How To Write a Book Review

Writing a book review is a learned skill. That's why I post this how-to article every quarter to help those who are just venturing into review territory. Feel free to pass this post link on to others.

The formal book review with its formal parameters:

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Name; 1st edition (date)
ISBN: number
Book Size: Format, i.e., Trade Paperback
The Review

seems to have gone the way of daily milk delivery, newspaper subscriptions, and the dinosaur.

Now we have reader reviews. Many of them are thoughtful, helpful. Many of them are like snarky cocktail party chatter.

Many readers never post a review. I think there are many reasons why they shun the review process. Here are a few that might apply:
  • they liked the book but they are aware of the nastiness that some reader reviewers heap on those with dissenting opinions
  • they did not like the book but the author has a huge following and they're afraid loyal supporters will subject them to some of the same nastiness
  • they don't want to hurt the author's feelings
  • they don't know what to say
  • they're concerned that they don't have the writing skills necessary to write a review.
I'm sure there are many other reasons, but I think the above are the most obvious. At least, I get emails from readers who love my books, but they never post a review even when I ask them to leave a few sentences about their reading experience.

So this post is for the average book loving reader:
  • who is new to the review process
  • who may not know exactly what to say or how to say it
  • who is wary of attacks from readers with different opinions
  • who don't see why they should take time to do this.
How To Say What You Think

If your friend next door dropped by to visit you and saw a book, she'd probably ask: "What do you think about that book?"

You'd answer her by telling briefly what the book was about and what you liked about it or didn't like. That's how you write a review: in a friendly conversational style as if you were telling a friend about it.

So just jot down what you think on a notepad or in some computer word processing app if you want to be sure it looks good and sounds accurate. If you're concerned about spelling or grammar, do a quick check for that which is easy if you wrote it in MS Word or something similar. Cut and paste it onto the review form on the book's webpage.

What To Say

1. Don't worry about summarizing the book. There's already a Product Description on the book's webpage. If you feel you must give a synopsis, use the gist of the Product Description from the book's webpage.

2. In an online review to be posted on the book's webpage, you just need to say how you felt about the book and why.

If you liked the book, say so. Then say why.

Example: If you were posting a review of Gone With The Wind, you might say: "I liked this novel because it's set on a plantation in Georgia as the North and South are on the brink of war, and I love books set during the Civil War." Or, you might say: "The heroine of this book is Scarlett O'Hara, a spoiled, head-strong young woman, and I like the kind of conflict created by women like that." Or, you might say: "I like to read anything that is historically based and well-researched."

If you didn't like the book, say so. Then explain why.

Example using the same book: "I didn't care for this book because I just don't like books set in the Civil War. Or, you might say: "I didn't like this book because I thought the character was self-absorbed and arrogant. I prefer to read books where the heroine is a likable woman." Or, you might say: "I don't like books about slavery so this book doesn't appeal to me."

3. Never include “spoilers,” elements of the book that are to be surprises, in a review.

4. Give your opinion of the book as it is written, not how you think it should have been written.

5. Do not allow your personal prejudices or attitudes about the author, the premise of the book, the theme of the book, the manner in which it was published, or anything else not related to the writing to intrude in your review.

If you normally don't read romance, but you got a free romance novel, and you didn't like it because it had sex scenes in it or whatever, then do not review it. A review should not reflect your personal prejudices. Instead, make it a policy to review books that reflect your reading taste.

Please don't ever make personal remarks about the author, i.e. anyone would have to be a moron to write a book like this. Or, the author must be a pervert to write sex stuff like this.

6. Summarize your thoughts about the book and feel free to make recommendations such as, "if you like southern humor, you'll love this book."

7. Always be respectful of the author and his time and effort. This doesn't mean suppress your true opinion. It does mean to present your opinion in a respectful, professional manner as if you were talking in person to the author.

To paraphrase what Danielle Steele once said about reviews: "Writing a book, getting it published, and getting bad reviews is like making a beautiful cake and someone comes along and sits on it." So be diplomatic and kind in your review if you did not like the book. The author did not set out to write a bad book, but sometimes all the elements just don't come together.

Take The High Road & Ignore Those Traveling The Low Road

If you post reviews, and someone makes a comment on it, for instance, This person is an idiot if he thinks this is a good book. (Or a bad book.) Don't answer back. You are not required to defend your opinion or to answer any detractors. You have the right to your opinion and to state it publicly. For every person who disagrees with you, there is one who agrees.

Simply ignore any negative comments. A fight can't start without 2 combatants.

Why Post Reviews

Believe it or not, writers try to learn from their reviews. If a thoughtful review mentions something the author is doing particularly well, she'll do more of it. If it mentions something she failed at, she'll try to improve. Good reviews boost an author during the long process of writing another book. Bad reviews may bring her down, but if they contain some insight, then they too are valuable.

