Link of the Week – The Righteous Side of Wicked 2019 RONE Awards

May 7, 2019

This week’s Link of the Week I’m asking for a favor. If you feel so inclined, I would love to have your vote in the 2019 InD’tale RONE awards. The Righteous Side of Wicked was reviewed by InD’tale earlier this year and given 5 stars (hell yeah!).  Read the awesome review HERE. Because of the high rating, the book was automatically entered in the RONE contest. It would be great to have your support. You do have to register to vote if you don’t have an account with the magazine. But it’s super easy to do and you won’t get spammed.

I am in the Historical Scottish category. It is a large category and competition is tough, but you can vote for several of your favorite books. VOTING ENDS SUNDAY!

Thanks in advance should you decide to vote. I will forever be grateful! *sloppy smooches*

Roller Coasters and Crabs

August 18, 2016

On this roller coaster of publication, writers expect to be faced with a certain amount of, let’s say, excitement. We hear the unmistakable clackety-clack-clack on the way up the ride of publishing a book. Feel the adrenaline build as we teeter on the top of the first dive. Throwing our arms high or hanging onto the bar, we plummet down, down, down picking up speed. Hairpin curves with sales, rankings, good reviews, harsh criticism, and how we will be received by our peers.  It’s all part of the fun, right? Right?cc - rf - TexasCycloneSunset640

This summer, the roller coaster took me by surprise by blasting me through a barrel roll. First, I received scores from a prestigious contest I did not final in. Oh, you know how this story goes. The book is either incredibly awesome or the reader would rather drink antifreeze before turning one more page. I’m usually good with that. It means that my writing has produced extreme emotional reactions. But when one of the judges not only claims the book had no satisfying ending but that it wasn’t even a love story, well, that floored me. Most of you know that I write historical romance, paranormal romance, and some erotic romance. Romance is always a central theme in my books, no matter the genre. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how a judge felt that the book failed to meet the requirement of a happily ever after love story. Where did I go wrong? Did I go wrong? Maybe not. I try to remember that this is just an opinion of one person and that’s okay.

But wait.  Three different reviewers have given three of my books high accolades in recent days, including the one mentioned above. For them, my tales are a real pleasure to read. I should be overjoyed, busting at the seams. And I am, truly and humbly. While poking around Amazon, I stumbled across another review written several months ago that basically states  my characters suck, my writing sucks, I suck. This was not a malicious attack, but rather someone who simply hated my book. Regardless, it still stings. And this is why I don’t make it a habit of reading my reviews. Then there is the personal message a reader sent to me via social media and another who emailed me just this week. Both ladies took the time to reach out to me, to say they really love my books and want more.

Round and round my emotions go. Yep – I’m a little green in the gills. I know I’m not the only one. Fellow MuseTracker Stacey has experienced the same thrills and chills. And I’m quite certain that most of our writer friends and acquaintances have, too. The stomach-dropping dips are simply part of the ride.

Stacey, a pillar in my support system, probably won’t remember this, but she once said, “You’re a creative crab.”


Imagine if you will a basket of crabs. There’s always one who tries to escape but the other crabs in the basket will keep pulling it back down to certain doom. The would-be escapee crab is the creative crab and the other crabs are critics. All this is true whether you are a newbie author or a seasoned pro. The unsavory opinion of one or two really poisons the pot. It is always that bad review or awful contest score that sticks with us, almost negating all the praise. Almost.

We shouldn’t let the critic crabs keep us down. We can climb out of their basket, yes we can. We must remember all the acclaims, successes, happy readers, and, most of all, stay true to ourselves. Dismiss the negativity, honest or otherwise, grab ahold of the rim, and pull yourself up.

Ours is a path that will surely have its ups and down, topsy-turvy flips, and bone-jerking turns. So buckle and enjoy the ride.

Anyone care for melted butter with their crab legs?


Link of the Week – Stripping Amazon’s Book Link Anatomy

February 2, 2016

Authors, did you know you might be sabotaging your Amazon reviews? You know, when great reviews disappear, removed by Amazon citing that the author knows the reviewer, etc. It’s all in the Amazon URL you might be using when you share your book links on social media.

This short video by K-lytics explains it all and tells you how to strip your book links down to avoid Amazon’s bots.


Um… Can I get a minute to write…??? PLEASE?

April 6, 2013

Oh. My. God.

Someone come and shovel me out of the month-long avalanche I had hit me in March! PLEASE!


This was my life for March. Seriously! I was hit with work issues at the EDJ, Scout issues, a final edit for STAY, a pre-print edit for PRIMITIVE NIGHTS, and a fast round of edits for a new novel due before I was ready… 🙂

BUT I made it out safely. And with my sanity, I think…


Thank goodness Jenn posted something about Goodreads being bought by Amazon or I would, literally, still be in the dark. Thanks Jenn!

So, now that I got that out of the way, here’s my dish for the week!

  • One – Got a super awesome review for Primitive Nights at Amazon. 🙂

  • Two – Did you see who’s coming to Agent/Editor Shop this month?

Debbie Gilbert with Soul Mate Publishing!!!!

Make sure you check out what they’re looking for and get that pitch ready. Pitch day is April 20th!

  • Three – I learned this month, that you can do what you set out to do. You may have to set aside other things, shift schedules, work in a timeline you weren’t expecting… But it CAN be done!
  • Four – I hit 20K on my new novel this month amidst all the craziness. Who knew?


Happy writing and reading, and life!



