Writer Wednesday – Kate Hill

I am pleased to welcome author Kate Hill to my blog to talk about her latest release, St. Augustine’s Silhouettes.

staugustinessilhouetteskatehillIn St. Augustine’s Silhouettes the hero has a murky past and he’s not concerned with being accepted. In a world that fears those who are proud to be different, Alister St. Augustine is the first suspect in a series of murders that have taken place in a small town. People who aren’t afraid to stand out in the crowd are often mistrusted, excluded and even mistreated by others while those who blend are easily accepted, even if their motives aren’t pure.

Katherine is also an outcast in town for similar reasons. She’s drawn to Alister. Despite warnings from the townsfolk, she trusts him and appreciates his uniqueness and courage.

 

What draws you to a romance hero? Do you tend to mistrust those who don’t follow the crowd or do they stir your interest?

St. Augustine’s Silhouettes

by Kate Hill

A killer runs loose in a small American town. When free-spirited Katherine allies herself with a man dubbed Satan by the townsfolk, has she found the man of her dreams or has she fallen into the hands of a murderer?

Excerpt:

At the sound of rustling in the trees, she spun, squinting in the dimness. A cloaked figure crouched in the shadows of wild shrubs. Stifling a scream, she threw her skirts over her arm and raced toward the town square. Terrified of stopping, she didn’t pause to glance over her shoulder, though she heard heavy footsteps and the rasp of another’s breath close behind her. Hoof beats sounded in the distance. Katherine imagined the killer’s accomplice galloping toward her on a dark, fiery-eyed steed, ready to carry her body deep into the woods. She tried to leap across a narrow brook, but her boot slipped on the wet rocks. Screaming, she crashed into the muddy water, fully expecting her stalker to fall upon her.

The horse shrieked and its cloaked rider leapt off its back before it came to a complete stop. Hands covered in black gloves reached for her. She slashed at them with the scissors. Her attacker caught her wrist before the scissors struck home. The hood fell from dark hair streaked auburn in the moonlight. Dark eyes flashed at her from beneath arched brows. Katherine gasped. Alister St. Augustine’s fine lips narrowed into a grim line. His face looked ghostly against the darkness of his cloak.

“Be still,” he ordered, squeezing her wrist in his steely grip until she dropped the scissors. “Who was chasing you?”

“I don’t know. You just lost my best cutting shears in the bottom of this brook!”

“Sorry, but I don’t take kindly to nearly being stabbed.”

“If you didn’t frighten a helpless woman walking alone on a dark night, then you’d be in no danger of that.”

“I would hardly call you helpless.” He stood and offered her his hand.

After a brief hesitation, she took it and he tugged her to her feet, then released her.

He continued, “As for being out after dark, you shouldn’t be, at least not until the killer is caught. Aren’t you the dress shop girl?”

“Katherine Sinclair,” she said. Standing this close to him was almost as unsettling as being chased. She’d only seen him through his shop window. Up close he was even more handsome than she’d realized. Despite his good looks, she sensed he could be as dangerous as the man who had stalked her.

With feline grace, he mounted his charcoal gray gelding and extended his hand to her, palm up. “Are you coming, Miss Sinclair?”

She stared at him, stunned at the suggestion that she should share a horse with the man dubbed Satan by the entire town.

http://www.kate-hill.com/staugustinessilhouettes.html

About Kate

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels. When she’s not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out and spending time with her family and pets. She also writes as Saloni Quinby. Visit her online at http://www.kate-hill.com.

Free Flick Friday – Scents and Sensuality by Joan Reeves

Despite my best efforts, I didn’t get another blog done this week, but here I am for the second week in a row with Free Flick Friday. I’m hoping to continue to share book trailer love, so here is another. Welcome Joan Reeves and her book Scents and Sensuality.