Be responsible. Be objective. Be polite.

I think a lot of the acid-tinged reviews I see wouldn't be posted if someone had to say all that to the author's face and/or would have to sign their real name to the review.

Takeaway Truth

Please keep in mind that no one ever sets out to write a bad book. If you see a book in print, then you can bet the author spent long hours working on that book. Authors know that not everyone will like their "baby," but they expect literary criticism to be handled in an objective, friendly way.

Getting Attention With Video

I like creating videos. Sometimes these might be book trailers, humorous videos about books and/or writing, or personal videos about family, friends, trips, etc.

(Today's Video Tip: Stupeflix. Information updated today, so if you previously read this post, drop down and read UPDATE NOTE.)

I think videos can be an effective tool for name recognition. Although I don't think a video will sell a book, I do think a video can bring attention to a book or other product.

A case in point is Hit The Beach: Sand, Surf,& 4 Romantic Comedies, the video I created for my 4 romantic comedies I call The Lingerie Covers. (The cover art of each book features elegant lingerie.)

Yesterday, this video was featured on USAToday's Must See Book Trailers. (Scroll down until you see my name and there's a video player there. Click it to start the video.

To my surprise, I saw an uptick in sales on those 4 books in the last 24 hours. Maybe it was coincidence, but it's nice to think it's because that video made some check out my books.

Today's Video Tip: Stupeflix

Stupeflix is very similar to Animoto in that they allow registered users to create video montages using their uploaded images and audio clips. Stupeflix offers a Basic free account and a Pro Account for the very low cost of $39.00 a month. (If you decide to try Pro, you can cancel at any time and revert to Basic.)

UPDATE: In March 2016, the American technology company, GoPro, announced that it was acquiring Stupeflix. Subsequently, in 2018, Stupeflix was closed.

The rest of this post has been deleted since Stupeflix no longer exists.

Takeaway Truth

There are other video hosting services so keep honing your video skills.

Thursday3Some: The Crime of the Century by JoAnne Myers

JoAnne Myers is in the Thursday3Some Spotlight today.

Who Is JoAnne Myers

JoAnne is a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio who not only writes but also paints. When not busy with her hobbies, working outside the home, or volunteering within the community, she spends time with relatives and her dog Jasmine. She believes strongly in family values and following your dreams.

Find JoAnne Myers Online

Email: joannetucker98 at yahoo dot com

About The Crime of the Century

When the dismembered bodies of two missing teens were pulled from the local river, the horrified residents of Rolling Hills, a hamlet in southeastern Ohio, dubbed the murders "the crime of the century." This is a detailed account of finding justice for the murder victims as well as the story of one man’s perseverance to gain his freedom from death row.

When did you write The Crime of the Century?

It took two years to research and write this true crime that happened in my hometown of Logan, Ohio.

What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

The actual crime. It was a 1982 case that sent an innocent man to prison for 7 years, with 4 of that on death row. It took nearly 30 years to find the actual murderer. The man who did the actual killing was subsequently sentenced to 28 years to life for each murder, to be served concurrently. He will be eligible for parole at the age of seventy-nine.

Why do readers buy The Crime of the Century?

Because it is a true crime. This actually happened.

Buy Links for The Crime of the Century

Amazon Kindle

Amazon: Paperback Edition

Barnes & Noble

Black Rose Writing

Takeaway Truth

A little vacation is hidden between the covers of a book. Grab a book and take one of those mini-vacations today.

Meet Canadian Author Susan R. Hughes

Please welcome one of my Authors of Main Street friends, Susan R. Hughes. Susan makes her home with her husband and three children in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Susan's contemporary and historical novels are set mainly in Canada, and each novel explores the extraordinary thrill of finding that special someone and falling head over heels in love. By the way, Susan's novella, Kiss the Bridesmaid, is part of the Weddings on Main Street Box Set.

Find Susan R. Hughes Online


Susan R. Hughes Takes On the Dirty Dozen

1. In which genre do you write and why that particular genre?

I write romance, both contemporary and historical, because I’m a sucker for a love story with a happy ending.

2. What's your most recent book and what's it about?

My most recent book is Heart’s Desire, the third book in my Music Box Series.

In 1957, Mavis believes her secret relationship with a black classmate has been left in the past—until he shows up at her door. The passion they once shared is easily rekindled, and this time Mavis is determined not to hide their love. But society’s rules haven’t changed, and in order to be together Mavis and Will must confront the prejudice that once tore them apart.

3. As an author, what can readers expect when they read one of your books?

They can expect to read a love story with plenty of emotion and a dose of passion. I write various heat levels, from sweet to spicy.

