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I just wanted to share with you all a wonderful gothic thriller by my beta partner, Sara Kjeldsen. I might be biased here because I got to watch Sara mold this gothic beauty into perfection, but she has truly created a delightfully haunting tale. And if that cover doesn’t grab you immediately, the fantastic price of FREE will!

Followed’s book description:

Adeline assumes that her life is on track when she befriends her spirited governess, Julia, followed by her ex-midshipman cousin, Gabriel. But when her great aunt passes away after revealing a terrible secret, she is torn away from Julia by her new guardians.

After their home in Bath is set aflame, Adeline and Gabriel flee to the woods. Separated from Gabriel after being chased down by a strange horseman, Adeline is then approached by a madman and is given an ultimatum to follow him – or to die alone in the forest.

I was drawn in immediately by the cover’s promise of a creepy tale and couldn’t put the book down until the last page. Followed is the kind of book where you not only have an interesting cast of developed characters, but the actual setting is one of the most important characters. The old mansion and the primal woods truly create a fantastically eerie and haunting atmosphere. I felt like I was there in that mansion following the characters down the secret passageways, riding along on horseback beside them, and wandering through the creepy woods. I enjoyed all the twists and reveals that kept me turning every page. I can’t get enough of stories with death-bed confessions, secret rooms, scandalous diaries, and restless spirits.

If you love gothic thrillers with a pinch of mystery, you will love Followed. The ending has enough closure to be satisfying, but there are still plot threads left hanging to keep the reader eager to read on. I love books that hint at little mysteries that promise to be big reveals later down the road. I can’t wait to see where Sara goes with the next book in series (and I’m so happy that I’ll be one of the first people who can take a peak at it:))

If you wanted to try Followed out for yourself, you can find the new release here FREE (and hurry since I don’t think it will be free for long!)

 

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Not my precious, precious reviews!

I’ve lost three reviews since last week. One day I checked my Amazon page and saw that Infinite Sacrifice went from thirty-two reviews to thirty-one reviews.

Huh?

This has never happened before and so, I go to where I always go for self-publishing news and advice: the Kindle Boards Forum.

And sure enough, there was already a post up about disappearing Amazon reviews. The person who posted claimed to have lost four reviews and other authors continued the thread reporting their losses and ideas why this would happen.

The theories:

1) Paid review
2) Reviews made from the same IP address as one with financial interest in the book
3) You gave a reviewer a gift card to purchase your ebook for review (considered as compensation). Even if the reviewer didn’t receive their ebook in this way from you, they might have received one from another author, and all of their reviews would be deleted.

4) A reviewer posted the same review on other sites (Goodreads, B&N, Smashwords, etc.)

5) Review left by another author (which I think it completely unfair)

6) That you used your review on other venues outside Amazon (some authors have said that they quoted an Amazon review as a book blurb and then their reviews disappeared.)

7) The reviewer deleted the review.

I couldn’t remember which review I lost (even though I sure did try), but I deducted it was a five-star review 😦

The next day I woke up to another review gone. Infinite Sacrifice now had thirty reviews and dropped from 4.6 stars to 4.5. This time I knew which review went missing. One of my favorites, a four star from a man (very few men leave reviews for my series). This time I could compare it to the reasons above:

1) No

2) I seriously doubt that they live near me

3) I didn’t give this reader a gift card and, since I checked out his previous reviews, he wasn’t a frequent book reviewer so I doubt he’d received a book via gift card for review.

4) This reviewer didn’t post up the review on any other sites.

5) He wasn’t an author

6) I didn’t post this review up anywhere outside of Amazon

7) I don’t think that he did since he only left the review a month ago.

So I still can’t figure out why that review disappeared

By the end of the day, I lost a review on my sequel. Infinite Devotion went from twelve reviews to eleven reviews. It was a five-star lovely and detailed review from a reader who purchased a print copy of my book.

I came up with the same answers as above, except:

4) She did post it up on Goodreads as well.

This might be the reason. Although, many of my other reviews that are still up are posted on other sites. Why aren’t they gone? I hope more reviews don’t disappear from this book since you need ten to run a promotion that I have scheduled to run early November.

When reviewers repost their original reviews, they get a sharp letter from Amazon threatening to take away their reviewing privileges. When authors complain, they are threatened with removal of their book.

I wrote an email to Amazon just letting them know how many reviews I’ve lost and that I’m not aware that they break any of their rules. I told them that I understood that they needed to react to the sock puppet accusations, but that what they are implementing is not effective. That they are deleting genuine reviews.

Here is their reply:

“Hello,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

However, I can tell you that reviews are removed from the Amazon.com website for three reasons:

1. The review conflicted with the posted guidelines, found here:  http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines/
2. The review was removed at the request of the customer who submitted the review
3. We discovered that multiple items were linked together on our website incorrectly. Reviews that were posted on those pages were removed when the items were separated on the site

Further, we’re unable to provide further details about why these specific reviews were removed from Amazon.com; we can only discuss that with the person who wrote the reviews.