SCENTS and SENSUALITY

 Amanda Whitfield is desperate for a man. She’ll do anything — well, almost anything — to get a date for her snooty cousin’s wedding. When a matchmaking mama proposes her son for the wedding date, Amanda agrees. After all, what choice does she have? Men aren’t exactly falling at her feet and beseeching her for the pleasure of her company.

Harrison Kincaid has had it with his mom’s matchmaking. Desperate to put an end to her meddling, he decides to teach her a lesson as well as get out of the date she’s “guilted” him into accepting.

Two desperate people, each determined to achieve their goals. Desperation makes for interesting bedfellows. Lies, seduction, and hot passion. Is it Love or just Lust? Will the truth set them free or rip them apart?

Amazon Link: www.amzn.com/B00BTIDUHW/

Now, without further adieu, here’s the promised trailer:

I love it!  It really shows the potential conflict between these two characters.  Sexy!!

Since Joan has a wealth of experience with videos, she took some time out of her busy day to give us some tips. Take it away Joan:

 

5 Quick Video Tips

Thanks, Lily, for having me here today. Here are 5 Quick Video Tips that will make it easier to create a video whether that’s one of your vacation or a business video or a book trailer.

1. Select your theme, or premise, or message you want the video to put across. Write it down so you keep your focus on the message you’re trying to convey. For a book, this might be a logline or a couple of sentences that sum up what the book is about. For a vacation, this might be the scope of the vacation–start to finish or the 1 week spent at a resort.

2. Select your art work. If you’re working with photographs, lay them out before you scan them. If art is in your computer, sketch a storyboard with squares to represent the art work and tag each rectangle, i.e., Bryan building sand castle or first kiss scene. Use a square for each photo you want to include so you can estimate the size of the video.

3. Match text, i.e., a caption, for each photo or a text block inserted between photographs. (You’ll see what I mean if you watch my videos.)

4. Music sets the tone. Hollywood has sound editors, and so do videos–you. Select the music you want playing in the background. If it’s a book trailer for a dark vampire romance, then you want moody, dramatic music. If it’s a romantic comedy, you want something lighthearted that invites the listener to smile. If it’s urban young adult, then you want something that makes one think of urban young adult, not a twangy country music soundtrack.

5. Time is crucially important. In a video for commercial purposes, like a book trailer or a product showcase, short is not better, but best. Try to make your video between 30-60 seconds long. If the video is personal, then time isn’t really a problem. It can be as long as you want IF it’s entertaining and holds the audience’s attention.

Let me know if these tips help you. I can be found online at my blog: http://SlingWords.blogspot.com / my website: http://www.JoanReeves.com / Twitter @JoanReeves / and my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/JoanReevesAuthor. Watch my other videos http://preview.tinyurl.com/Joan-Reeves-Video. I’ll be publishing new videos every month, including writing instruction and humor pieces aimed at authors, so SUBSCRIBE so you won’t miss any of them.

Leave a comment with your email on my post here and tell me which of my videos you like best, and you’ll be entered to win a 60 second video created and produced by Joan Reeves Productions! Contest open until May 8. Winner will be emailed directly and announced here in the comments on my blog post.


 

Wow, Joan is being really generous. So that your email isn’t spammed like crazy by those Internet bots we all hate, you don’t have to put your email in the actual comment, but include it when you submit the comment and I will be able to see it in the background and forward it to Joan. Good luck!  Also go check out Joan’s website and blog. She has some great tips.

If you haven’t seen the book trailer for No Strings Attached, you can find it here…  If you’re a romance writer interested in visiting my blog or you have a book trailer to share for Free Flick Friday, let me know here.

Writer Wednesday – Meet Cynthia Woolf

Today I’d like you to meet a writer that I’ve discovered recently. Her name is Cynthia Woolf, and I just finished her scifi romance published under the pen name CA Woolf, entitled Centauri Dawn (Centauri Series). I thought I would introduce her to all of you, and let her talk about how she manages to write in two genres – western romance and scifi romance. Cynthia, take it away.

