Tag Archives: Netgalley

Back to normal ( I hope!)

I’ve been radio – or in this case, computer – silent for a few days as I try to get my life back to normal after my week away. Seven whole days to be gone from home is a long, long-ass time. In addition to all the day-to-day stuff I had to catch up on (grocery shopping so we wouldn’t starve, doing piles of laundry so we’ll be clothed and not naked in society, paying bills so our electricity and internet won’t go out) I also had to get my writing back on track.

Deadlines to honor. Editors to appease.  Words to put on the page.

I wrote a little in my WIP while in Atlanta, but I mostly just penned my daily blog and did some LIVE videos on facebook in between workshops and networking and traveling. Check out the videos portion of my Facebook page to see what you missed.

But now it’s back to work. Literally. I need to get two books finished by the end of July when I head off to Orlando for RWA 2017 and hopefully have both ready to be presented to my editor. Plus I’m writing a new wedding series and trying to eek a little room in for that on most days. And it wouldn’t kill me to get back on track with getting Planet Fitness every day again. My butt is starting to get chair-spread again. Oh, and I knowknowknow I’ll be getting two books back any day from two editors for final and galley edits.

And please, I don’t want to think about all the books I’ve got to review for Netgalley and Goodreads.

Does this sound like I’m complaining? I hope not. I really love my life. Lovelovelove it!!

I just wish, sometimes,  there were 30 hours in every day instead of 24.

Looking for me? Here I am:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Foodie, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

#Reviews, #Comments, and saying “Not Nice” things.

I posted about this topic a few weeks ago, but it hit home for me yet again yesterday when I was reviewing another book I’d been given through Netgalley.

As I do, I read the other reviews posted that are either listed on the Netgalley page or on GoodReads 

to get an idea of what other people think of the book. The reason I do this is to see if I’m totally off the mark with my opinion of the work – which I can be,  no lie – or if I somehow missed something along the way that would make me not like the book I’m reviewing.

So. The book I read was really pretty weird. The story was told in three voices, all with their own consecutive chapters. Luckily, the names of the person “talking” appeared on the heading of each chapter, so at least I knew whose Point of View ( POV) I was in. The story itself was a depressing tale of family secrets, murder, and abuse. It was billed as a “suspense/mystery.” Well, I didn’t think there was any suspense, and I figured out the “mystery”  50 pages into the book.

Now, when a story just doesn’t resonate with me, I simply give it a 3 rating ( never less) and don’t write a review. This way at least I rated it in the middle of the curve ( 1-5 stars) and I don’t have to write any negative comments.

Not so much the other people who reviewed it – and I say “reviewed it” in the lightest sense. 10 ratings/reviews were posted ( not including mine). 6 people rated it DNF for did not finish, and then went on to explain why they didn’t. Every one of those explanations was….brutal. Really. Nasty, harsh, and on the cusp of bullying-speak. The other 4 rated it between 1 and 2 with equally critical words.

All I could think was this book was published by a big-name publishing house by a moderately well-known author who probably had an agent ( who read the book before sending it out to publishers) and editors who also devoted time to it, thinking it was worthwhile to publish.

Why? What did they think was so publishing worthy about the story that this random sampling of readers did not?

Out of 10 reviews, plus my own rating, no one had anything good to say.  What did this do to the books’ sales? What did this do to the author’s ego? Or sense of writing-self? I agonize over those answers because I’m a writer, too. I hate when anyone says anything derogatory or uber-critical about my words. I know I should let it flow – like water off a duck’s back – but I can’t! My ego is so fragile, (and God I hate how that sounds!)  but it’s true. I don’t like to hear bad things about my creative babies.

I wonder how the people who write such nasty, negative reviews would feel if someone they didn’t know wrote something really horrible about them, or something they did for a living? I really do.

And that question is what keeps me from writing a scathing review.

So…if you see my name attached to a review with a 3 rating, just know the book didn’t resonate with me as its reader. But it may with you….just saying

When I’m not losing sleep over reviews you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Editors, Netgalley Reviewer, Pet Peeves, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Musing on #Netgalley and #BookReviews

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Many of you may know that I’ve been doing book reviews the past few months as a Netgalley member. Some of the books I’ve chosen have looked amazeballs when I’ve read the blurbs that are posted and I’ve requested them hoping to find new authors to read.

