You READ – but do you leave REVIEWS? – Written By Chris Graham (aka The Story Reading Ape)

Thank you so much for this great, interesting and helpful blog post, Chris. It encourages readers to write reviews and help and support us authors.


PLEASE

A stack of books and words Read - Review - Repeat

If not, why not?

I don’t have time

The author probably spent a heck of a lot more time writing the story than you took to read it, no matter how slow you think you are, so why not take a few minutes to record your feelings about it.

I can’t write long fancy reviews like those I see on book review blogs

You don’t have to, Amazon, for example, only ask you to use a minimum of 25 non repeating words.

I can’t express myself very well

No-one is asking you to produce a literary masterpiece, start off with things you liked, didn’t like or a mix of both about the book, e.g.,

CONTINUE READING HERE

You Got Your First Bad Review: Congratulations! – Written By Anne R. Allen

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.

Yay!

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.

And then…splat.

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.

And it hurts like #$&@.

Continue reading HERE

Demon Tracker On The Indie’s Review Blog

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.


AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON / BARNES & NOBLE


REVIEW

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.

Continue Reading Here

 

Demon Tracker’s Second 5-Star Review

Demon Tracker’s second 5-star review was posted May 3, 2020. I’m so happy I’m actually dancing around my place. This is a great day!


REVIEWED BY LINDA TONIS
MEMBER OF THE PARANORMAL ROMANCE GUILD REVIEW TEAM

I want to begin this review by saying if you haven’t read the first two books, I strongly recommend doing so. Book two ended with questions about Sundance, and those questions are finally answered in this book.

Zepheira (Zye) is a fighter and messenger of the Divine Army hunting demons, but a call from The Big Seven”, legendary warrior angels, sets her on a new path. A demon has stolen the soul of an angel, and it is important that they find him and release the soul; otherwise, it will be lost in Hell forever. She has only two weeks to carry out this mission, but as the best tracker and her ability to use her sense of smell, they are confident she can succeed where they have failed.

She immediately knows by using her sense of smell that the demon they are after is Faramon, the same demon that was there the night her mother was killed. Zye is the daughter of a human and Pan who like Faramon was there when her mom died, since then she has never seen or heard from her father. She is a hybrid blood creature with the same horns as her father. She offers herself as bait with a promise from Uriel the Archangel to be there to protect her.

Her mission is a success except for the fact that she finds herself Lucifer’s prisoner. Some of the funniest parts of this story take place in Hell, where Zye pits herself against the evilest creature known to mankind. She never shows fear even when she is shaking in her boots, and Lucifer has found his match. What happens with the two of them I won’t reveal because it is too priceless to give away in this review.

Uriel and Zye have no doubt that their feelings for each other go way beyond what was initially intended; after a lifetime of searching for the perfect woman, he has finally found her, but does she feel the same?
Zye is an amazing character with the kind of strength that even stunned the Council of Twelve, except for the fact that they do try on many occasions to curb her use of foul language, not always successfully.
A wonderful addition to a wonderful series.

The book can be purchased here:

https://books2read.com/u/3yEx6l

Demon Tracker’s First 5-Star Review

I’m so very excited to report that Demon Tracker got its first 5-star review on May 1, 2020. It is such a wonderful feeling to find out that readers love my book! Thank you so very much for this great review!


In this third installment of the Council of Twelve series, the author throws us a curveball of sorts as she introduces not only a new character, but a whole new angle on the mythology of this series. It’s interesting to watch how the author is taking the over-arcing story of the series a step further with each new character introduced.

This time we get to meet a demon tracker, one of the best ever. However, her appearance could easily be mistaken for someone demonic herself, which is of course not the case. Besides those great horns on her head, what else is making her a target of the master of Hell. What is his connection to her and why is he so interested in asking questions about her parentage?

All our old friends are here such as the Council of Twelve, along with Sundance and Kate from the previous installments of the series. As well as some familiar foes and new dangers.

A jolly good read, which I highly recommend.