Author Cynthia WoolfWriting in Two Genres and Other Ramblings

My books are historical western romance and scifi romance. Two very different genres. Or are they?

When you think of western, what do you think of? Cowboys. Settler crossing the prairie in covered wagons. Saloons. Showdowns in the street. Cattle drives. You get the idea. These are the images we have from our modern media. TV, films and even books. Essentially brave people settling an untamed land

When you think of scifi what do you think of?   Space pilots. Space ships. Ray guns and phasers. Our media images are Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica and in my case, Firefly. I love that show. Anyway what you have, essentially is brave people settling untamed space and planets.

Not so very different are they?

I started writing westerns first. My first book, TAME A WILD HEART, was written because I fell in love with the story of how my parents met on a ranch in Southern Colorado. Mom was from Texas and up there as a nursemaid (nanny) to a young boy with asthma. Dad was a cowboy who worked on the ranch.

I found the idea of ranch life fascinating and decided to write a story about it. That’s all I had to begin with. Just an idea. Now I’m not a plotter. I’ve tried and tried to plot my books. I’ve tried using GMC, the hero’s journey, the W plot. You name it I’ve tried it. The problem is when I get the book plotted, I don’t want to write it anymore. To me it’s already been written. Now it’s just fill in the blanks. As a pantser (a non plotter) the book unfolds before me much as it does you when you read it. It’s a surprise.

Redeemed by a RebelMy current western, REDEEMED BY A REBEL, is the first in the Destiny in Deadwood series. The books are about the Black Hills Gold Rush in 1876-1877. My hero is on the run from the law and he and his brothers come to Deadwood, where there is no law. There they each meet their destiny.

The second book I wrote was CENTAURI DAWN. It came about because of a dream I had when I was fifteen. My mother and I were going through a rough patch. My dad died when I was five and Mom was both mother and father to me. It was tough on her, but as a selfish kid I didn’t think about that.

But I digress. We were having a difficult time as most teenagers have with their parents. During the time, I had a dream. I was a princess from Alpha Centauri. I’d been sent to Earth as a baby in order to save my life. Bad men wanted to kill me. But now it was time to go home and they’d come for me.

That was the premise of my second book. This one had a space captain not a cowboy flying to the rescue of the princess not a ranch owner.

I guess what I’m trying to show is that these two genres are not so very different. A different place and different time but still the same story. Battlestar Gallactica is just a retelling of the old TV show Wagon Train. Star Trek is the old show Gunsmoke, where the sheriff (Matt Dillon or Captain Kirk) attempts to keep the peace in their town or universe.

What it comes down to is write what you love whether western or scifi or romantic suspense or romantic comedy or thrillers. Whatever it is, they all have some elements that are the same if they are romance and all of mine are. They must have a happy ending. The guy in the white hat (good guy) always wins. The hero always gets the girl. Always.

Amazon Buy Links to the first book in each of my series:

REDEEMED BY A REBEL – http://amzn.com/B00I1GZAU0

CAPITAL BRIDE – http://amzn.com/B00AM3CNQ4

TAME A WILD HEART – http://amzn.to/vu62X7

CENTAURI DAWN – http://amzn.to/uDMkCY

THE SWORDS OF GREGARA – JENALA – http://amzn.to/JFXEQv

WEBSITE – www.cynthiawoolf.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/CynthiaWoolf

Twitter – @CynthiaWoolf

 

Here’s an excerpt of Redeemed by a Rebel:

CHAPTER 1

August 1876

He’d been dead. Deader than a doornail in a rotted-out door. Becky Finnegan remembered finding Horace Sutter splayed across the rocks like the annual sacrifice to some unknown god. Heck, that wasn’t something she was likely to ever forget. She’d had to leave him to collect her no good, drunkard father, Billy, from The Gem where he spent all the gold she worked her butt off to get.