4. How did you "become" an author? For instance, was there a moment when you said: "I think I'll write a book."

I wrote my first “novel” when I was thirteen. It ended up being about fifteen pages long, and no one but my mother read it. I knew then that I wanted to be a novelist.

5. What's the best thing about being an author?

The best thing is when a reader leaves a review saying she was completely enthralled with my book and responded emotionally to the story. That’s what it’s all about.

6. What's the worst thing about being an author?

Nasty reviews.

7. Do you have editions of your books available other than ebook editions?

Several of my books are available as print editions.

8. Do you listen to audio books? If so, what device do you use?

I never have, but would be interested to try.

9. What device do you use to read ebooks?


10. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Join a writers’ group. There’s nothing like the support you get from other authors who can relate to the ups and downs of the writing life.

11. If you could tell readers one thing, what would it be?

If you read a book and you like it, leave a review. It will give the author a boost to her confidence, and possibly to her sales.

12. What is your big dream (or goal) as a writer?

To have my own Wikipedia entry. *LOL*

Buy Heart's Desire

Heart's Desire

Barnes & Noble Nook


Buy Weddings on Main Street Box Set, only 99cents!

Takeaway Truth

Readers, show Susan some love and buy her book for something different.

Welcome to Summer Sale Days!

20 Authors! 20 books! Only 99 cents each.

My friend Marie Higgins was kind enough to organize a summer sale event. My book Still The One went on sale yesterday only at Amazon and stays on sale until midnight Thursday.

Readers, this is for you!

We're going to start this summer off with a BANG! I have gathered several different-genre authors (with heat-levels - but NO erotic, don't worry!) who have all priced their books at 99 cents for this Sizzling Summer Sale! This promo goes from June 24th to the 28th.

If you find a book you enjoy, we hope you will take the time to give the author a nice review and maybe check out their other books.

 Bella Notte (YA Paranormal) 

by Jesse Kimmel Freeman

Vampires? Check. Werewolves? Check. Death prophecy to hang over your head? Double check. Seventeen year old Emma Hutchinson struggles to find her place in the world she has been born to as she tries to decide whether she should be with Michael, the boy she has been dreaming about since she was three or if she belongs with Dominic, her betrothed.

DISCOUNT - $0.99 (Regular price $3.99) Click to buy on Kindle

 The Sweetest Kiss (Regency Sweet Romance) 

by Marie Higgins

Lord Trey Worthington isn’t about to give his heart to a
woman. He does not want a marriage like his parents. But when his mother brings
a childhood acquaintance into the home to sponsor into society, Trey has to get
Miss Faraday trained properly. The more he gets to know Judith, the more he
yearns for something he doesn’t dare reach for. Judith is after a faithful
husband—something Trey has been convinced most of his life he’ll never become.

Judith Faraday is only after one thing—to marry her Naval
Officer and enjoy a life full of love. She’s doubtful her dream will ever come
true while living as the ward to the dowager duchess. However, the longer
Judith is with the dowager’s son, Trey, an attraction blossoms. Judith now
wonders if God has different plans for her life, because Trey doesn’t believe
in the sanctity of marriage…the very thing Judith cannot do without.
 DISCOUNT  - $0.99  (regular price $3.99)   click to buy on Kindle

Waiting For You (Ghost story / Time-travel Sweet romance)

by Marie Higgins

When a
beautiful woman claiming to be a ghost from 1912 appears in Nick Marshal’s new
office and begs for help in solving her murder, he’s intrigued enough to
consider her plea. A scandal that rocked Hollywood almost destroyed his law
practice, so taking on a client who insists she’s dead seems a good way to
refresh his career. The more history he uncovers, the deeper he falls for the
ghost. Abigail Carlisle believes Nick is her heart’s true desire, but how can
happily ever after happen when she’s already dead?
DISCOUNT - $0.99  (regular price $3.99) click to buy on Kindle

Marry Me for Money (Contemporary Romance)

by Mia Kayla

Leaving her small town behind, Bethany Casse moves to Chicago in search of a new life. Working at a top financial bank brings her into contact with two men who are as different as night and day. 

Kent Plack, heir to Plack Industries, has no interest in being with a woman for longer than one night. A spoiled and lazy man-whore, he is completely content with his playboy lifestyle, and Beth is surprised when they form an unlikely friendship.

Brian Burcham, a finance banker, is gorgeous and respectful. A man plucked from Beth’s dreams, he is definite husband material. Unfortunately, Beth has a hard rule against dating coworkers, but Brian is determined to change her mind. 

