I am no longer to be considered an “Independent Author”

Nope.

Those days are over.

That’s because henceforth and forthwith and as of today I shall now consider myself as an…

Auteur Indépendant!

It’s French.

Yeah…

Or should I say…

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An American Pope by Paul Xylinides – A Review

BOOK | FICTION | LITERARY
AN AMERICAN POPE
PAUL XYLINIDES
RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★

A modernizing American has assumed the papal throne. One of His first acts is to select a seventeenth century priest for canonization. The Congregation for the Causes of the Saints recoils in horror at the new pontiff’s choice. Against a backdrop of Vatican intrigue and infighting, a long-unsolved crime comes to the attention of a retired detective. The forces that contribute to it reach far back into the distant past. No one can truly fathom the life of the candidate for sainthood including the nun and priest who join forces to prepare the submission to Rome.

Amazon Book Description

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The Good Kill: A Killian Lebon Novel – A Review by Lee Hall

Many thanks to Lee Hall for reviewing my latest novel THE GOOD KILL. It’s such an honor and so very rewarding when someone like Lee gets your work.

You really need to learn more about Lee if you are just now being introduced to him. He is not only the creator of fine, independent literature himself, he is also one of its biggest supporters with his willingness to focus so much of his time and effort in reading and prolifically reviewing the work of so many other independent authors, authors who I am sure are just as grateful to Lee as yours truly right here is.

Lee's Hall of information

An enthralling, gripping tale of epic proportions taking the reader on a ride full of twists, turns and action…

goodk.PNG

Kurt Brindley has constructed an intricate  story that immediately immerses readers into the brutal world of organised crime,  drug and sex trafficking and a gangster underworld all of which is centered around main character Killian Lebon. This warrior and former navy seal embarks on a journey in search of answers and revenge while also dealing with a huge level of trauma. He’s a character that for all of his flaws and even dark moments you cannot help but admire and get behind.

The story unfolds gradually via a gripping and very readable style with the emphasis on Brindley’s descriptive full sentences (proper sentences, how I have longed for thee…)  with a series of stories and characters that all eventually find themselves linked later on. There are a wealth of three dimensional realistic characters…

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I’ve been got…

For years my barely read first novel INSIDE THE SKIN (formerly The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor) had been pegged at 15 meager but oh so appreciated and loved Amazon reader reviews…

about

However, as of today there are now only 7.

I mean, c’mon…

Thanks Amazon.

Sigh…

#itainteasythiswritinggig

COCOA FIERCE & THE PANTYHOSE STRANGLER by Sean C. Wright-Neeley

1977
He drove to a secluded, leafy spot, and looked at Cocoa covertly when they stopped. She patted her blonde wig, contrasting her chocolate skin, and popped her gum, pretending not to notice him pulling out a pair of nylons. Cocoa slammed his head against the steering wheel before he could act. He was out cold. Cocoa handcuffed him to the steering wheel. Vice arrested The Pantyhose Strangler. However, his car remains where he intended to assault and kill his fourth prostitute.

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There’s a story here somewhere…


This abandoned car is oh, I don’t know, maybe a half mile or so from my humble yet lovely abode and it’s been parked right there for as long as I’ve lived in my said humble yet lovely abode, which has been oh, I don’t know, maybe eighteen years or so.

Every time I pass the beautiful, wabi-sabi of a relic on one of my walks, I always think to myself, I bet there’s a heck of story to go along with that thing…

And I also always tell myself that one of these days Ima gonna write my own story about it.

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Our Amazon Overlord* Means Business

Especially when it comes to product reviews.

So, here’s some news you can use…

Well, at least it is useful news for me.

And by it, I’m referring to the fact that in order to be able to post a review on any of Amazon’s products — for example: a review for a favorite book — one must have spent a minimum of $50 (or your country’s currency equivalent, I’m assuming) within the past twelve months.

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To Review or Not to Review…

That is the conundrum.

More specifically, the conundrum is should authors review or not.

