was for people to kiss your ass unjustifiably.

 

2. “How bad would it be if I’d published without knowing this?”

Many independent authors are self-published. This means that they have full control over the creation, revision, publishing, and marketing of their writing. Unless you’ve created a Cartel like I have, there’s a good chance that your writing groups are the only thing saving you from publishing something that is full of plot holes, grammatical errors, character inconsistencies and the like.  If you find that your writing group is bringing up a bunch of problems that you missed, don’t look at it as an attack on you or your writing. See it as your reputation being pulled back from a cliff!

 

3. “No one is perfect.”

I have read books by many authors who are traditionally published (meaning they have teams of people and bundles of cash at their disposal to make sure that their writing is consistent, error-free, and as strong as possible), yet have several errors in them. If these bestselling authors with publishing powerhouses behind them can’t produce a perfect manuscript, how sane is it to believe that you will do so on your own? Hell, even with the feedback of your group?

 

The point is: Relax. Take the feedback you think is helpful. Ignore the feedback you don’t think fits. Just don’t ignore solid feedback because you didn’t like hearing it. That’s not fair to you, your writing, or your readers.

Have other tips for getting through the critique process? Leave a comment!

4 Free Things Writers Pay For

I cannot tell you how many writers I’ve spoken to who have spent hundreds and even THOUSANDS 🤢of dollars on items and services that they could have gotten without ever pulling out their wallet. ere are just a few.

 

1. Book Publishing 🖨️

You knew this would be #1, didn’t you? My heart shattered when a fellow author told me that they’d spent nearly $3,000 publishing only about 500 copies of their book through a vanity publisher. For such a critical part of beginning to build your audience as an independent author, you don’t want to waste money like this right out of the gate. Especially when there are so many free, cheap, simple options that give you a high level of control over the project. And when you buy in bulk like this, you have to be responsible for storing, protecting (fires, thieves, rodents, insects, water, etc.) and transporting all these books. Whereas, having books printed only when a purchase is made–and without you having to store them–can save you a lot of risk, time, effort, and money.

2. Web Site Setup 💻

Again: easy and free. You can even go for ‘affordable’ and get a website with features like this one for around $10 a month. I could understand paying for a tutorial or some IT help once in a while if you’re super-uncomfortable with technology, but paying someone hundreds of dollars just for clicking a few buttons for you seems absurd, generally speaking.

3. Social Media Setup 👍

Social media profiles are generally free and can be set up within minutes. Once you become a world-famous author, maybe these profiles will get a little overwhelming and you’ll want someone to help you manage them (though that’s still not really necessary in most cases). But please, please, please do not pay anyone big money to do something so simple as merely setting up the profiles for you.

4. Mobile Credit Card Readers 💳

These are free. Please don’t ever pay for these. It makes me sad. One author told me they purchased a PayPal Here reader to use at a book fair, even though they didn’t even know how to use it. They hadn’t even set up a PayPal account yet, let alone a PayPal Business account! Yes, it was only about $20, but that’s $20 that could have gone towards book promotions, literary contest entry fees, a decent dinner, or–most lavishly–a brand new book! I understand that the new mobile readers with chip-compatible technology are available, and they can be relatively expensive, but there are still cheaper ways to get those than paying full price.

 

 

If any of this information is shocking to you, or if you have paid for some of these things yourself, I’m available for consultation as needed. As independent authors, we need to learn to reserve our resources (especially liquid cash), by not paying for things we don’t have to. If there’s a YouTube video, blog post, or pod cast that can teach you how to do something, learn and go do it for yourself for free!

How Repetition Hurts Your Writing

Are you being overly repetitive in your writing? What does this say about you as an author? How can it hurt your work overall? Read on and find out!


 

Am I Being Repetitive?

Maybe.

If you are, you have likely gotten this feedback from a member of your writing group or cartel.

However, even if you haven’t, it might be worth while to take a look at some of your recent work and figure out if you could stand to crack open a thesaurus.

For instance, a passage like this one might warrant some tweaking:

She pressed the button for the elevator and waited patiently for it. She nodded to the elderly man who stepped up beside her to wait before turning her focus back onto the doors. She couldn’t wait to get started on her first day at her new job. It seemed like she’d been waiting all her life for an opportunity like this. Now that her goal waited within her line of sight, she wanted to spring forward and grasp it.

Depending upon the story, there’s not a lot “wrong” with these lines. However, let’s try some more creative word choices:

She pressed the button for the elevator and waited patiently for it. She nodded to the elderly man who stepped up beside her before turning her focus back onto the doors. She was eager to get started on her first day at her new job. It seemed like she’d been in a holding pattern all her life, searching for an opportunity like this. Now that her goal hovered within her line of sight, she wanted to spring forward and grasp it.

What Does Repetition Like This Say About Me As An Author?