When a deadbeat mother and money problems follow her to Chicago, Beth is offered a solution that could fix everything. Marrying for money seems simple enough, but when lines become blurred, Beth faces difficult choices, making her realize that the easy way out just made her life even harder than before. 

DISCOUNT - $0.99 (regular price $2.99)   click to buy on Kindle  B&N  ibooks  Kobo

Cornered / Ocean Mist Book Two (Young Adult)

by Brenda Maxfield

Seventeen-year-old Courtney Phillips is striving to earn an
internship to escape from her unhappy home. But when her mother becomes ill,
Courtney is stuck caring for her rebellious sister, Tiffany, and her little
brother—until Tiffany runs off to live with their dead-beat dad.
Track star Keegan Hank’s current girlfriend is cheating on him, but
having fallen for him herself, Courtney is afraid to tell her best friend the
truth. When Keegan discovers that Courtney withheld the facts about his
girlfriend, he rejects her apologies.

Courtney finally lands an interview for her dream internship, but
mysterious calls from Tiffany spell trouble. Courtney must now find a way to
win Keegan’s love and rescue her sister without jeopardizing her own future.

 DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $3.99)  Buy on Kindle   Barnes & Noble  Smashwords

The Return / Ocean Mist Book Three (Young Adult)

by Brenda Maxfield

Following her mother’s death, Tiffany’s missing father reappears
intending to take control of both her and her brother. Tough and rebellious,
Tiffany doesn’t take kindly to meddling jerks and insists that neither she nor
her little brother needs help, especially from the likes of him. 
Tiffany plots her escape, but her plans become tangled when Jason,
a new student whose past is shrouded in rumors, moves to Ocean Mist. Despite
her intention to remain aloof, Tiffany falls for him and is driven to discover
his secret.
When Tiffany’s brother sides with their father, Tiffany decides to
run. But where can she go? Can she desert both her brother and Jason?
DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $3.99)  Buy on Kindle   

A Little Trouble in Big Sky (sweet romance)

by Stacey Coverstone

Taylor doesn't expect her reluctant homecoming to include a murder, a ghost…and romance with the ranch foreman.
Photographer Taylor Young fled to L.A. following her sister's betrayal six years ago. Now Jamie's dead, Mama has broken a hip in a drunken fall, and Taylor's stepfather has begged her to return to her family's Montana ranch to make amends.
After a bitter divorce, Brett Austin, foreman of the Slash Y Ranch, believes horses are more of a sure thing than women. But undeniable chemistry with the boss's daughter convinces him it's time to take another chance at love.
When Taylor's mother insists Jamie's death was not suicide-a theory confirmed by Jamie's ghost-Taylor wonders who could have wanted her sister dead. With a list of suspects as long as her camera strap, she needs an ally. Could that person be a tall drink of water in a cowboy hat?  DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $2.99)    Buy on Kindle 

Hearts on the Run (sweet romance)

by Stacey Coverstone

You can run, but you can't hide from love...
Cole Roberts has been unlucky in love--twice--and he's sworn not to get involved again. Renovating the New Mexico family horse business into a guest ranch is a good distraction, until the ranch's new masseuse arrives. Captivating but secretive, the brown-eyed beauty intrigues him.
Three years ago, Lindy Grainger testified against a murderer and landed in witness protection. Her latest identity is masseuse at a guest ranch, but how long before she must reinvent herself--again? She can't get involved with anyone, no matter how big-hearted and charming he is.
Cole's heart can't take another rejection. Lindy has to steer clear of relationships. But as their attraction grows, a murderer bent on revenge closes in, and Lindy must trust Cole with her secret or lose him. Will the truth set her free, or tear them apart? 
 DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $2.99)   Buy on Kindle

Still the One (Romantic Comedy)

by Joan Reeves

Burke Winslow needed a wife--but he didn't have his ex in mind for the job. This funny, sexy romp proves when there's love, passion never dies, it just smolders away until you toss some gasoline on it. Burke and Ally provide that gasoline when they find themselves locked in a marriage of--inconvenience.
DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $3.99) Buy on Kindle

Champion of the Heart (Medieval Romance)

by Laurel O'Donnell

Fox Mercer vows revenge on those who unjustly stripped his father of his knighthood and his lands, including the Lady Jordan Ruvane whom he once called friend. Forced to abandon his rightful place in society, Fox becomes an outcast known as the Black Fox. He steals what he needs to live, hiding in the decaying ruins of a haunted castle he once called home, determined to one day regain what is rightfully his.

Lady Jordan Ruvane is the protector of the orphaned children of her village. When she loses one of her children because the Black Fox steals the medicinal herbs that would have saved the child, Jordan vows to capture her old childhood friend and bring him to justice.

