Sarah is off in Portugal researching and visiting family. I had my head down and fingers on keyboard and forgot I had promised to cover for her today. So…..since we are a bunch of writers, here’s a repost of a promo post from several months ago. Check it out and be sure to check out our Amazon author pages as well. Some of us have new books and short stories out since this post was originally done. And, if you like what you read, please consider leaving a review. They really do help. Thanks!
What’s a blog by a group of writers without the occasional promotional post?
Actually, this is the fifth Friday of the month and we suddenly realized no one was scheduled to blog today. This is what happens when you get a bunch of writers together, all of whom are fighting deadlines and real life. Cedar’s around here muttering about finals. Kilted Dave seems to think having a toddler and a babe in arms is enough reason to get out of an extra blog. Then there are little things like house hunting, jobs, deadlines. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
Tim Ryan can’t shake the feeling that he is different from other teens, and not in a good way. For one thing, he seems to have his own personal poltergeist that causes fires and sets him up to be arrested for shoplifting.
As a result Tim has been sent to live on a rundown farm on a remote island off the coast of Australia with his crazy grandmother, a woman who seems to talk to the local spirits, and who refuses to cushion Tim from facing his difficulties. To make matters worse, Tim is expected to milk cows, chase sheep, and hunt fish with a spear.
But he’s been exiled to an island alive with ancient magic—land magic that Tim can feel in his bones, and sea magic that runs in his blood. If Tim can face down the danger from drug runners, sea storms, and the deadly threat of a seal woman who wishes to steal him away for a lingering death in the land of Faery, he may be able to claim the mysterious changeling heritage that is his birthright, and take hold of a legacy of power beyond any he has ever imagined.
Honor from Ashes (Honor and Duty Book 3)
Sam Schall / Amanda S. Green
War isn’t civilized and never will be, not when there are those willing to do whatever is necessary to win. That is a lesson Col. Ashlyn Shaw learned the hard way. Now she and those under her command fight an enemy determined to destroy their home world. Worse, an enemy lurks in the shadows, manipulating friend and foe alike.
Can Ashlyn hold true to herself and the values of her beloved Corps in the face of betrayal and loss? Will honor rise from the ashes of false promises and broken faith? Ashlyn and the Devil Dogs are determined to see that it does, no matter what the cost.
Sword And Blood (Vampire Musketeer Book 1)
Sarah A. Hoyt
The France of the Musketeers has changed. Decades ago, someone opened a tomb in Eastern Europe, and from that tomb crawled an ancient horror, who in turn woke others of its kind.
Now Paris is beset by vampires, the countryside barren and abandoned. The Cardinal has become a vampire, the church is banned, the king too cowed to fight.
Until now, the three Musketeers, Athos, Porthos and Aramis have stood as a bulwark against the encroaching evil, their swords defending the innocent and helpless.
But last night, in a blood mass, Athos was turned into a Vampire. And a young vampire orphan has just arrived from Gascony: Monsieur D’Artagnan.
Things are about to get… complicated.
ConVent (The Vampire Con Series Book 1)
A vampire, a werewolf, an undercover angel and his succubus squeeze. Whoever picked this team to save the world wasn’t thinking of sending the very best. But then, since this particular threat to the universe and everything good is being staged in science fiction conventions, amid people in costume, misfits and creative geniuses, any convetional hero would have stood out. Now Jim, the vampire, and his unlikely sidekicks have to beat the clock to find out who’s sacrificing con goers before all hell breaks loose — literally.
ConVent is proof that Kate Paulk’s brain works in wonderfully mysterious ways. A sarcastic vampire, his werewolf best buddy, an undercover angel and his succubus squeeze. The “Save the world” department really messed it up this time.
Inktail & Friends: A Coloring Book
Inktail is a coloring book for all ages, with designs that encourage the user to add their own creativity to the existing art. There is also a section on learning to draw your own dragon.
The mantis cyborgs: insectlike, cruel, and determined to wipe humanity from the face of the galaxy.
The Fleet is humanity’s last chance: a multi-world, multi-national task force assembled to hold the line against the aliens’ overwhelming technology and firepower. Enter Harrison Barlow, who like so many young men of wars past, simply wants to serve his people and partake of the grand adventure of military life. Only, Harrison is not a hot pilot, nor a crack shot with a rifle. What good is a Chaplain’s Assistant in the interstellar battles which will decide the fate of all?
More than he thinks. Because while the mantis insectoids are determined to eliminate the human threat to mantis supremacy, they remember the errors of their past. Is there the slightest chance that humans might have value? Especially since humans seem to have the one thing the mantes explicitly do not: an innate ability to believe in what cannot be proven nor seen God. Captured and stranded behind enemy lines, Barlow must come to grips with the fact that he is not only bargaining for his own life, but the lives of everyone he knows and loves. And so he embarks upon an improbable gambit, determined to alter the course of the entire war.
Cascades (Wine of the Gods Book 24)
Three stories and some out takes.
A collection of magic potions cascades through the lives of a desperate divorcee, the wannabe God of Thieves, a family of poor country trash, and an up-and-coming young officer.
Sergeant John Manning was a simple Marine who liked spicy foods, big guns, and even bigger explosions- so long as those guns and explosions weren’t pointed in his direction.
When offered a well-paying job after being unceremoniously drummed out of his beloved Corps on a medical discharge, he jumped at the opportunity for good money and the prospects of a bright future. For the first time in recent memory, John had a chance at life.
