This morning Janny C posted a 5-star review for the 5th book in ‘The Council of Twelve’ series, Dream Walker.
I’m very proud of it! See how it starts:
Koyu thought she had done her duty, but deep inside she knows it will never be over. She is bound to her master forever and will have to execute his every command. But when he demands she’ll invade his sworn enemy’s dreams, she chooses to rebel. Koyu risks her existence to help the ‘other side’ by purposely disobeying her master's orders. Koyu knows she'll pay with her life for her impertinence. Is there, indeed, no hope for her?
Having followed the series since book one I am ecstatic for book five! Each book is a stand-alone book on its own though so it doesn’t matter where you start (though starting at the beginning does make it more enjoyable.), either way, you are going to get hooked and want to go back and read the rest.
In book 5 Dream Walker we have introduced Koyu, a succubus demon with a heart of gold. She actually distastes her duty, her existence. When her master calls upon Koyu with a mission to seduce one of the Council of Twelve Angels, she is horrified. Unable to say no though she unwittingly says she will take the challenge giving her an upper hand. Not wanting to do it, Koyu bravely reaches out to the Council of Twelve to warn them.
When Koyu is whisked up to heaven to talk to the Council of Twelve and Koyu sees her target, a strange feeling starts to stir in Koyu. You can take a demon out of hell, but can you take the hell out of a demon?
Alexander takes the sexy succubus demon creature in a direction I didn’t know could be so tastefully done. She strikes gold again in her 5th book of the series.
Reading is my escapism. I want to be whisked away from this reality and into another and Alexander does not disappoint you. For a moment my troubles are gone and I am in heaven, or at least A.J.’s re-imagining of it. In every book she takes you on a delicious journey into her world which she lays out in a sweet poetic song of words. Lovely!
I have been reading this series from the beginning, and in the last few installments the author has been introducing us to more ‘beings’ as well as new points of view. First we were shown things from the ladies’ perspectives as they meet the Archangel who will become their betrothed. Then in book four, we were shown one the world she has created from one of Archangel’s point of view, as he meets the woman who is destined for him.
Now in this latest chapter, we’re back to a woman’s perspective, but there’s a twist. Whereas the other ladies were angels or destined to become one, a demon hunter, or a daughter of Pan, this young lady is a Succubus. And she has been working for the ‘other’ side in the ongoing struggle between good and evil.
It’s these twists and turns that keep readers like me coming back for more. The author continues to unveil the world she has created with surprises and intrigue which often involves characters from previous books, making this reality more whole and real. And each tale does not fail to entertain and even keep us on the edge of our seats, as mystery upon mystery unfolds before our very eyes.
And this volume is no exception. Can a Succubus truly find happiness with a member of the Council of Twelve? And what about her master down below? Will he take this betrayal lying down? Or is all Hell about to break loose? You’ll have to pick up this book and find out for yourself. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed.
I’m over the moon! I learned that Dream Walker got its first 5-star review, and of course, I’m walking on clouds! I’m so excited that this book, too, is liked!
Reviewed by Linda Tonis Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Koyu Bellamy is a succubus like her mother and sisters, she is a seducer, destroyer, and demon but unlike her family, she has a conscience. Koyu has always regretted what she was and what she was called to do and when she sits outside a book store she finds out that the owner is Alfred, a Cherub. Alfred is a messenger whose job it is to report her to the Council of Twelve and he did. Fearing that she has gone from hunter to hunted she knows there is nowhere she can run.
While sitting with Alfred she is called by Asmodeus the third prince of Hell and her Master, a call she has no way to refuse. He calls and she comes running only this time he wants her to seduce Santanael an Archangel who is known for being immune to seduction. When asked if she will accept the task, she answers that she is up for the challenge. Somehow saying challenge made a difference and once again she finds herself zapped only this time she is back where she started from.
Koyu begs Alfred to get help and Andreas from the Council of Twelve comes. She reveals everything that Asmodeus demanded from her and begs for someone to help Santanael. Once again, she finds herself in a strange place and this time Santanael is looking down at her. She is in Heaven and he is well aware of the fact that she is unlike all the other demons, she has a conscience. He promises to protect her from Asmodeus but even Heaven can’t stop him from hurting her. It becomes a chess game; Angels against Lucifer and the pawn is Koyu.