The book can be purchased here:

 

https://books2read.com/u/3yEx6l

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews – #Fantasy A.J. Alexander, #Family Judith Barrow, #Romance Ritu Bhathal

Sundance is mentioned on Sally’s Smorgasbord blog today, with its latest review. I’m very proud of that. Thank you, Sally!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the first of the Cafe update for the week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves..

The first author with a recent review is A.J.Alexander with Sundance: 2nd book of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series

About the book

Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind.Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’ seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and evil. Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.

One of the reviews for the book

View original post 1,333 more words

The Golden Globe 2020 Ladies Fashion Post

Last night, like millions of others, I watched the ‘Golden Globes.’ I had a great time seeing the red carpet introductions and the comments… and knowing me, also the fashion.

During the show, the winners, at times, made me shake my head. I saw quite a few of the nominated movies and the involved actors and couldn’t understand some choices. – Just one example:

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Kaitlyn Dever (“Unbelievable”)
Joey King (“The Act”)
Helen Mirren (“Catherine the Great”)
Merritt Wever (“Unbelievable”)
Michelle Williams (“Fosse/Verdon”) – WINNER

They had Helen Mirren nominated in ‘Catherine the Great’ – and they made Michelle Williams the winner? I’m sorry, I cannot understand that.

Also, they pronounced ‘Missing Link the Best Animated Film! Are you kidding me?? They had nominated Frozen 2, Toy Story 4, and The Lion King!! Every single one of them far better than the winner…

The complete winner list can be seen here:

https://www.goldenglobes.com/winners-nominees

I admit I’m not an expert, that is just my personal taste. I suggest you decide for yourself on the winners.

*****************************

I figured, I would concentrate on the ladies fashion (with one exception, maybe), since I ‘grew up’ in Ladies’ Fashion, learning everything, every single step from the design to the sales, I helped to dress models and organized Fashion Shows… that is something I know about. (I might not be a fully-fledged expert, but definitely a mini-expert with a good taste.)

Let’s pick some of the most impressive dresses and their wearers and have a closer look at them:

Trend: elegant, red evening gowns with an abstract ‘extra,’ like a ‘twist,’ a waterfall, a drapery or a train that pronounces the simplicity of the dress but shows the great taste of the wearer.

Another beautiful dress, worn by an extraordinary actress was Helen Mirren in Dior:


A different trend at this year’s Golden Globe red carpet was oversized sleeves, which in my opinion, were not very flattering. Olivia Coleman’s balloon-like puff sleeves added some weight to her attractive appearance.

Jodie Comer nearly disappeared in the monstrous green fabric, which, in my opinion, is quite a pity since she usually has a far better taste. She is so pretty, why hiding her in that green tent?

As for Beyonce’s dress: I think it is a quite tasteless construct with no decent form. The over-dimensional golden sleeves, to the same time, build the top, and can barely keep her cleavage at bay. Sometimes, less is more, Mrs. Carter.

Sleeves at the Golden Globes - Beyone, Jodie Comer and Olivia Colman


Absolutely stunning:

Michelle Pfeiffer                                                     Rachel WeiszImage result for Golden Globes 2020 Michelle Pfeiffer dressRelated image

Ana De Armas                      Renee Zellweger                           Reese Witherspoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Aniston                 Glenn Close                                      Akwafina

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gillian Andersson                 Dakota Fanning                             Natalie Morales

Slide 39 of 74: Gillian Anderson opted for this sleek white gown, which featured a half cape-like detail and half sleeveless style. Aside from the interesting top half, the rest of the gown was classically simple, a fitted column-style skirt that made a glamorous statement. Next up? The interested twist the star added along the back...

Slide 74 of 74: Natalie Morales rocked this vibrant off-the-shoulder gown on the red carpet. From the slim fit to that glamorous train, we loved the silhouette but think it needed a little more sparkle or glam for such a big night.Slide 47 of 74: Dakota Fanning's lilac confection gave us fairy princess vibes on the red carpet. The star's Dior design featured sweet puffy short sleeves, braided detailing and a full pleated skirt. Next up? A better look at her stellar jewelry selection...