In a twist of fate, Jordan is the one who becomes the captive. Old flames are ignited and an undeniable firestorm of buried passion is unleashed. But sinister secrets from their childhood are also revealed, threatening their future. Can Fox conquer the dark mystery of the past and truly become the champion of his lady's heart?

Champion of the Heart is an exciting medieval romance filled with dark secrets and haunted castles, villainous betrayal and heartbreaking tragedy, honor and family loyalty -- and a love that conquers all.

DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $2.99)

By on Kindle   Barnes & Noble    iBooks    Kobo  Smashwords

Fool's Gold (Time-travel Romance)

by Melissa Lynne Blue

Does a future exist for a man out of time? 

Charleston 1870… 

In far too deep with a dangerous man, Jacob Langston has twenty-four hours to repay hefty gambling debts or his family will be harmed. Desperate for funds, Jacob goes in search of the lost Confederate bullion rumored to be buried in the woods outside of Charleston. Trapped in a wicked storm, he soon realizes the fool’s errand he’s embarked upon. Before he can escape the woods he is caught in a bizarre cascade of events that throws him 150 years into the future. There he is given aide by the warm-hearted Sage Martin… a woman as lovely as she is kind. Jacob can’t help but be drawn to the idea of a future in her future. However, he is plagued by the threats made against his brothers, and knows he could never embrace a life in which those he loved were left to suffer because of his weakness. Though he longs to stay with Sage, Jacob remains driven to return to his own time and rectify his wrongs, whatever the personal cost. 

After a lifetime chasing after fool’s gold can he finally grasp the treasure his lonely heart has been searching for? Or is he doomed to pay the ultimate price for the foolishness of youth? 

DISCOUNT $0.99  (regular price $2.99)  Buy on Kindle 

Edge of Time (Time-travel Romance)

by Melissa Lynne Blue

Jilted by her fiancé, Marissa is done with men until fate steps in and she finds that Craig Langston may be more man than she can resist. 

Marissa is a high energy independent career woman of the 21st century who finds herself on a collision course with destiny when she is thrown 144 years into the past. Confederate Officer Dr. Craig Langston is an enticing man that any woman would long to fall in love with, and now Marissa is torn between rampant desire, for the man ignites her very soul, and a longing to return home. 

Can she find it within herself to embrace a new life in the arms of her Confederate officer or will more sinister forces intervene before she can discover what may be the greatest love of all time?

DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $2.99)  Buy Kindle 

Disappear (Romantic Suspense)

by Mary Martinez

After two years undercover as an FBI agent to infiltrate a crime organization and discover the identity of a hit man, Tyler Beckett’s cover is blown. Tyler’s new assignment is to protect the only witness who can identify the mysterious killer. If only he didn’t find her so attractive. Each day it becomes harder to keep his objective, especially since he knows the interest is mutual. 
Keira Cavanaugh is the only witness to a hit ordered by a crime boss.  The safe house is compromised and the same hit man shoots Tyler. Fearing Tyler is dead, Keira plans revenge on the crime organization. She must fake her own suicide in order to survive. 
When Tyler discovers what Keira plans, he realizes he must stop her before he loses her for good. 

DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $3.99) Buy on Kindle   Barnes & Noble
                                     iTunes  Coffee Time Romance  Kobo Smashwords

Three Brides and a Dress (Women's Fiction)

by Mary Martinez

Hi, my name is Bella and I'm one of Heidi by Design signature creations. I'm a wedding dress. Someday I'll find a young bride with stars in her eyes and dreams of a future with her groom. I can imagine it now. The groom standing at the altar waiting, his gaze fixed to the door where his bride will appear and then walk toward him. I'll hug her curves and she'll shimmer and shine with the promise of what their life will be.
It all sounds simple and easy, doesn't it?
My journey is more of a zig zag than a top stitch along a straight seam as I search for the perfect bride who is my soul mate.
DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $3.99'   Buy on  Kindle  Barnes & Noble iTunes  Coffee Time Romance Kobo   Smashwords

Bareback for Cowboy (Sensual Romance)

by Lawna Mackie

Champion Steer Wrestler, Cade Galloway has no time for women, and certainly no time for babysitting the ugly duckling he remembers from his youth. His mother assures him the young lady has grown up since he last saw her, but he doesn’t hear. He needs to put all his energy into winning the competition at the Calgary Stampede.

Sophia Randall, strikingly gorgeous in a small black dress and stilettos departs the plane from Paris looking for her childhood crush. The cowboy who used to babysit her is to again watch out for her during this visit. She hopes the short vacation will ease the pain of losing her mother. Confident and independent, she has only one weakness. Cade. Knowing this might be her only chance with him, she throws caution to the wind.

