Natasha Tynes

πŸ“š Writing book reviews is fun until...

Published 3 months agoΒ β€’Β 3 min read

One of my favorite writing assignments is writing book reviews. I love reading the book, taking notes, highlighting quotes, and analyzing the plot, the characters, and the writing.

However, It can be tricky sometimes because, as an author, I know how hard it is to write a book, so I try to be fair in my critique and highlight both the positive and the negative.

I worry about upsetting authors if my review is not a stellar one, but then again, I try to speak about what I thought worked and what didn't work for me in an honest, transparent manner.

So yeah, it's a tough assignment, but I enjoy it as it involves reading and writing (my two favorite passions).

​Here is my review of the novel The Refugee Ocean by Pauls Toutonghi, published in TheMarkazReview.​

If you are an editor at a magazine looking for book reviewers, I would be more than happy to discuss more.

Keep the spark!

PS: I'm selling the E-book version of my novel They Called Me Wyatt for only $2.99. Grab it here if you want to read a speculative literary murder mystery set between Jordan and the US.


πŸ–ΌοΈ Photo of the week

🀩 Things that wowed me

πŸ§‘πŸ»β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘πŸ» Community: I recently joined Amanda Goetz and Jack Appleby's private LinkedIn community, "Break an Egg."As a member of this community, you receive a daily LinkedIn prompt, and then you are encouraged to share it on your timeline and in the community for better engagement. So far, it has been working wonderfully, and I'm seeing a massive spike in my LinkedIn engagement.
πŸŽ™Podcast: I just stumbled upon a fantastic podcast for writers: "Writers on Writing." I listened to an interview with literary agent Susan Golomb from Writers House, which was incredibly enlightening. One key takeaway that resonated with me is the shift in bookselling: The game has changed! It's no longer just about prestigious reviews in publications like The New York Times. Now, it's about the vitality of a book. If it's a hit on platforms like TikTok, it's a hit in the market.

πŸ“š Book: A great novel that I enjoyed and will probably be my year's top read is Yellow Face by R. F. Kuang. The story makes fun of the current situation of the publishing industry in a clever and funny way. The sad part is that everything in the book actually happens and continues to happen in real life in the publishing field. This book is a must-read if you are a writer or an aspiring writer. A true gem in literary satire!

πŸ”¨ Tool: I have been having a blast creating customized ChatGPT apps that work for me. I made one that converts blog posts into Instagram reel transcripts and another that converts audio transcripts I record on Otter when I walk my dog to Linkedin posts with bullet points and emojis. No, I'm not scared of AI. I'm fully embracing it and loving it.

✍🏻 Quote:

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity."
- Amelia Earhart.

πŸŽ™οΈ Read and Write with Natasha


πŸŽ™οΈ Dr. Zaid Brifkani is an American physician of Iraqi-Kurdish descent. He specializes in dialysis and kidney transplantation with a lifelong passion for writing.

His debut novel, The Mountains We Carry, was released in November 2021. His latest book, Waters Under Baghdad, was published in October 2023.

Growing up in Iraq, Brifkani witnessed many traumatic experiences of war, migration, and political turmoil, which have highlighted his dedication to writing about the negative impact of wars and political struggles.

​In this episode, Dr. Zaid Brifkani:

  • Shares insights and lessons learned from his writing and publishing journey.
  • Discusses his thoughts on maintaining a balance between professional life and writing.
  • List tips on maintaining a highly productivity lifestyle.

🎧 You can listen to the full episode here.

πŸŽ₯ The YouTube experiment

video preview​

A few months ago, I chatted with Toby Dorr, a former prison librarian who made headlines in 2006 for assisting convicted murderer John Manard in a daring escape from the Lansing Correctional Facility in Kansas.

Toby, who faced legal consequences for her role in the escape, shares her side of the story, shedding light on the events that captivated the nation in her new memoir Living with Conviction: Unexpected Sisterhood, Healing, and Redemption in the Wake of Life-Altering Choices.​

Hear her firsthand account of the choices she made, the consequences she faced, and what life has been like since her involvement in this infamous prison break.

​Watch this episode on my YouTube channel, and please don't forget to subscribe (I'm trying hard to get monetized, so if you help me, I would appreciate it!)

✍🏻 Content creation

I have been extremely busy with client work (a good problem. to have) that I have not done much creative writing, but here is what I have for this week:

Connect with me

Do you need help with your digital media strategy? Are you looking for someone to write your newsletter? Are you trying to get published and looking for a book coach to guide you through the murky publishing world? Do you need a ghostwriter?

Let's chat!

πŸ“§ Email me at ​

πŸ’° πŸ™ If you want to support this newsletter, please leave your tip here.

Natasha Tynes

I'm a Jordanian-American author and journalist with over two decades of experience. I have been published in the Washington Post, Nature, Elle, Esquire, among others. I'm also the recipient of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award Literary Conference for my short story Ustaz Ali. I publish the weekly newsletter "The Writing Goldmine," in which I give tips on monetizing your writing and the content creation journey.

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