I don’t think I need to explain why I find these ladies’ impeccable taste and wonderful choice of dresses simply a feast for the eyes.


Not sure? My opinion:

Joey King hasn’t exactly hit the ‘jackpot’ with this Iris Van Helpen dress. I don’t think it’s an evening gown, predestined to be shown on the red carpet of one of the most important award events in Hollywood. (Besides, the iridescent pattern on the black and white dress is irritating my eyes.)

Joey King Golden Globes 2020

I read many scornful, malicious, and rogue comments about Cate Blanchett’s light yellow/silver dress with the unusual wing-sleeves. I cannot find anything bad about the design of this dress, and it fits Cate Blanchett’s slim body and fair skin perfectly well. To me, she looks as ethereal as a fairy princess. Stunning, in my opinion.

Cate Blanchett Golden Globes 2020

Billy Porter, in his white tux in combination with the bright white feathery train (which, in my opinion, isn’t even right for the wedding of a pair of crop pigeons), looks like the personified bird-flu, as I find. It’s just too much. This isn’t a ‘statement’… it’s a demonstration of a poor taste.

Billy Porter Golden Globes 2020

Rooney Mara, in her black lace dress, might look a little bit on the ‘goth’-side, but I can’t help myself: on her, this frock looks perfect. Since the lace is making the black dress quite vivid, she made a great decision by wearing her jewels in her hair. The only thing that’s missing is a smile.

Rooney Mara Golden Globes 2020

Salma Hayek was another actress whose red carpet look got quite a few horrible comments.  I personally think, compared to other dresses I saw her wearing, she did quite well with her Bombshell Gucci dress. The white and blue looks good on her, and even though the plunging top turned heads, the top fabric was still strong enough to hold everything where it belonged and present it nicely. Others might not share my opinion, but I think she looks awesome!

 

I’ll make this one short. Many seem to think Lucy Boynton looks stunning in this silver dress. I think she looks like she’s wrapped in aluminum foil and corded up on the neck like a trash bag. Sorry, not my taste.

Slide 43 of 74: Lucy Boynton stunned in silver on the Golden Globes carpet. From the high neck to those sweet short sleeves to the pleated skirt, this metallic Louis Vuitton number was fabulous enough on his own. But the star added her own twist with her signature dramatic makeup, and this year she didn't disappoint...

Zoe Kravitz’s two-pattern polka dot dress got quite different comments. From ‘boring’ to ‘doesn’t fit,’ ‘looks bad’, ‘bad taste’ up to ‘should have stayed home’ almost anything could be read – a few of the comments I read were carefully neutral, like ‘did her best’… I don’t know why the bad comments. Yes, it might not be the most elegant, the most head-turning, or even the sexiest dress of the event – but I think she looks simply cute! Well done, Zoe.

Image result for Golden Globes 2020 Zoe Kravitz dress

Beautiful Margot Robbie earned wonderful reviews and compliments for her Chanel frock with the metallic top and the white bottom. Even though it is a ‘safe side’ evening gown, I’m afraid with me it triggers an unsuppressible yawning reflex. She can do so much better.

Image result for Golden Globes Margot Robbie dress

Michelle Williams is a wonderful lady and quite a good actress. To see her in this orange dress is a bit sad to me. That gown looks like it accidentally slipped to the side, revealing some blue undergarment that doesn’t belong there. This gown here is, once again, an excellent example that shows Luis Vuitton should stay with designing travel baggage instead of Ladie’s evening gowns. It didn’t do Michelle Williams any good.

Image result for Golden Globes 2020 Michelle Williams dress

A ‘different’ kind of couple at the award was Jason Momoa and wife Lisa Bonet. I heard bad comments about Lisa Bonet, while, of course, Jason Momoa is and was the ladies’ favorite. I’m not sure what people are talking about. Lisa Bonet was never a candidate for conventional fashion, and I wouldn’t expect her to be one now. With her simple, floral Fendi couture dress in beige, and Jason Momoa’s combination of Ford and Valentino, carried over a black t-shirt, they both make a well dressed beautiful couple, known for their individual style.