The explosive brilliance of the nightly fireworks can’t compare to the sexual sparks between them. But life calls, leaving each on a different continent. Are the hot sexy nights and days spent together enough to melt the rugged cowboy’s heart or has Sophia just added more pain to injury?  DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $3.72)  Buy on Kindle

Enchantment (Fantasy Romance)

by Lawna Mackie

Stumbling into the world of Enchantment brought Meeka everything she’d been searching for. Peace. Magic. A gorgeous knight in shining armor. 

Kerrigan knows he should banish her from Enchantment, it’s his duty as the dragon-shifting Enforcer. But one thing stands in the way…his overwhelming desire for Meeka. 

Can Kerrigan keep Meeka safe as his enemies strive to turn her into a weapon that will destroy all he is bound to protect? 

Or will their passion override duty?

DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $3.81)

Buy on Kindle

Redeemed / The Evolution Series (Historical Romance)

by Jill Hughey

Can a quiet widow help a damaged, secretive man find
Doeg has only two requirements in a wife and upon meeting
Philantha he knows she is the one who will fulfill them. However, she has a
requirement of her own that tests and eventually breaks the barriers Doeg has
maintained around himself for decades. They struggle during the day to
revitalize his estate while the night-time awakening of their passion leads to
binding love and redemption beyond their wildest imaginings. When an unexpected
threat to Philantha emerges, Doeg rises to the challenge, throwing off the
shackles of his past once and for all.
Travel to Bavaria in 834 where Redeemed combines the best
elements of historical romance with an exciting new setting. Book Two in the
Evolution Series
DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $3.99) Buy on Kindle

Creator of Worlds / Paranormal Fantasy

by Ryan Murphy

Dr. Shirley Gallagher and her team of astronomers and analysts make the most astonishing discovery in human history. While on her way to brief the President of the United States, Shirley’s life is cut short in a horrific accident. Her death only marks the beginning of a much greater journey.

Born into her new life as a spirit, all of Shirley’s questions regarding the afterlife are answered, but they’re far from what she expected. Furthermore, she finds herself completely unprepared to learn of her purpose in this new world.

Thrust into a war with the Angeli, beings who helped create the human spirit, she learns that her spirit body has evolved, making her the only one physically capable of stopping the invading force. She must race through the heavens against time, a powerful evil spirit, alien beings, and demons to save the earth, the human race, and every human spirit from annihilation. DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $2.99) Buy on Kindle

The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley (Regency Romance)

by Aileen Fish

Stubborn. Hard-headed. Single-minded. The qualities that make David Lumley a successful horse breeder are put to work befriending Lady Joanna Hurst with less than noble intentions. He’s tenacious in his pursuit of the answers he seeks. 

Lady Joanna falls fast and hard for the handsome, witty and charming Mr. Lumley after her brother’s ultimatum to find a husband by the end of the Season. He is everything she imagined a husband could be, and more. Blissfully unaware of the conflict between their fathers, she believes he’ll declare his love soon. Then she overhears a conversation between Mr. Lumley and her brother, and all of Mr. Lumley’s tenacity will be needed if he’s to win back her heart.

DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular price $2.99)  Buy on Kindle  and Barnes & Noble  iTunes

With This Ring (Contemporary Romance)

by E. Ayers

DeeDee Drayden doesn’t believe in a happily ever after, even
though her passion is designing wedding gowns. Cody Montgomery, heir to a
fortune, is hiding in a small town raising seven children after two failed
marriages. With his hands full, he’s sworn off women. But when Cody ends up
being a silent partner and CFO of DeeDee’s fledgling bridal business, his eyes
are on more than the bottom line. Do they dare mix business with pleasure to
find their own happily ever after?

DISCOUNT $0.99 (regular $3.99)  Buy on US Kindle   UK Kindle

Takeaway Truth

That's it! A great collection of wonderful romance novels. Get them today at bargain prices. If you find one or more you love, give the author a little love with a short review. Happy reading!

Still The One -- On Sale for 4 days!

Burke Winslow needed a wife--but he didn't have his ex, Ally, in mind for the position.

Special Summer Sale

From now until midnight Thursday, June 26, my romantic comedy, Still The One, will be reduced from $3.99 to only 99cents.

Online Reviews

"Reeves had me laughing like crazy in the first chapter. I love, love, love this book. It's funny and very romantic. Romantic comedy at its best."

"Her hallmark humor is very much in evidence, but as with her other stories, there's an underlying warmth that gives her characters depth and her story meaning. She's got me hooked!"

"This was a book that I enjoyed so much. It made me laugh so loud, that my family thought I'd gone completely crazy."

You'll have to read the book if you want to laugh and enjoy this entertaining story and its witty dialogues. I've already bought more ebooks by Joan Reeves."