Link of the Week – Indie Book Reviewers

March 26, 2013

Indie author? Looking for a  comprehensive list of active, fair, and honest reviewers, a list that includes genres, submission guidelines, and places here the reviews are listed?  Then check out The Indie View. This site has got you covered. You’ll also find the latest reviews listed here, too.

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Link of the Week – InD’Tale

March 19, 2013

Getty rf penThis week’s awesome link is to InD’Tale Magazine. The online magazine is dedicated to self-published and small press authors. Within the pages and all throughout the website, there are honest book reviews, educational articles and columns, contests, polls, interviews, and industry information.  It’s a great place for both writers and readers.

While you are there, check out the nice review I received earlier this year for A KISS IN THE WIND.

Reviewers Behaving Badly

September 5, 2012

Song of the Day: Breakdown by Tantric

A few weeks ago, Stacey did an excellent post on reviews and good manners—the niceness epidemic and the disappearance of hard-line critics. Well, now, it’s my turn to touch on the subject of morphing manners that our society is undergoing in the virtual world.

Authors, reviewers, readers, we are all likely guilty of showering undue praise on our writing peers and favorite authors. Though I can see how too many rainbows and smiley faces might tilt scales, I think it’s safe to say, for the most part, we want to elevate, or perhaps kick start, one another’s success. We’re pretty awesome that way. For the most part. Yes, it bears repeating. For all the hearts and glitter, there will always be a peer, contest judge, reviewer, or reader who thinks you are better off scraping muck from long-forgotten sewers than writing one more single word.

And that is okay.

The problem lies when common courtesy is completely ignored.

As chance would have it, I have just the example. A recent review of one of my books was brought to my attention. And let me say, my jaw dropped at the sucker punch I’d received.

ATTENTION! I want to make it absolutely clear this post is not to lambaste this reviewer or defend myself against her evaluation of me and my writing style. She certainly has the right to relay the unspeakable torture I put her through when she read my story.

It is the way she chose to voice her opinion that I take exception to.

When writing an “honest” criticism, there is no need to call someone’s work garbage. Or write a paragraph on how cheesy the book is, comparing it to a can of cheez wiz. Or mention not how it was bad, but how bad, bad, bad, bad, bad it was. Or that the book was written entirely from words found in a thesaurus. And I’m fairly certain it might be added insult to start and end a review praising and/or suggesting another author. None of this is constructive and comes across as a personal attack. Shame, really.

I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. As authors, we accept this as fact. I’ve had a couple of tear-wrenching, thumb-sucking, fetal-position reviews. But these reviewers didn’t resort to petty ugliness. Their assessments were tactful and professional.

Unfortunately, this review has been ‘helpful’ to others, choosing to forgo reading my book, 19 others, in fact. No problem. That is their choice. Obviously they’re not tea drinkers. For me, I would never choose a book based on a review displaying such disrespect. I look at the reviews as a whole, read the blurb, take advantage of the “look inside” feature and read the first few pages before I make that decision. But, hey, that’s just me.

The problem here isn’t that the book received a one star “because 0 wasn’t an option”. It is the sheer disregard of civil social behavior. There is a difference between being honest and being rude, sometimes even abusive. I’m not alone in this. All authors have undergone such treatment. Unique to authors, we occasionally hear about manipulated rankings and sabotaged reviews, and how these responses, actions, and manners can adversely affect people. To some, it may even be considered a type of cyber-bullying.

As I have said, this post is not to snub the reviewer. Giving the benefit of doubt, there is a chance this person didn’t realize just how flippant they came across. So everyone take this as a friendly PSA. If you feel compelled enough to write a bad review, by all means be honest. But ask yourself if your scrutiny is helpful or simply mean-spirited.

Does having a bit of anonymity excuse people from practicing common courtesy? Don’t we have a responsibility to treat others with respect? Shouldn’t we be accountable for our words even in criticism? Didn’t our mammas teach us better?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

MuseTracks Link of the Week

March 6, 2012

Looking for a place to get great read recommendations? How about a place to promote yourself as an author? Better yet. How about a one-stop-shop to read or request reviews from multiple review sites? For FREE!

Check out Manic Readers!

Not only can you get information on authors, books, reviews, upcoming releases, there are also opportunities for authors to opt into special features such as a royalty tracker and promotional services. Plus there are author-sponsored blogs, contests, chats, and free reads.

Pop on over and take a tour.

Link of the Week

November 29, 2011

Looking for great read from an Indie Writer?

Indie Reader has book reviews on independently published authors of fiction, non-fiction, young adult, and even children’s books. What a diversified selection.

They offer features such as The Book That Changed My Life, Hot Off The Press,  Can’t Bleiewve It’s Not Vanity, Trad Pubbed Book F**k Up, among others.

This venue has an interesting take on the Independent Market.

Link of the Week

November 15, 2011

The Romance Review, an interactive romance review site, is a great spot for “all romance lovers to chat, deliver, and receive up-to-date news about books and authors.”

What’s cool is they are having their month-long Year End Splash Party right now. Over 200 publishers and authors are participating (including yours truly), with over 500 prizes to be won. WOW! It’s totally fun!  (See poster in the sidebar.)

Warning! Shameless promotion ahead!

My novel BLOOD AND TREASURE will be featured from November 26 throught the 30th. There’s a chance to win BLOOD AND TREASURE on November 17th and 23rd. I’m super excited about it!! But you can join the fun now! Seriously, what are you waiting for!