Then his life turned into a horror movie.
The secret research station hidden on the moon of Titan was not just any government facility. It harbored dark secrets and frightening realities. The scientists here have not only studied more than just the local fauna, but have discovered something far more important. A discovery which would shock the very foundations of the universe. Something out of a nightmare.
The depths of Kraken Mare hid a horrifying truth, and the unwitting Marine stumbled right into it.
Baptism By Fire (Edge of Faith Book 1)
When a madman and a giant flaming thing attack James Lawrie’s Marine outpost, the medic and an explosively talented sergeant aren’t supposed to save the day. Life becomes no simpler when Petty Officer Lawrie returns home on leave to find federal agents investigating the disappearance of a young woman from his past. A young woman whose body turns up marked with eerily familiar symbols.
Stand Against The Storm (The Maxwell Saga Book 4)
When duty and honor collide…
An emergency recall to his ship short-circuits Senior Lieutenant Steve Maxwell’s plan to get rid of a long-standing personal burden. Instead, he finds himself dumped into a war zone on a peacekeeping mission hundreds of light years away. He doesn’t have enough people, equipment or information. Left in the dark, he has to rely on uncertain allies with their own agenda.
Even worse, it’s not the Fleet’s war, so he’s not allowed to shoot back – much less shoot first. Neither side is observing civilized rules of engagement. The bodies are piling up.
Steve’s been ordered not to act… but there are times when cold, hard reality trumps orders.
So I have a post request: how to write a review.
See, I’m good at word of mouth. I’m good at giving books away. But this Amazon review thing, I hate it, and I almost never do it. I also don’t read them: I find my books by stalking authors or by freebies. (If I get a book free and I like it, I’ll buy the rest of the author’s books, or at least get my library to.)
But you all keep talking about how important book reviews are.
(1) I [loved, hated, barely managed to stay awake] reading this book.
That’s the minimum. Elaborate as much as you want to, on why.
Characters, story, setting, twists, emotions evoked . . . No spoilers, please.
Or don’t. elaborate.
I’ve heard Amazon ups the visibility of books with over 50 reviews, People checking out a book will notice “4.5 stars from 300 reviews” even if they don’t read a single one. Much larger impact than “4.5 stars with 7 reviews.”
Sheer number of reviews is important.
I do a brief, no-spoilers synopsis of the book, what I liked, what I didn’t like (if anything), and if I thought the review book was like something else (“space opera in the style of Kris Rusch’s Retrieval Artist series” for example). For non-fiction I add where the book fits into the literature of the subject.
I, too, would like a post on writing reviews. I do know that I like my reviews to say why someone did not like the book, rather than simply state that they did not like the book. Other than that, I am pretty clueless. The suggestions above are useful, but I would like more detail. I know that reviews are important, although I had not realized Amazon gives priority to books with 50 reviews. I would like to do a good job reviewing books.
Seconded. I *hate* writing reviews.
Dial – A – Post feature activated… though, unsurprisingly, I’ll be mostly talking about pre-publication reviews, and aiming it at authors on Sunday.
For readers, your review is one reader’s opinion, telling other potential readers what you thought of the book. If you tell your friends about a restaurant, you’d likely say “The service was good, and the fried shrimp & catfish platter is both huge and really tasty! Loved it, will be back!” or “Really awesome food, service is slow. But food is worth it, especially the curry!” or “slow and hostile service, limp salad greens, hipster prices for sub-par food. Avoid!”
Well, same thing for books. Did you like it? What did you really like? What did you hate? Why? Would you recommend it?
Let’s go back to the Cindarella remakes from the blurb posts, so you know I’m not referencing a real book. I’ll call it… “Cindarella… In Spaaaaaace!”
The blurb was It’s just a temp job, right?
Stranded on Chimera5 among the indentured servants, Ella and her shipmates must cater to the increasingly bizarre demands of the galactic upper class, while seeking a new captain, contracts, and alien allies to find a way back to the stars!
My mock review as an enthusiastic reader would be “I’m a sucker for reimagined fairy tales, and this one was totally awesome. Instead of Cinderella waiting for her prince to come, here Ella has to kick but, scheme, and work for all her wishes to come true! The alien thief was a hilarious “fairy godmother” whose gifts got her into as much trouble as they got her out of, and the entire aristocracy was as off the rails as France right before the revolution! By the time you get to negotiating contracts over a waltz, you’ll be falling out of your chair laughing, and the ending was perfect. Can’t wait for the author’s next one!”
…okay, maybe a few too many exclamation points. Put down the coffee, self…
Hope that helps!
Maybe it’s just me, but this SFWA guest columnist — https://www.sfwa.org/2016/07/guest-post-amazon/ — seems very compliant. Perhaps somebody at MGC has another approach.
Well, the problem is with paid reviews. Which I can see would complicate an attempt to honestly judge the quality of a book. And certainly your mother reviewing your book guarantees a bit of bias, but rather silly to object to it.
But free copies for professional reviewers? Meh. It’s going to cost more than a free book to seriously tempt a professional into a biased review. After all, they have to pay the rent too.
In any case, the question was more along the lines of “I need instructions to do this homework.” And the answer is, “It’s not graded. Even a brief one is good, but a specific why is nice. But it’s not homework, and there’s no grade. It’s just a nice ‘Thank you’ on top of having bought the book.”