"I totally identified with Ally's internal conflicts and insecurities and also how Burke didn't understand why she behaved the way she did. Cleverly done! An entertaining and fast read."

If you like the book too, please leave a short review. If you do that, let me know by email with the URL to the review (use the Contact Page on the blog), and I'll send you a free book coupon as a thank you.

Whispersync for Voice

Still The One is Whispersync so you can purchase the audio book for a reduced fee if you've bought the ebook.

Here's more about Whispersync.

Now you can switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible audiobook. Learn more

Takeaway Truth

Grab your copy of Still The One today (get the audiobook too) before the ebook price returns to $3.99. Happy summer reading!

Computers. AGGHHHH!

I make my living using a computer, but sometimes I get so aggravated with our computer-driven world that I could scream. Or throw the nearest hurlable object through my office window. Or both. Plus stamp my foot like Scarlett O'Hara and throw one heck of a hissy fit. We southern women are expert when it comes to a good hissy fit.

Computers are supposed to make life easier, not a constant aggravation. When I was a kid, life was imagined on many a television show about the paradise computers would create. They would free us from the mundane. They would make all our history and important records available with the flick of the hand. Ah, how naive our society was then.

Basic Flaw

There was just one thing wrong with that vision of a technological paradise. Computers aren't self-aware. They must have information entered by a human being. Human Being, n., a self-aware entity in the post-modern world who inputs data and/or handles other human beings who call an 800 number because there are mistakes on their computerized records.

Stuck Between a Computer and a Hard Place

Woe be to the poor consumer who has encountered a computer error in an account. Don't even think you get a Reference Number for your complaint that has been carefully logged so the poor human doesn't have to call the same 800 number as millions of other poor humans and go through voice prompts just to get a different person every time who then asks you to recount your problem--which you do--and who then says they will make a note about your call so the situation will be resolved.

At this point in the conversation, I envision the oh-so-polite customer service rep holding a hand over the phone so you won't hear them busting a gut laughing while they wave an imaginary wand in the air rather than keying in an intelligent note regarding your call.

Tequila, Handguns, or Computers

Mitch Ratcliffe said: "A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history--with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila."

Ah, but, remember, that computer is operated by a person.

Takeaway Truth

I have a proposal for every corporation that employs data input personnel, 800 customer service lines, and customer service reps. The entire Board of Directors and Executive Management should be sentenced to 6 months of computer foul-ups with no recourse except to call the 800 number for resolution. And get a different rep each time they call.

Thursday3Some: Wolves' Pawn by P.J. MacLayne

Today, I'm happy to shine the Thursday3Some Spotlight on paranormal author P.J. MacLayne, a computer geek by day and a writer by night. She grew up amid the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and sets many of her stories in that locale. Currently, she makes her home in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

Find P.J. MacLayne Online


About Wolves' Pawn

Dot McKenzie is a lone wolf-shifter on the run, one step ahead of her pursuers. When she is offered a chance for friendship and safety with the Fairwood pack, she accepts.

Gavin Fairwood, reluctant heir to the Fairwood pack leadership, is content to let life happen, but old longings surface when he appoints himself Dot’s protector ... and becomes more than a friend.

Can anything save their love and Dot’s life when she becomes a pawn in a pack leader’s deadly game?

When did you write Wolves' Pawn?

Wolves' Pawn started off as a short story two years ago. It's a paranormal romance, and not a genre that I ever expected to write in. It only took a few months to write the first draft, but over a year to edit and re-edit and shape into something I was satisfied with.

What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

The opening scene of the book was the direct result of a dream. As I played with the opening scene, and the characters started talking to me, more and more of the story came to me. There are several themes that run through the book, but the idea of a strong female lead is the one I'm happiest with.

Why do readers buy Wolves' Pawn?

Readers buy for two reasons. The first is the eye-catching cover, thanks to my cover artist, K.M. Guth. The second is because it's a non-typical shifter story, and the sex in the story is behind closed doors.

Buy Wolves' Pawn

Amazon Kindle Edition

Paperback Edition from Amazon

Paperback from Barnes & Noble

Ebook from iTunes/Apple Bookstore


Takeaway Truth

A little vacation can always be found between the covers of a book. Plan your weekend "getaway" by buying a book today.

Beyond I-Hate-My-Book by Kristy Tate

This morning I have Kristy Tate, one of my Authors of Main Street friends, as my guest.

Kristy contributed the novella Stuck With You to the Weddings on Main Street Box Set which is now on sale for only 99cents.

Who Is Kristy Tate?