What’s that old saying about not judging a book by its cover? Well, I’d like to add you can’t always judge it by its book jacket blurb either.

Let me ‘esplain.

I recently read 4 books I’d requested that sounded fabulous, but once I started reading them, I realized they were not for me. There was nothing critically wrong with them – they just didn’t resonate with me from a reader viewpoint. Since I’d requested– and been granted– them, I had an obligation to review them. But I didn’t. I did rate them, but I couldn’t do justice to a written review. I didn’t want to state that the plot didn’t hold up, or that I’d found timeline mistakes or unfulfilled character arcs. In one case, I did find the plot so implausible, I was surprised the book was listed as a contemporary when it really should have put in the fantasy category.

I don’t like giving criticism – constructive or otherwise – so I never wrote an actual review to post on Goodreads, etc. I know that those authors put their best feet forward, that they worked tirelessly, sweating and toiling to put out the story of their hearts. Unfortunately, that story just wasn’t for me – no fault of the writers.

The reason I’m telling you this is because not everyone is like me. Netgalley, Goodreads, amazon, really anyplace that does book reviews, has millions of bad, nasty, and heartbreaking ones. I can’t imagine what that must do to the authors who read them. I’ve had two reviewers ( not professional ones, but romance readers) for two different books of mine say this:

-for one book, the reader gave it a 1 ( out of 5) and said I wrote the wrong book.

-for the other, the reader gave it a 2 and said she couldn’t get into the story.

I could have written both these people nasty letters, but didn’t because I understood what they were saying. I didn’t agree with them, but for whatever reason, they didn’t like the story I’d told. That’s the basis of an opinion – it can be different from what you think. This is, after all, a  society that bases itself on freedom of speech and thought.

But…..

I was raised with the mantra if you can’t say something nice, keep your mouth shut. I do that. I practice that with my reviews, and in every area of life. Do I ever slip up and say something I regret? Sure. I’m human. But I have never written- and will never write – a review that calls into question the writer’s integrity, thought process, talent ( or lack of), or question the reasons for writing what they did. Just because something didn’t resonate with me, doesn’t mean it doesn’t with others. The book I read recently with the implausible plot is currently one of the hottest sellers on the market.

So, I guess what I really want to say is this: I write, first, last and always, for me. If I like it, I am happy. Unfortunately, I am in a business where money is spent on what I write, so I have to make sure it fits a wide range of reading tastes or the book won’t sell, the publisher will drop me, and I will be back at square one with no books on the market. If you like something I’ve written, yay! Do me a favor and tell people you liked it by writing a review or rating it on Amazon, goodreads, etc. If you don’t like something I’ve written, I’m sorry. It just didn’t fit with you. But please don’t go and write a scathing review just because you didn’t. There are other ways you can let me know you don’t like what I wrote – first and foremost by not purchasing another book! One bad review has a domino effect on sites like goodreads and amazon, where those companies look at data to determine if they are going to promote an author and their book or not. Again, old sayings are cliche because they are true: you can get 100 fabulous reviews, but the one lousy one will stick with you for a lifetime!

If this blog sounds like a big whine-fest, I’m sorry.  But I needed to say what I said.

‘Nuff said for now.

If you do like the way I write and you want to connect, you can usually find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Pet Peeves

A little #gift from #Lyrical/Shine to you…

As a promotional gift, my new publisher Kensington/Lyrical Shine is giving you a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your appetite for my 4.4.17 release of COOKING WITH KANDY: the first chapter FREE! Click on the following link and read how Josh and Kandy meet. Then, I’ve given you the link to preorder the entire book!

And if you’re a NETGALLEY reader and honest reviewer, I’ve included the link for you to request, read, and review it as well.

Blurb:

cooking-with-kandy

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

Free chapter COOKING WITH KANDY

Buy Links: Amazon ///Kensington // Nook // i-Tunes //Kobo //Google

Read and Review on Netgalley

And when I’m not out promoting my books, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, female friends, Friends, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Another #FacebookParty, another group of new #friends…

Friday night I participated in Tena Stetler’s facebook party promoting her new Christmas release, A Witches’s Holiday Wedding  A fun time was had by all, but that’s not the purpose of this little piece today.