I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for a while now…

At least ever since reading back at the end of June horror author sensation Ania Ahlborn’s excellently articulated post I Won’t Pan Your Crummy Book. I’m Not That Type of Gal.

And then even more so after having an interesting Goodreads discussion with my internet buddy Author Joy Pixley about it (I know, I know… Goodreads, ugh!).

Fortunately, during my recent meanderings I found the excellent post Should Authors Review Books? by Author Raven Blackwood — an author and Navy vet! which makes her a lifelong shipmate of mine — that I’ve reblogged down below for your entertainment and instruction, and which sums up the issues nicely regarding reviews.

But as far as Ahlborn is concerned, in her post mentioned above, as well as her subsequent post, she comes down strongly against authors reviewing books.

And she particularly takes Indie Authors to task for it.

One should remember that after hitting the big times as an Indie herself and subsequently getting drafted by the Trades into the Big League, Ahlborn has returned to her roots and has gone Indie once again with her latest novel IF YOU SEE HER [about].

Which is very cool thing for her to do… and very profitable one I’m sure.

Both of which I admire (read: envy) greatly.

But I don’t necessarily agree with her position regarding reviews.

Indie Authors such as myself, those down closer, much closer, to the lower rungs of the authorial success ladder, need to do just about anything they can to expose their literary flare.

Showcasing the fact that they are not just well-read, but understand what they read and that they can articulate why they do or do not appreciate what they read can, in my estimation, go a long way toward proving their own writing chops…

Or lack thereof.

And when it comes to reviewing well-established authors backed by the highfalutin publishing industry, I’m all for being brutally honest in regards to how one feels about their work.

Meaning all is fair: from one-star reviews to five; as is even making note of the fact that a book of theirs had to be DNF’d…

As can be witnessed by those DNFs found on my sidebar.

But, as an Indie Author who understands that this writing gig is a tough one, I do believe we Indie Authors need to find ways to uplift and showcase each other’s work…

And providing positive reviews for each other is one way to do that.

I didn’t always believe this.

Back when I first started this Indie thing a decade or so ago, I wrote a few rough reviews of other Indie Authors’ work.

And I still feel guilty about it.

And I won’t do it anymore.

But that doesn’t mean I’m going to be dishonest with my Indie Author reviews.

It just means I will look harder for the positive when reviewing them than I probably would for non-Indies.

And if I can’t find enough positive in an Indie’s book to at least write a decent three-star review?

Then I won’t review it.

And if it’s so bad I have to DNF it, gawd forbid — let’s be honest, there are a lot of less than good books out there, especially by Indie Authors I’m sorry to say…

Then I will do it without mention or fanfare.

Which means, if you are an Indie Author and if one day you find your book on my Currently Reading list and then the next day it disappears from the sidebar altogether, never making it to either the Recent Reads or Recent 5-Star Reads lists where all books are rated and (some are) reviewed…

Well then I apologize in advance, for, with my particular literary sensibilities being the way they are, I just couldn’t stick with your book to the end.

But so what, right?

I mean, my opinion about a book is just that…

An opinion.

And we all know what that means, right?

Yeah…

Exactly.

Now do yourself a favor by disregarding this extremely long opinion of mine and go read Raven’s most excellent one on the matter!

TL:DR: Some think it’s okay for authors to review other authors’ books, some don’t. Yours truly here thinks it’s okay… albeit with some provisos attached.

Raven Blakewood

Reviewing books can be difficult, especially as an author. You don’t want to hinder future working relationships by one staring an author’s work, but you don’t think it’s right to dismiss the book’s pitfalls.

I’ve had my share of time as both author and reviewer, sometimes both. I’ve interviewed authors I’ve given negative reviews to. It is awkward, especially if they are the author who publicly gets all whoa is me when someone doesn’t give their book 5 stars.

That’s only the beginning of the dilemma. The one I tend to suffer from is how should I review. I’ve gone from short and snappy to 1,600 words. That isn’t even a joke. I once wrote a 500 word review on a one-word poem an author was charging $0.99 for. Surprisingly, the review went from a rant to a rave.

I’ve tried many styles and formats, different star rating systems. None…

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