She’d lied to Billy once again, only given him part of their gold. If she gave him all of it, like he wanted, nothing would be left to buy food or the pans and other equipment she needed to work their claim. And then there’d be no gold for him to go drown his sorrows. Sorrows that were her fault, according to him, since Becky killed her Ma by getting born. And then he’d beat her and she wouldn’t be able to work so there’d be no gold and the cycle would start again. Better to lie to him.

Resigned, she grabbed the mule’s bridle. Buster snorted at the small jerk she gave the gear as she started walking downstream along the narrow path that followed the creek. She’d made this path, going back and forth to their claim on a daily basis. After collecting Billy from The Gem, after he’d spent another night drowning his sorrows. Better there than at their campsite where he’d just complain and then beat her for the hell of it.

She and her father, Billy, originally came from the coal mines of West Virginia. Some said they were rebels because West Virginia was in the south during the War of Northern Aggression. But that was so long ago and there’d been many, many stops along the way. Becky barely remembered the place anymore. She supposed the only reason she didn’t forget it altogether was because she’d lived there with Grandma Bess. Those were the memories she liked to remember. Grandma Bess was so good to her, but then she had to go and die. Then there was just Billy and new place after new place

Every time she hoped this might be the spot, the one where they could put down roots. But it never was. Billy leached the goodwill from the townsfolk until there was none left and they had to move on.

She’d gotten lucky with her education. One of the ladies she worked for took pity on her and taught her to read, write and speak so she was able to get better jobs as time went on. But not good enough to keep Billy supplied which was why she spent all day in the cold river panning for whatever gold, flake or nugget, she could find.

She went into The Gem and saw Billy, face down on one of the tables next to the door.

“Hi, just came to get Billy,” she said to the man behind the bar.

“Ah, if it isn’t Miss Finnegan. Where are your bruises Becky? Guess Billy’s been keeping his fists to himself lately.” Al Swearengen, owner of The Gem and procurer of flesh, said from in front of his second floor office.

“No thanks to you and all the whiskey he downs here,” she said. There was a running dialogue that she had with Al, every time she picked up Billy.

“Thanks for that. I love the gold Billy spends here every night. He almost single-handedly keeps me in business.”

She rolled her eyes and looked over at Billy, wondering if she really could be related to the reprobate. She’d get the barkeep to load him on the mule and then, when they got back to camp, she’d untie him and let him slip to the ground. She used to try holding him up, to slow his fall, but too many times, she’d ended up trapped beneath him until she could shove his heavy body off her. Totally ignorant of the whole situation, he blissfully slept off the effects of his alcohol fueled stupor.

There’d been just as many times she left him at The Gem and let them deal with his sorry ass..

Dan, the barkeep said, “you get your father and get out. I keep telling you, this ain’t no place for a girl like you to be seen.”

“Oh, I don’t know, Dan,” said Al looking dapper in his black three piece pinstriped suit. He wore no tie and his shirt was open at the collar. Becky craned her neck to look upward at him. “We could give her a job that’s a lot easier than working that claim. Wouldn’t you like that Becky? No more standing in the cold river. You’d be flat on your back, but you’d be warm.”

He leaned on the hand rail of the second floor walkway. The small porch like structure went along the whole back of the building, all of the doors to the whores rooms were off of it and visible from the bar where the barkeep could keep track of the comings and goings of the men from the rooms.

“Not today, Mr. Swearengen, but I’ll be sure and keep your offer in mind.” She hoped the sarcasm came through in her voice.

Swearengen laughed. A great rumble from deep in his chest. “You do that. Help her load Billy on to her mule,” he said to the barkeep then he turned away and went back into his office. “See you tomorrow, Becky,” he called over his shoulder.

She nodded, then looked at the fancy women lounging around the room in varying states of undress and silently agreed with Dan. She should get out. She didn’t understand how they could do what they did. She’d rather work day and night in the creek than let any man with a dollar in his pocket touch her in that way.

 A little bit more about Cynthia:

Cynthia Woolf is the author of six historical western romance books and one short story with more books on the way. She was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.

Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.

Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similiarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she’s made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

TITLES AVAILABLE:

REDEEMED BY A REBEL, TAME A WILD HEART, TAME A WILD WIND, TAME A WILD BRIDE, TAME A SUMMER HEART, CAPITAL BRIDE, HEIRESS BRIDE, FIERY BRIDE, LOVE AND MISERY, a very short story


I hope you enjoyed this little chat with Cynthia. I know I did. In the next few months I’ll be buying more of her books. She has a natural, clean style, and her books are well-edited. I fell in love with the men of Centauri (ssshh don’t tell my husband). I could picture the space ship and all of the wonderful technology she described, but she didn’t paint with a heavy hand. The story blazed along and kept me guessing.

So, phasers or six-shooters up — give Cynthia Woolf (and CA Woolf) a try.

And remember if you’re looking for a sample of my work, head over to No Strings Attached.

Are you an American Goddess?

Are you an American Goddess?

Today on my blog I’m featuring Gary R. Henry, author of American Goddesses. I have been twitter-friends with Gary, who tweets by @LAmerican Goddesses by Gary R. HenryiteraryGary, for several months. I read his book, American Goddesses, and was hooked. I think if you give it a chance, you will like it too. Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

When two small-town women find themselves with nearly unlimited powers of mind and body, their lives get complicated. Things turn nasty as a shadowy organization attempts to use Megan and Trish for their own evil ends, and destroy them, their town and the USA in the process.

Here’s my review, 5/5 stars: When I first saw this book, I didn’t have a lot of interest for the superhero theme, but this book is so much more than “Can (insert name of superhero) save the earth from death and destruction?” What would your life be like if you gained unlimited powers? Would you still have a job, working with people who you worked with before you were indestructible? How would they feel about your bizarre powers? Would you still be married? How would your relationships change? These are all deep questions that none of the superhero movies delve into, especially where the superheros are women. Gary Henry attacks these issues and questions with gusto. I loved seeing the characters grow and become more fully human, even as they had all of these fantastic powers. Well done!

GaryGary, tell me a little bit about yourself.

I love stories – Seeing, hearing, reading, telling them. In my trail-running club, the Lawrence Trail Hawks, we’re each given a special “hawk name” when we join. You can’t name yourself. The name must be bestowed by others. They called me “Story Hawk.”

This story is different. How did you stumble across this idea?

I’ve always worshiped women. You are like water. Strong and life-sustaining.  There’s nothing sweeter when you’re thirsty. Yet water  — and women — can also grow angry and violent, and when they do – watch out. AMERICAN GODDESSESS is my love-letter to women. You’ve always seemed mysterious, magical and a little intimidating to me.

Sometimes when you create something different, it’s hard to find a classification for it. Currently, this book is listed under action and adventure, but it also has some romance. Who do you think would like this book?

I originally thought superhero fanboys would be the audience. Surprisingly, at least to me, many middle-aged women have reacted positively to AMERICAN GODDESSES. But I hope anyone who liked a good story will enjoy the tale.

I struggle sometimes when I get inside the head of my male characters. You’re facing the reverse problem, being a man writing from the POV of women characters. How do you get inside your female characters heads?

I read romances authored by women. NO STRINGS ATTACHED by  Lily Bishop is on my list, as a matter of fact. I also ask women almost exclusively to beta read for me.

Romances I’ve read – and enjoyed – include THE MERRY GO-ROUND by Donna Fasano and SUMMER WINDS by Wanda P. Smith. Also, THE GOOD DR. GRANT by Karen Einsel, TWIXT by Diane J. Reed and THE SELKIE SPELL by Sophie Moss.

I also try to pay close attention during my interactions with women, including my spouse Karen.

Are you thinking about a follow-up? How far along are you?