Not much, other than “you’re human.” Sometimes we are so exhausted we try to crank out as many words as we can and thinking about how artfully those words are crafted is the last thing on our minds. Other times, we can find some insight into how we think throughout our daily lives–or maybe just what kind of mood we’re in on that particular day–based on which words we tend to repeat.

For example, if you find words like “angry,” “irritated,” and “frustrated” are popping up over and over again throughout your piece, even when it isn’t really necessary, you might be dealing with something (or someone) annoying in your life. Did a family freeloader just ask you for money? Did a house guest overstay their welcome? Is your boss trying to take advantage of your kindness? There are lots of reasons why anger, sadness, anxiety, confusion or other dominant emotions could be creeping their way into your work without having any proper place there. Besides merely changing the words in your piece, you might want to consider changing the people around you, or how your interact with them, so that unpleasant emotions take up a little less space in your brain.

 

How Can Repetition Hurt My Work?

After all, Fifty Shades of Grey got published, so obviously it isn’t the end of the world if you’re a little (or a whole helluva lot) repetitive in your writing. My concern when I see repetitive language in books, magazine articles, or blogs is that is smacks of a lack of creativity. As though you either didn’t care, or didn’t know how, to use one of a number of synonyms for a particular word or idea.

If you don’t want to self-publish and are trying to go at it using the traditional channels (more power to you!), this could be one of those little things that leaves a bad taste in the mouth of a gatekeeper to the industry. You already have enough possible reasons for failure nipping at your heels. Don’t add ‘repetitive language’ to the pack if you can help it.

 

how has repetition hurt / helped you in your work?

Leave a comment!

 

The reading-centered, writing-loving, ever-open spot for lovers of literature!

And don’t forget to pitch in for the grand opening of The Den by Volo Press!

Click here to learn more! 

Write Tech: Typewriter Style Keyboard

If you’re nostalgic for that old-time typewriter feel, but don’t want inky hands and the adventure that is finding a nearby supply of ink ribbons, this keyboard is for you.

The Azio MK-Retro-02 USB Typewriter Keyboard

Note: Better Choice Online is a small, minority-owned, woman-owned business just like Volo Press!

Product Features

  • Plastic chrome-plated body & keycaps
  • Full NKRO
  • Water & dust resistant
  • Comes in black and silver or gold and white

Price Range: $90 – $120

Gifting Suggestions (Besides Yourself!)

  • An older person, just learning to use computers.
  • A gag gift for a younger person who has probably never even seen a typewriter face-to-face.
  • A friend or family member who spends most or all of their work day typing (receptionist, CEO, author, data entry clerk, librarian, college student, etc.).
  • Anyone having trouble using a touchscreen tablet who was considering buying a USB keyboard anyway.

Ready to buy? Click here!

 

Have you used this keyboard yourself or purchased it for someone else? Leave a comment below and let everyone know what your thoughts were on it! 

 

 

 

 

Get your book reviewed.

Affordable Services for Indie Authors

After all the hard work you’ve done to craft, edit, and market a great story, don’t lose out on potential sales because you didn’t promote in every way that you could!

Promoting Via Volo Press

If you go to the Volo Press Services page (volo-press.com/services), you’ll find regularly updated statistics regarding the digital footprint that Volo Press has online. For some of the lowest fees on the web, you can have your hard work shared with another segment of people who appreciate good writers like yourself who produce good work.

Promotion Options

$0: Free Book Review (not necessarily dedicated and likely, but not guaranteed, digital copies only)

$5: Inclusion in 2 semi-monthly newsletters

$5: 7 days of tweets on Twitter (1 per day)

$10: 1 dedicated Facebook post

$20: 1 dedicated LinkedIn post

$25: Showcase Post (cover, blurb, excerpts from reviews)

$30: Review Feature (a dedicated, guaranteed review, hard copies accepted)

$50: Volo Press Sidebar ad (one month duration)

 

Ready to get started? Go to Volo-Press.com/Services now!

 

Now on Reddit: Volo Press

The Volo Press subreddit is now available to subscribe to at Reddit.com/r/VoloPressers! Volo-Press.com subscribers won’t want to miss out!

 

What Kind of Content is Allowed On the Subreddit?

Just about anything, so long as it is related to literature. Got a new book coming out? Post a link! Love your local bookstore? Tell us about it! Just saw some big news on Volo-Press.com? Share it on Reddit, too!

Of course, as time goes on, there may be reasons to enforce various restrictions, but we’ll just play it by ear! Enjoy!

 

Get Yours Now: Wind Screen

I’ve been hearing a series of book trailers with voice-over work that has a lot of static and background noise. For less than $10, you could get a wind screen for your microphone that will help reduce (and possibly) eliminate the excess noise that brings down the quality of the trailer. Find purchasing info below. Happy book-promoting!

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