I read many negative and positive comments about beautiful Charlize Theron’s dress choice for the Golden Globes this year. From ‘stunning’ to ‘breathtaking’ to ‘unfinished’ nearly everything could be read. I think the cut of her black and green Dior dress is almost impeccable, sexy, and flatters her slim frame. Would it be cream or apricot-colored, it could have been the perfect gown for her. But I think that particular green makes her look like a bottle of poison.

Image result for Golden Globes 2020 Charlize Theron dress

 


No-No – My opinion:

In this overblown and feathery pink monstrosity beautiful, Sofia Carson looks like exploded cotton candy.

Image result for Golden Globes 2020 Sofia Carson dress

 

Stunning Taylor Swift usually has impeccable taste when it comes to presenting herself the best. But this time she failed. Her green Etro Couture gown presents huge busy yellow blossoms that turn the wide princess dress with the cut-out into a monstrous pile of fabric that seems to swallow the singer. ‘Shake it off,’ Taylor!

Kerry Washington wore an Altuzzara design in black and combined it with a chain that started at her chest, ‘divided’ her chest into two, and showed far more than it should. The plunge line, in this case, was far overdone, even more in combination with the sky-high slit in the skirt. I’m sorry, but in my opinion, she looks like she just came straight from work – in a brothel.

Image result for Golden Globes 2020 Kerry Washington dress

This next picture here shows one of the two outfits that I could not find any positive reviews for. ‘Leftover Christmas present’ and ‘disastrous look’ were the nicest. One look, and I could barely hold back a burst of irresistible laughter. While the monstrous gold and green bow in the front helped to wrap the torso of the singer in a bizarre way, the bottom white skirt part looked like a bed-sheet after a college party.  Oh – NO, J-Lo!

Image result for Golden Globes 2020 Jennifer Lopez dress

And here it is: on my list, it’s the number one worst dress of the evening. Welcome, Gwyneth Paltrow. When I looked at her, I literally shook my head, rubbed my eyes, and looked again. I couldn’t believe that’s for real. She wears nothing underneath a practically sheer brown laced and ruffled tulle-dress (not counting two different necklaces which looks like a child had dressed her). Why didn’t she just show up naked? It would have saved her getting into that sheer dumb fabric. If one could oversee her being naked underneath, which is practically impossible, but IF one could ignore it, in that rag, she looks like an 1870 workbasket.

Image result for Golden Globes 2020 Gwyneth Paltrow dress

Image result for Golden Globes 2020 Gwyneth Paltrow dress

I hope very much you had fun with these pictures and a recap of the Golden Globes 2020 red-carpet with my personal comments. If you have something to add, please do so in the comments below. I’m curious about your opinion.

 

How to Get Reviews to Ensure Your Books’ Success – Written By Dave Chesson

Dave Chesson writes about reviews and how to get them on BookWorks. Thank you very much for your support, Dave.


Think about the last time you went to buy a book.

Did you pick your new read based on a catchy title and attractive cover art?
Maybe. But more than likely you also did a bit of research. You probably went into what genre the book is, basic plot description, character profiles, etc.
AND… I bet you read some reviews.

Because let’s face it… if a book has nothing but negative reviews, why waste your money?

Reviews are crucial to your book’s success. Having many positive reviews can be one of the main driving factors of a book’s sales. But if your book has many negative reviews, you may not sell very many books at all.

And what if you have no reviews?

Continue reading HERE

 

BOOK REVIEW: Soul Taker (The Council of Twelve Series Book 1) by A.J. Alexander – Written By Janis Beck

I was informed today that Janis Beck’s ‘Soul Taker’ review can be found on her blog. Thank you so much for your efforts and support, Janis!


After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out.
When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.
Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.
Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.

Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.

AVAILABLE NOW AT Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo iTunes, SCRIB

REVIEW

New author A.J. Alexander excites us with her debut novella Soul Taker. Kate is an angel of death, taking the soul into the afterlife. After a job that went bad Kate wants to call it quits.

Continue reading here