I hope this information helps. Thanks for using Amazon KDP.”

Can anyone explain #3  for me?

If any of you experience this (whether it be a review you left or one you received) I think it’s a good idea to just send Amazon an email letting them know that you didn’t breech their review rules and something is not working on their end. You’ll probably get the same response as me, but maybe if they get enough of these they’ll fine tune something so this doesn’t keep happening.

What is going to happen? I worry that people will be discouraged from leaving reviews. The reviews I leave for others, take me some time to construct and if some of them were removed I wouldn’t waste my time to write more. Hopefully, this is a one time witch hunt and not that many reviewers were effected.

But if the three people who took the time to leave my reviews notices that their review is now missing, I want to apologize. I don’t know why they were taken down, but I thank you for letting me know what you thought of my books. It was not time wasted because I cherish every review and hope you are not discouraged to write more.
If any of you would like to read more on this, here are a few links:

http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,129759.0.html

http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,130243.0.html

http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,130320.0/topicseen.html

What about you? Have you lost any reviews (on your books or ones you have left for others)? Can you figure out why it’s happened?

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Hey everyone! Sorry I have been absent lately, but I’m knee-deep in author interviews for a little blog tour this week. My blogging pal, Sara Flower, let me know about this inexpensive blog tour site, Full Moon Bites. If you’d like to check any of the stops out, here’s the schedule:

June 3rd- The Jeep Diva (Review) (Author Interview) (Book Review/Author Interview)
June 4th- Erotic Romance With a Bite…Leigh Savage (Author Interview/Promo Post)
June 5th- What’s Hot? (Author Interview/Promo Post)
June 5th– Heart Of A Wolf (Book Review/Promo Post)
June 6th- Simply Infatuated (Promo Post)
June 7th- The Book Connoisseur (Author Interview/Promo Post)
June 8th- D. VonThaer (Book Review/Author Interview)
June 9th- Turning The Pages (Promo Post)
June 9th- A Page Away (Book Review/Promo Post)

 

 

Be back soon 🙂

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Sara Flower is not only a fantastic blog writer, she is now a published author! I couldn’t wait to read her debut Christian Fantasy novel, By The Sword, and I’m so pleased to tell you about it.

Description (from Amazon):

Seventeen-year-old Talya’s main goal is to bring down the Malinorian Empire. And Jalarn, the empire’s prodigy general, is at the top of her list of enemies to kill. Not only has Jalarn murdered Talya’s king, he’s almost killed her. Twice.

But things don’t go as Talya planned when a visiting prophet sends her on a mission to the highly feared Hunter Forest. It is there that she must gain the allegiance of the forest’s inhabitants before Jalarn and his men do.

Then, memories of a haunting vision resurface when Talya comes face to face with Jalarn. She makes a rash decision that sends her down a path she never imagined she would follow.

By The Sword is a captivating novel that takes you on a journey (literally as well as spiritually). The main plot consistently fuels the story while the momentum of the subplots keep the pages turning. Since this is the first Christian Fantasy novel I’ve read, the storyline intrigued me. I was amazed by the wonderful detail of the powers of the dark side as well as how, through the powers of prayer, miracles occurred. Given the heavy religious undertones that takes place midway through the book, I predict it might only appeal to readers with Christian beliefs, as the title of the genre reflects. Aware of this before reading, I was so surprised and compelled at the descriptive, haunting scenes of the lure and practices of the Dark Prince. Truly frightening and authentic.

Flower creates strong, tangible characters with realistic motivations. I originally was worried about the stereotypical ‘strong female warrior’, but I was incredibly relieved how realistic the action scenes were written. I found Tayla’s actions during battle very credible, especially for a slight girl. The battle scenes were exceptionally well written and did not feel overdone. The writer also did a good job introducing each main character slowly and carried a lesser developed cast to aid with subplots. My favorite character was Jalarn. He has deep, deep layers and I found his actions and thoughts compelling and plausible. There was no part in the book where I felt comfortable setting it down, and the writer is adept at leaving each chapter on a cliffhanger. She then transitions beautifully to another POV in the novel without losing pace. I was very satisfied with the ending as a standalone, yet the possibility of a sequel exists (and I hope she writes it!)

Since I’ve never read another work of Christian Fantasy, it’s hard to judge if this is original, but I was deeply engaged by this subgenre of fantasy. It was so interesting to see how the usual good and evil sides of fantasy play out with the specifics of the Devil and Jesus Christ. I realized while reading this that most of your high fantasy—although they use imagined names for lords of good and evil—are basically depicting earthly religious struggles after all. I highly recommend this book to Christian readers and to others interested in learning more about the Christian Fantasy genre.

I was hoping I would enjoy Sara’s book as much as I enjoy her blog, and I am so happy to say she did not disappoint. She has done all the revising, editing, and formatting required of an author and has delivered a professional and captivating product. You can purchase By The Sword here.

Great job, Sara!

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