Kristy Tate writes Women's Fiction with a dash romance, mystery and humor. Her debut novel, Stealing Mercy, was on Amazon's Top 100 Historical Romance list for more than 15 weeks and spent 2 weeks as number 1. Her novel, The Rhyme's Library, was a 2013 Kindle Review semi-finalist.

Kristy studied English literature at Brigham Young University and at BYU's International Center in London. Although a long time resident of Orange County, California, where she lives with her family, Kristy's heart belongs in her hometown of Arlington, Washington, aka Rose Arbor, the fictional setting of her popular Rose Arbor Series.

Find Kristy Tate Online

Twitter: @kristyswords

About Beyond the Fortuneteller's Tent

When Petra Baron goes into the fortuneteller’s tent at a Renaissance fair, she expects to leave with a date to prom. Instead, she walks out into Elizabethan England, where she meets gypsies, a demon dog and a kindred spirit in Emory Ravenswood. As Petra slowly falls for Emory, she wonders if he really is who he seems, or if he is just as lost as she is. How can they have a future while trapped in the past? Or is anything possible Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent?

Getting Beyond I-Hate-My-Book
by Kristy Tate

That Was Then

On Friday, I decided that I hated my book. Totally unrealistic and pointless. Who time travels? No one. I don’t personally know anyone who’s ever time traveled even a few minutes, let alone 400 years.

So, in an effort to make valuable use of my time, I decided to sew pillows. (My mother, a gifted seamstress would have been so proud.) I went to the fabric store, found fabric, cut fabric, paid for fabric, came home and put fabric on my daughter Natalie’s bed, pleased with how it coordinated with the walls, bedspread and lampshades.

Natalie came home from school and discovered the pillows in embryo. “What’s this?”

Me. “Isn’t it darling? I’m making pillows for your bed.”

Natalie. “No thank you.”


“I don’t want fancy pillows on my bed.”

A pointless argument ensued and ended with, “I’ll just put them on your bed after you leave for school.”

Followed by, “I’ll just take them off and hide them.”

All this finding, cutting, paying and arguing was not a valuable use of my time. My mother would not be proud. I decided I should stick with characters of my own imagination who would welcome fancy pillows with tears of gratitude. (Anyone want some fabric?)

Fast Forward To Now

Three and half years later. It’s interesting that soon after this, I put Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent away and didn’t look at it, or think about it for at least two years. It was Natalie, (fancy-pillowless Natalie) who came across the manuscript, read it, loved it, and begged me to write the sequel.

I published Beyond the Fortune Teller’s Tent three years later in December of 2013. A lot has happened since then. I walked away from a life-long dream. As Borders and other large book stores closed around me, I decided to self-publish my books. You can read about that decision here, here and here.

As time passes, I've become more and more grateful for the path that led me away from traditional publishing and helps me live a life I love, filled with an enormous amount of people that I love, and a creative pursuit that keeps me entertained almost every day.

And a benefit, one that I never anticipated or foresaw, I get to meet and become friends with a wide circle of talented writers (like Joan). I’m constantly amazed by the generosity and goodness of the indie community. I’m so happy to be here! Thanks, Joan, for letting me drop by.


If you would like to win an e-copy of Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent, leave a comment telling us where you would be if you could go anywhere and to any time.

Buy Beyond the Fortuneteller's Tent

In case you don't win a copy of Kristy's book, here's where you can buy it for a very low price.

Amazon Kindle Edition

Smashwords Edition

Takeaway Truth

After you've read Beyond the Fortune Teller's Tent, be sure and grab the Weddings on Main Street Box Set, now on sale for only 99cents.

Sometimes Finishing Is A Win

I want to share a favorite quote with you that might take some of the pressure off you perfectionists. Sadly, I am a perfectionist though I keep trying to change that bad habit.


Several months ago, I committed to writing a novella for a romance collection. What with one thing and another--and another and another and another {sigh}--I didn't start the project until mid-March.

Then of course the storms of life hit. So I contented myself with plotting the story and all that pre-writing activity that must occur before one actually begins writing.

I was down to the wire on getting the novella finished, but I was determined to get it written.

Here Comes The Quote

Manuel Diotte said: Winning isn't always finishing first. Sometimes winning is just finishing.

That's how I feel when I turned in my novella to the wonderful Mona Risk who was doing the format for Weddings on Main Street.

By that point, I didn't know if it was a good story or a pile of you-know-what, BUT I had finished it, and therein lay the triumph.

Giveaway Today

To celebrate, I'm giving away a free book. Leave a comment and your Smashwords registered email address, and I'll give you a coupon code for a free copy of Little Book of Sunshine for Readers and Writers.

Takeaway Truth

I'll leave you with another quote today. Joseph Joubert said: Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them. 

Now begins the process of winning again by finishing the book I was writing last year in the midst of all that moving.