How I really feel about BAD reviews!!!!!

I thought this said it all.

Susanne's Blog

When I get bad reviews, I just shrug them off. It’s part of being an author and everyone gets them, I say. Then I go into my room, lock the door and I go through several stages:

Stage one:

stage two

                                                                Stage three:

                                                                   Stage four;

Finally, stage five, writing again in the ‘I’ll show the bastards’-mode:

Thank goodness for the writing addiction.

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Circle of Deception by M. Skye

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Circle of Deception starts out with a bang. Literally. Megan Cardoza walks right into a plot to reunite her with her ex-love, Alex Hanover. Meeting her friends and siblings at a restaurant, she’s surprised when Alex shows up and sits down next to her. They haven’t seen each other in a long time but, when Megan goes to the ladies’ room, Alex follows her and, the next thing you know, they’re having hot sex against the bathroom wall. 

Though they’d never stopped loving each other, Megan and Alex had pursued different paths, with Alex moving away. Now that Alex has moved back into town, they find themselves falling straight back into their old relationship. Everyone seems happy about the news except for Alex’s dad. The reader doesn’t really find out what Alex’s dad has against Megan, until later in the book but he does everything within his power to try and break the couple up again. 

Sometimes funny, sometimes sexy, sometimes mysterious, Circle of Deception will definitely keep your interest until the last page. The cast of characters, themselves, make this book one worth reading.

Click on picture for Amazon.com link

Why Self-Marketing is Actually the Worst

Original post by Jacqueline Smith Why Self-Marketing is Actually the Worst.

As independent artists, musicians, and authors, it is up to us to spread the word about our work, our music, and our books. On top of that, we have to do so in a way that actually makes people want to invest in our products. Let me tell you right now, it is a huge pain. I’m a writer. I like to write. I’m a terrible salesperson. Yeah, I can recommend things to people, but for the most part, I like to let people choose what they want to buy on their own.
I’ve been published for about a year now, and I still think that self-marketing is awful. That’s not to say I don’t like talking about my books. I do! They’re one of my favorite things to talk about, along with dolphins, Harry Potter, and Scotland. I’m so proud of my books and I really think they’re awesome. But let’s be honest. Every author thinks his or her books are awesome. You’re never going to meet an author marketing his or her book by saying, “Yeah, I wrote it. It’s okay, I guess. It’s nothing great.” No! Every author is going to say, “This book is awesome!” And that’s good. Authors should be excited about their work.
Unfortunately, however, we authors tend to be very biased. An author is not going to think his or her work is anything but the best. And readers sometimes need more than an author’s word to convince them for that very reason. That’s why reviews and readers who enjoy your work are so important.
Personally, I’m not very good at playing the, “Are you ready for the next hot paranormal read? Check out Cemetery Tours by ME!” role. I feel like I sound like some sort of info-bot whenever I try. I’m a positive and overall happy person, but I’m also very blunt and to the point and I have an incredibly dry sense of humor. It’s so dry that I have friends who can’t tell when I’m joking. It’s not my style to treat my books like they’re something that needs to be hyped up.
Another reason self-marketing is the worst is that I always feel like I’m begging when I say things like, “Hey! Go buy my book, and if you like it, write a review! Please? I need reviews! It won’t take you very long! You have no idea how important this is to me.” Somehow, it feels like that translates to “PLEASE BUY MY BOOK SO I CAN EAT. I’M DESPERATE.”
Which, let’s be honest, in my case, it does.
The charade of confidence in self-marketing is an important one. But sometimes, I just really get sick of it. That’s not to say I’m not confident. I have the utmost confidence in my books. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have published them in the first place. My very first manuscript remains unpublished to this day because I know it’s bad and needs a LOT of revision. But Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds are good. That’s why they’re out there.
It’s also important, with self-marketing, to remember there is a fine line between good, honest self-promotion and HERE LET ME CRAM MY BOOK DOWN YOUR THROAT UNTIL YOU READ IT. Let me tell you it is hard to tread that line. As authors, we want to talk about our books and get people to read them. Furthermore, we want people to buy them so we can make some money! Maybe I’m supposed to say, “It’s all for the craft and I’d write for free,” which is true. I would totally write for the rest of my life no matter what. But come on. We all want to get paid for our work, and it’s not wrong to say so.
Here’s the deal. I want people to read my books and enjoy them. I want to keep writing. I finished chapter 6 of my new YA book last night. I’m also in the midst of writing CT3. I’m going to keep writing no matter what. And I will self-promote as much as I have to. I love my work, and I hope this post doesn’t sound like I’m complaining. I know the path I’ve chosen and self-marketing is just part of it. I love my path. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
On that note, go buy my books.