I’m a touch beyond halfway on the sequel ROGUE GODDESSES. For a preview, visit my book review website Honest Indie Book Reviews at http://honestindiebookreviews.wordpress.com/rogue-goddesses-preview/

Lily, I hope you will allow me to add how honored I am to be asked on to “Don’t Call Me Sugar.” I love that title.  Happy New Year, my dear friend and fellow author. Go Tigers, and see you in the Orange Bowl!

Give me the buy links so I can include them, and a link to whatever else you want to share.

AMERICAN GODDESSES at Amazon – American Goddesses

AMERICAN GODDESSES at Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/168834

Gary, thank you for stopping by, and best of luck in the new year. Now get to work on that sequel, darn it!!! Gary can be found on twitter (@LiteraryGary) and blogs over at http://honestindiebookreviews.wordpress.com/

If the book sounds good to you, check it out and tell your friends. If you don’t want to miss any of my future book recommendations, follow this blog.

 

 

 

 

Welcome Jan Romes, Romance Author

I am pleased to welcome Jan Romes to my blog this morning. It seems like every time I open Twitter she’s releasing a new book. I was determined to find out how she does it.

Jan RomesHow is it that you have released so many titles this year and last year? Do you work on multiple stories at a time?

Lily, while it seems like I’ve had a lot of books published all at once, they were actually written over a period of time. My first book came out in 2011. I had six in 2012 (one of those was an anthology with two other authors). And so far, one in 2013. Stories have germinated in my mind forever and I finally have the time to put them down on paper (well, on the computer). My life seems to revolve around writing these days. It’s a joy and blessing that I’ll always be grateful for.

I don’t write multiple stories at a time. I know there are authors capable of writing two stories at once; I’m not one of them. I have a folder with a ton of story ideas that I find myself wanting to get busy on. When I have those restless days, I have to remind myself to finish the story I’m working on. I think I have a tiny bit of OCD too and it won’t allow me to focus on more than one book at a time.

You’ve had three books published with The Wild Rose Press, one with Champagne Books, four independently, and even published two short stories in a magazine. Do you have any thoughts to share about the publishing process or industry?

I have a lot to share, but keep in mind, I’m no expert. First of all, once you’ve written your story, have faith in your work and go for it. Don’t be afraid to contact publishers and agents. Chances are you will receive some rejections. Don’t be disheartened; even some well-known authors received multiple rejections before they were accepted. (Google ‘best known authors who received rejections’ you will be amazed – and if you receive rejections, knowing it took others awhile will help you keep things in perspective) The wheels of publishing turn slowly.

Also, whether you are traditionally published or independently published, a lot of your exposure as an author will depend on you. Your publisher will get your name out there but it will be up to you to keep it there via blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.

You will meet some incredible people along the way. I’ve made some great friends, both authors and fans alike and I’ve discovered that they have just as much to offer you as you have to offer them.

Regarding the mechanics of publishing (if you publish independently), you will need to have your books properly formatted for each venue that you plan to upload to. (Each venue has certain requirements – check their sites for details) As far as cover art, you can use your own or there are many creative folks who are willing to help. Don’t forget editing, that’s a biggie. Comb over your work with an eagle eye and then have someone else do it too. A fresh set of eyes will pick up on things you may have missed. We are so close to our work that we inadvertently skim over things because we’ve seen that same line or paragraph a hundred times. Finally, when your work is uploaded and ready for sale, shout it from the rooftops!!

Do you have any new books forthcoming?

Happy to say, yes I do! Mr. August is currently with The Wild Rose Press. I’ve been through two rounds of edits so far. I’ve not been given a release date, but I’m sure it will be in the near distant future.

I also am seventy pages into my WIP (work-in-progress). I know everything that I will put my hero and heroine through. Their story is going slow at the moment as I enjoy all that comes with summer.

I live in South Carolina, so I loved the fact that Stay Close, Novac! was set in Myrtle Beach. Tell us a little about the story.

Book Cover Stay Close, Novac!Jessi Novac leads the quiet life of a romance author until someone leaves a series of explicit notes under her windshield wipers and heavy breathing on her answering machine.