For hundreds of years Koyu followed orders, destroying lives, only when the life she destroyed was a man who deserved it was she content. She also has the ability to dream walk into her victim’s dreams setting them up for what would follow and what would follow was would become a nightmare.
Like all the previous books in this series this one was amazing and I read it in one sitting. Angels, demons, Lucifer, constant battle between good and evil and love. A story of redemption, a demon in Heaven there’s hope for us all, lol. I loved the fact that we catch up with everyone from the previous books, all the woman we met before, and that is why I totally recommend reading this series in order, well one of the reasons because there are so many.
Many writers have a myriad of other writers and authors in their network. Since we all know how important book reviews are for us authors, most of us are willing to help out and write a review for our fellow authors. If not, we should.
At this moment I won’t repeat how and why book reviews are essential to our work, I published plenty of blog posts on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ about that subject, many of them written by other bloggers and writers and shared here.
Also, I won’t add any more tips and tricks on how to write a review, because, ditto…
But what, if we agreed to help and find ourselves in the horrible situation of having to review a book that’s not what we expected, neither in character development, character voice, description clarity, or plot arc? What if we just cannot find the thread that leads us through the story, and we have the feeling that this particular writer suffers from a lack of skill, ability, and talent to actually write a book?
And here, I admit, I feel torn apart… I want to be honest, I don’t want to discourage a fellow author, in particular a young, upcoming author who’s just starting out… But at the same time, there’s that nasty little thought that tries to talk me into protecting the world from a really bad book…
So, what should we do in such a case? And here, each one of us might decide differently. There are, of course, different possibilities. I’ve seen them all.
I write and publish an honest review, clearly stating that the book is not good
I don’t publish that review, but send it to the author personally and tell them, the book is crap
I contact the author and let them know that I read the book and ask if they’re willing to ‘listen’ to some advice
I want to help and recommend the author to remove the book from the market for a while and work on it before re-publishing
Tell the writer that it might be a good idea to find another occupation, maybe as a gardener, at least they’d do something useful
I admit I wish I had never made that horrible experience or stood in front of that decision. But unfortunately, it happened. What did I do?
Very simple: I tried a mix of numbers three and four.
Now, we are talking about three different young authors and three different reactions.
Author A: “How DARE you judge my book like that. My Mum said it’s a great story, and my sister said the same thing. That’s why it’s published, and they both helped me with the editing and stuff.” (You must be a writer, man… I like the ‘and stuff’ part best). Basically, I dare to judge your book ‘like that’ because you asked me to. If you ask for an honest review, you will have to brace yourself for the possibility that you will get a very honest review, and it cannot always be good. If you only want a good review, ask your Mum and your sister. Being a writer, and a published author is not always a ride on a pink rainbow unicorn. It’s hard work, and you give many people the chance to libel your name. Get a very thick skin, that’s the only way to protect you from being harmed. Not everybody is as nice as to tell you in private that your work needs a bit of polishing.
Author B: “Thank you very much for telling me. I’d like to hear what you recommend, please! I really appreciate it. I don’t get much support from anyone, and I feel I can do with some help.” (Needless to say, I’m still in contact with that author, and the story has massively improved. I will promote the book here on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’, once it’s ready.)
Author C: “I hate you! You hurt me so much! I will make sure that nobody will ever take you seriously as an author. You will pay. for what you said..” (In that case I would really have liked to recommend a good shrink)
Now, in each one of these cases, I’m not talking about a published book review on my side. I contacted each one of these authors and told them, that I’d like to talk about that book, carefully explaining, why I thought, at this moment a review wouldn’t be the best idea. Also, in each case, I started by mentioning the good things I found. (Even though there weren’t many, I tried my best). Only then I listed the things that should improve.
There’s always more than one way to say something. And right here the title of this blog post kicks in. As the French say: “It’s the tone that makes the music.”, or in French: “C’est le ton qui fait la musique.”
Let’s say, you’re at a party, and the host serves an adventurous combination of manchego cheese, pickles, pineapple, and maraschino cherries on the avocado salad. You can either say, you’re allergic to avocado (And hope, she doesn’t remember you ate her guacamole last time you were there) or, you can ask her, if she’s pregnant, because, nobody in their right mind would eat something like that without vomiting big time. I’m known to be quite straight out, but even I wouldn’t eat that salad, and faking an allergy at that moment sounds just perfect.