 

 

Sugar Baby Lies by C.S. Janey

I don’t usually give the shorter stories five stars but C.S. Janey (now writing as Violet Haze) packed a lot of punch into a smaller package with, ‘Sugar Baby Lies’. It’s a stand-alone that I read in one day. I’ve read many books where the wealthy man hires a woman to ‘take care of his needs’ without any entanglements but, to me, this one stands out. 

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The heroine, Lucy, isn’t a virgin but she may as well be. Getting pregnant while losing her virginity, she devoted herself to taking care of her baby daughter and later, her mom, by herself. She hasn’t had time to date, let alone have sex. Desperately trying to make ends meet, she’s intrigued when told about a possible way to earn a better living as a Sugar Baby, a woman who’s hired by a man to be his ‘date’ at different events without being involved. She decides to check into it and is hired by a wealthy surgeon who has no interest in being romantically involved with anyone, ever. 

Dr. Bradley Blackwell is handsome and generous, and, though it’s not required, he and Lucy soon move on to a sexual relationship. Lucy tries to keep her feelings neutral but ends up breaking one of Bradley’s most important rules, she falls in love with him. She doesn’t let on that her feelings are involved but suddenly, Bradley changes everything. Lucy doesn’t know what’s going on but gets the surprise of her life when Bradley proposes.


Their marriage is one of caring and companionship, but love isn’t mentioned. Lucy thinks she can be happy with what she has but discovers that a loveless marriage isn’t what she wants. Bradley can’t admit to love after having his heart destroyed by his first wife. With Lucy’s help, he works to repair his heart and let it love again.

A sweet and spicy, little story with great characters and a terrific ending.

Happy Reading!

Goodreads

 

Captivate (Book one of the Submerged Sun Series) by Vanessa Garden

Oh wow! I really loved this book! So original and consuming! It just grabbed me from the beginning and I couldn’t put it down. I finished it in one sitting. 

At first, I thought it was going to be a mermaid/merman story but the whole, city-under-the-sea thing was really cool, and I loved the possible-submerged-space-ship angle. The descriptions of the city were perfect, not overdone but just enough to let your imagination take over, and the crystals were a very unique touch.

I felt I could really connect with the characters and understand why they were feeling the way they were. Miranda seemed to feel and do, what I would expect someone to do in her place. I loved Robbie from the beginning, although he was the one to steal Miranda away from her family. He seemed to be a good person who felt split by loyalty and what was right. I really didn’t like Marko, at all, and, when he began to redeem himself somewhat, I resisted liking him. He did grow on me, eventually, although I hated his punishment of Robbie. His decision was explained very well, and he showed obvious remorse for what he had to do, but I was still mad at him. I was also a bit conflicted about the outcome of the ‘love triangle’ (I won’t elaborate so as not to spoil the outcome for others). I wasn’t quite sure who I wanted Miranda to end up with and I swayed back and forth on my feelings for both guys. To me, this is a sign of a good book. When the reader is so drawn into the story that their feelings are involved, I think the author has definitely done their job.
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Even though the ending was a bit of a cliff-hanger, I was satisfied with it and am really looking forward to reading the next book.

Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine

Close since they were young children, Levi and Sarah have spent the last year trying to just get by, day to day, alone. A year has passed since their lives were shattered, and their loneliness and sadness has kept them from really living. Their circumstances could’ve been so easily remedied if they’d only talked to each other. Unfortunately, they both blamed themselves for what drove them apart and were unable to get past their grief and guilt. Until they’re, unknowingly, finally forced together again, one of them was never able to face the other, and the other, felt abandoned and discarded.

Best Kind of Broken

There were times during ‘Best Kind of Broken’ where my heart actually ached for the two main characters. They’ve suffered a terrible loss and, because of their imagined fault, have suffered alone. You can’t help but want to hug them and tell them everything’ll be alright. It’s terrible how we beat ourselves up over something uncontrollable that’s happened.

“If I’d only done this…”

“If only I hadn’t done that…”

The ‘what-ifs’ can drive a person crazy, literally. These two dance around each other, and their feelings, until you want to yell at them to talk it out, already. When they finally do, you’ll sigh with relief and rub the aching spot over your heart. There’s still a lot of pain but they realize they haven’t been alone after-all. The people around them have been there for them all along.

I do have to admit that Levi’s parents were a little much for me. Without spoiling the plot, I did feel that they reacted a little unrealistically for their past personalities but who knows how I would feel if their situation happened to me. Their part of the ending was kind of easily ‘wrapped up’, too but once their eyes were opened to how they acted, their perspectives changed and they realized that their actions were not fair to their son, or to each other. Parents are not automatically wonderful, as we see in the news every day, and people react in different ways, so this is just my opinion. All-in-all, this was a wonderful read and I’m happy that there are more books to follow.

A good-sized cast of terrific characters, plenty of heartache and angst, and a sweet, happy ending, make this a typical, Chelsea Fine, must-read.

I received a copy of ‘Best Kind of Broken’ from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.