Until NYPD can track down the culprit who’s trying to scare the bejesus out of her, Jessi hides out at her grandmother’s beach house in Myrtle Beach where she hopes to get her bearings. Instead, her life takes an even bigger tilt toward crazy when she meets her clumsy neighbor. She’s suspicious of Ian Alexander, and attracted to him at the same time. Their relationship becomes a calamity of errors until strange things start happening at the beach house. Jessi clings to Ian for protection, but she soon discovers her heart may be in more danger than her life.

I have read One Small Fib, Three Days With Molly, and Stay Close, Novak!, and you are definitely one of my authors that I look for. I also just downloaded Stella in Stilettos, and can’t wait to start it. Thank you for stopping by my blog.

Thanks for having me, Lily. I appreciate the opportunity to talk about something I’m so passionate about!

Below are links that you can use to find Jan:

Contact information:

Website – www.authorjanromes.com

Blog – www.jantheromancewriter.blogspot.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jan.romes.5

Twitter – @janromes

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5240156.Jan_Romes

 

 

Identity Crisis: Book Reviews

Image

Who Am I? Who am I posting as? I’m creating a web identity for Lily, my pen name extraordinaire, and I’ve gotten a few twitter followers, and occasionally some fabulous bloggers will pop over here and give me a comment.

I have a personal twitter account, where I follow some celebrities and occasionally tweet with friends, and I have Lily’s account, who talks about writing and general things that amuse me. Lily is more popular.  (@Lilybishop)

On Amazon, I have my basic account where I exist as my real name. I have written maybe two or three reviews in a decade.

However, in pondering how I can give back to the indie authors who have rocked my world lately, I’ve been wanting to write some reviews.  I have three questions that I would LOVE feedback on.

Dilemma 1: Who do I review them as?

Do I review them as Lily, or me? I looked around and Amazon has alias’s. How does that work with a later pen name if I publish through Amazon Kindle Direct?

Dilemma 2: What do you do about legitimate concerns you have about a book?

Now I’m not planning to trash anyone. This isn’t about negativity at all. In fact, the only negative review that I’ve ever written was against a national NYT best-seller that aggravated me beyond measure. I can guarantee you, it didn’t hurt her sales a bit.(Think Historian)

In general, my only complaint against indie authors has been one who skimped on the proof-reading, and another that wrote out of genre.  (I expect a happy ever after (HEA) in romance and I didn’t get it. In fact, the heroine killed the “hero” in the last chapter. Boo!!! I guess he was an anti-hero, but the author implied all along that he wasn’t the bad man everyone thought, and that he had changed. NOT!)

So, for those books that you just don’t get, for whatever reason, do you review them at all or leave them alone? How can you warn readers that they won’t get a HEA without spoiling it? I don’t want to be bitchy, but this particular author really needs to re-bill herself as straight suspense, not romantic-suspense.

Should I focus on spreading love for the indie books that I believe truly deserve to get additional attention, and ignore the ones that I just didn’t quite get?

Again, I want to be clear that I’m not talking about “competitive reviews” that I’ve read about lately, where someone is trying to bring another author down. That’s not it at all.

Dilemma 3: What Scale do you Use?

I’ve always approached it as a “5” would be hard to earn. But what if 5 means it’s a book you enjoyed, and you would read more by this author. It doesn’t exactly have to be the BEST BOOK EVER, right?

I’m aiming for escapism in what I read and write these days. I don’t expect someone to tell me that my book changed their life. I just want to give them a fun little afternoon.

5 – Great story, great characters

4 – Enjoyed it – had some concerns

3 – Probably won’t remember it but no issues

2 – Serious issues (plot, excessive typos, characters not believable)

Yes, I over-analyze things. I should probably just head on over to the great river and give a shout-out to some of my recent favorites. But if I’m going to do it, I want to do it right, and I want to be fair.

I would LOVE some opinions here!  Thanks in advance for sharing.