I’ve participated in a few Facebook parties of late as a participating author. They are fast, frantic, just a tad manic and can be an excellent tool for finding new readers of your work, especially of you GIVE SOMETHING AWAY. Now, you might ask, why did she put those three words in such big letters?

Let me ‘splain.

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When I first started getting published, several writers told me to never give my work away. Make your family and friends pay for your stuff, and don’t participate in any kind of blog or networking giveaway, they said. Why should you take something  that you’ve slaved over for months on end, pouring all your heart and soul into it only, to give it away like yesterday’s stale bread? Well, their points seemed valid.

But…. ( and there’s always a but)

I’ve participated in about a half dozen blog hops and FB parties  over the past year and, yes, I’ve given away ecopies of my books as prizes. And yes, I’ve done a Goodreads  giveaway contests, and Netgalley, as well. And here’s what I’ve learned by going against that conventional wisdom.

As a new author, I am known to a finite number of people ( family and friends). All those people live with an hour of me.  I am not recognizable on the street where I live since more than half my neighbors don’t know me, or me them. Since I didn’t have “A NAME” when I was first published – and by that I mean no one in End-of-the-Line Kansas, or Where-the-heck-are-we Arkansas knew who the h, e, double hockey sticks I was. They weren’t going to shell out 15 bucks for a paperback or $5.99 for an ecopy of a book by a writer they had never heard of. Money is money and people can’t be wasting their hard earned dollars on what may prove – to them – to be a disappointment. I understood that as a writer  and understand it as a reader, myself.

So.

All the giveaways, contests, and hops I participated in where I gave away copies of my books, brought me to brand new readers all over the country – the world, really – and once they were introduced to my work, they became fans, actually plunking down hard earned cash for the other books I’ve got on my list. So I may have given away about $100.00 worth of product over the past year, but I made it back in so many more ways that just monetarily, and for that, I’m glad I didn’t listen to the “advice” of others who cautioned me against doing so.

This is me, sticking out my tongue and saying Na-Na-Na- Na-Na! ( real mature, I know. Don’t judge me. ((HEEHEE)

 

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When I’m acting my age you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

And if you didn’t get a free copy of my latest book A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS In any of the giveaways ( sorry!)<you can order your copy here in digital or paperback.

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Buy LInks: Amazon//  The Wild Rose Press     //    B&N

 

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Friends, Life challenges, love, Netgalley Reviewer, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Something new…

Recently, I signed on with NetGalley, an online book reviewer site. The reason I decided to do this was because I read a lot  of books by new authors,  and I know – personally!- how hard it is to get reviews. Reviews generate buzz about books to people, and as an author, I appreciate how valuable a good review is to finding new readers to read my stuff.  A good review can up an author’s sales. A great review can propel a book and its writer into another stratosphere. Being a reviewer allows me to help the people I know who read my blog find great new and upcoming authors, and writers they’ve never read before.

I made a new page on my website to list the books and their reviews that I think are outstanding and worthy to be read. This is the link: Books I’ve reviewed .  You’ll find well known authors in addition to many names many you’ve never heard of before – but should be hearing about!

My standards for review are the same ones I hope other reviewers will use for me. I won’t write a written review for any book that I can’t give a 4 or 5, to. If a book scores lower than that for me, it usually means the story didn’t resonate with me. That doesn’t mean it won’t appeal to others, tho, and I don’t want to post something negative about it. I’ve read two books recently that I gave only 3’s to because there were so many grammatical and typing errors in the copy I couldn’t actually enjoy the story because of it.

I don’t ever want to be one of those mean reviewers who epitomize the haters gotta hate rule. Those are the reviewers who I always think are secretly writer-wannabes who just can’t – for whatever reason -write the story themselves, so they bash others that do. So. Not. Me!

So, if my humble opinion means anything, I hope you will check back periodically and read about the books I’ve given kudos to.

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, New Hampshire, NHRWA, research, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press