Or, you’re taking your two besties out for dinner to celebrate… and when you arrive at the second one’s house, she shows up in a white mini-dress that has seen better days, and she’s completely oblivious that she grew out of it, most likely, about twenty-five years ago, you have two choices. Tell her, that she forgot to get dressed in something age-and weight-appropriate, or ask her if she forgot to get dressed – period.
In our case, things are similar. I had two possibilities: publish a book review that tells everybody the plot is crap, the characters are lame, and the book is poorly written, by a completely talent-free individual… or, I did what I did and try to help these authors by telling them something good I found to avoid killing their buzz, and then carefully showing them different blog posts and articles that help them to improve their story plot, their character voices and -development.
It’s all in the way we say things… how we make and keep friends, how we make sure we don’t hurt people, and how we remember, that our strongest talent and skill are words. That saying ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ is true. Words can injure and kill, as horribly as a blade can. In doubt, just remember one more thing: “Talk to others the way you want to be talked to.”
How would you handle a situation like that? And do you remember it’s the tone that makes the music? Let us read your comment, please.
Deborah Grant-Dudley informs us about the review rules on Amazon. It is hard to get reviews on Amazon, particularly for us Indie Authors. Deborah tells us why. Thank you very much.
How to avoid having your book review deleted
Indie authors rely on book reviews to help sell their books. But Amazon are notoriously strict about reviews. They frequently decline new reviews and delete existing reviews. If you want to help an indie author, it’s important to stay in Amazon’s good books. Yes, I went there!
Here’s a handy guide to writing reviews that will be accepted. Be aware other bookstores have their own guidelines. I’ve focused on Amazon as they are the biggest bookseller, and they sell lots of indie books.
Check you allowed to review the book
Amazon has a minimum spend threshold you must meet before you can leave a review. Currently, that’s £40 in the UK and $50 in the US. You must have spent at least that amount in the past 12 months. If you meet this criteria, you can review a book on their website.
As an editor and coach, I’m frequently asked by writers when they should level up from free and low-cost feedback (critique groups, webinars, and classes) to more expensive forms of feedback (workshops, private editors, even MFA programs). Some are newbies who don’t understand the feedback landscape. Other writers have been burned by overly critical MFA programs, bad editing experiences, or critique group dramas—and they’ve learned that while some mistakes hit your pocketbook, the costliest ones can damage your manuscript.
Often these problems have one common cause: You’ve asked the right question of the wrong person.
Demon Tracker is the third book in ‘The Council of Twelve series. Just like the two first books, the third one is written thrillingly and entertainingly. With Zepheira AJ Alexander has created an exceptional character I almost instantly fell in love with. She is self-confident, interesting, quick-witted, and holds a healthy amount of sarcasm as also humor. Next to Zye, how she’s called by her friends, we re-meet well-known characters, like Uriel, Lucifer, Katie, Sundance, and many more. Once I started I couldn’t put the book down. It’s always an adventure to delve into the world of ‘The Council of Twelve’ and lose oneself in the well-knitted plot. Book four in the series will be released in a few days. I’m convinced the new story will introduce us to a new, strong character which already tickles my curiosity.
Anne R. Allen wrote the perfect blog post about the first bad review, and I would recommend every young/new author to read it. She writes with compassion and humor. Thanks for this one, Anne! You rock!
I’m not sure anything stings as much as that first bad review. You’re riding high in triumph. You finished the project that may have taken decades to complete. Then you survived the crushing editing/ querying/ rejections/ revising/ editing again process. But now you’re finally a published author.
Whether the publisher is yourself or the Random Penguin House, the feeling is the same. It’s your baby and you just gave birth. You are experiencing a moment of bliss.
That review. Somebody hates your baby. They really hate it. You are a talentless hack and a worthless defiler of language. They say you should never write another word and suggest you take up underwater basket-weaving or making throw pillows out of dryer lint.
I’m so happy that the Indie’s Review blog has published a review for Demon Tracker, the 3rd book in ‘The Council of Twelve’ series.
Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her. She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames.
NOTHING BUT PRAISE!- Book 3 in ‘The Council of Twelve Series’ is WOW! Taking sometime after ‘Sundance’ (book 2) we meet demon tracker extraordinaire Zepheira of the Divine Army. With her proud horns and her master sense of smell memory, she is good at her job. When a summons from The Council of Twelve calls her away Zepheira is intrigued and floored at the attraction she has for Uriel.
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