Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Goodreads Ratings (A Public Service Announcement)

Imagine for a moment that you've put your blood, sweat, and tears into one project for hundreds of hours because it's your lifelong passion, and you're so invested in this thing that you can't sleep at night or focus on daily tasks because ideas are whispered into your ear 24/7. Imagine that you've decided to make this passion your career, and hope it will feed your family and maybe keep a roof over your head. You invest over a thousand dollars that you don't necessarily have into this project, hiring professionals to help make it shiny enough to entice strangers to buy into your passion.

Now imagine that this project is rated on a star systems, and before you've even released your precious baby into the wild, it's given the absolutely lowest rating possible. Though this seems totally unfair, there's nothing you can do to change it.

Such is the glamorous life of an author.


It seems there's a misnomer when it comes to Goodreads ratings, as far too often users see it as a system to remember which books they want to read. Sometimes I won't even have finished the book or written a blurb and I'll find a single one-star rating. Please, I beg you, for the love of authors who have devoted their lives into writing, don't ever use the star system for these purposes. By doing this, you're unfairly tarnishing the author's reputation/brand and making it more difficult for them to sell their passion.

According to Google, this is the universal standard rating system:
1 - Poor
2 - Fair
3 - Average
4 - Good
5 - Excellent

Easy enough, right? Now with that being said, my momma taught me to be kind to people, and I don't have it in me to ever give a book either a 1 or 2 rating. In my mind, a 3 = pretty good. If I can't say it was at least a 3, I won't rate it. Part of that may be due to the "Minnesota Nice" mentality that I can't seem to shake, but I also don't think it's warranted. Simply because I can't get into humans having sex with dinosaurs in space doesn't mean the book wasn't well written. If I give a book one star because it's not my thing, that's sending an unfair message to people who do enjoy reading about humans having sex with dinosaurs in space. (By the way, humans having sex with dinosaurs in space is a real thing. Apparently you can make this shit up.)

A prime example of a book I didn't enjoy even though well written would be J.K. Rowling's Casual Vacancy. There's no denying the woman has a beautifully tight prose, but this non-magical tale was simply not for me, so I chose not to rate it. However, over 24,000 readers gave it one star. First of all, I'd give anything just to have that many people give my book a chance. However, if this book had been written by anyone else, those ratings would have the potential to kill the author's career.

Ratings are everything when you're trying to get your book into the hands of readers. 

Accordingly, I implore you to take Goodreads ratings quite seriously. You're leaving a permanent mark on someone's career. Please don't be flippant about clicking your mouse, making a last second decision like it's a yellow stoplight. Stop to really give it some thought. It's only fair you spend a minute or two on your review considering how many hours the author put into creating their "baby."

To those who do take the time to write a thoughtful review, whether only the minimum amount of characters required or several paragraphs long, you have no idea how much your effort is appreciated. If I had J.K.'s success, I would take each and everyone of you out for a beer. Scratch that - I would throw you all one helluva party with Charlie Hunnam and Brock O'Hurn serving the beer. Shirtless. On a beach in Maui. With Jack Johnson playing his ukulele.

With these lovely visuals in mind, I'm off to write.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

FIGHTING FOR ALEXA Release & Random Thoughts

You guys. I can't believe I've published seventeen books in my writing career.

SEVEN. DAMN. TEEN.


Whenever someone asks what number I'm on, I honestly never remember (part of that's because I'm getting closer to becoming an AARP member). Even right this moment I feel like I should run into my office and count one more damn time for good measure. Then again, that's probably my mild OCD showing its bastard face. At least as I sit here and reflect on the last 42 years of my life (ouch that hurts...today's my bday), I can look back at everything I've done and be proud as hell.

My first computer. GREEN SCREEN, baby.
To give you a glimpse into my background, in third grade I wrote a short story about My Little Pony and declared I would one day be an author. I often skipped hanging with my friends as a teenager to type away on my little Apple IIc, writing what's now known as "fanfic" that involved my favorite movies like Sixteen Candles and Breakfast Club.

My high school English teacher encouraged me to send my work in for a contest, and I think I won some kind of award (#oldladymemory). In college I struggled with what path to take as my advisors told me I likely wouldn't make a career out of writing. I wasn't interested in the other options involving an English major, and one afternoon ended up picking a career path from the phone book.

Basically, the start of my career was a total shit-storm.

Unfortunately, I didn't go after my dream until several years later when a dear family member was diagnosed with cancer at a young age. At that point I realized that tomorrow isn't promised, and I knew I owed it to myself to see if I could become a successful author. So in 2012 I quit my full-time job and self-published my first young adult paranormal book, What I've Done.

It's insane to think how much my life has changed since.

So damn many people have played a part in my journey, and I'm bummed that I can't possibly thank everyone in the acknowledgements found in the back of each book. From each individual blogger to fans, my incredible author friends and family, there are literally hundreds of humans who influenced my success in one way or another. If you're reading this, there's a good chance you're one of them, so THANK YOU! I'm fortunate to have come in contact with so many kind souls in the past five years who have offered advice or comfort during tough times, held my hand, and encouraged me to keep going. They even make up for the jackholes who have tried their damnedest to bring me down.



I decided one way to thank my fans was to throw a fun giveaway that includes a $50 Amazon gift card, a Michael Kors bag, a signed paperback, The Sweary Colouring Book, and VS body coconut milk! If you haven't entered yet, you can still stop HERE now through the 28th of February to be in the running for these awesome prizes. I'd give away more if I could afford it, but the expenses associated with being an indie author are ridiculously expensive.

So if you're interested in the crazy stories that go through my head, you can currently grab Fighting for Alexa on Kindle, iBooks, Nook, and Kobo for just 99¢ but I'm pretty sure I'll be putting it on Kindle Unlimited soon and raising the price. So if you're interested, now's your chance to grab that baby. I don't change the price and switch the retailers to be an asshole, I promise. Being an indie author is pretty much like being a meteorologist. We never know when it's going to rain or everything around us will be sucked into a funnel. This is one of the hardest jobs I've ever had, but also the most rewarding.

Please know that I'm eternally grateful for all you do for me from purchasing my books to leaving reviews and sharing my posts on social media! You're truly the best!

XOXO,

Jen

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Sunday, May 24, 2015

It's Finally Here! THE LIST by Kate L. Mary

       
The List
College of Charleston series, Book #1
Kate L. Mary
NA Contemporary Romance
             

 
╣Synopsis╠

The List. Twenty things every girl must do before she turns twenty. . .
Body piercing Get drunk First kiss
But thanks to her crazy, over-protective father, Annie Roth is way behind schedule. Good thing it’s her first semester of college, because Annie is more than ready to start checking off items. . .
Fake ID Skinny dipping Road trip!!!
Where it gets complicated? Ryan and Chris. Best friends. Both sweet, funny, totally hot, and totally into Annie.
But there are some things on The List that Annie only wants to do with Ryan. . .
Lose it Get Heart Broken Fall in love
AmazoniBooksKobo

timeline cover NA party

╣Excerpt╠
  “I don’t want to go crazy, Cami. I just want to experience the normal things teenagers experience. While I’m still a teenager. I’ll be nineteen next month, and I haven’t done anything! I have one year.” Cami nodded as a slow smile spread across her face. “Kind of like a bucket list for your teen years.” I grinned and my wet hair bounced around when I nodded emphatically. “Exactly!” Cami jumped to her feet and started pacing the room. “That I can help with! But we should start a list right now. Write it all down, so we can mark it off as we go.” My insides jumped and fired to life, and I got to my feet too. “That’s a great idea.” Cami grabbed a notebook and flipped it open, then grabbed a pink Sharpie. At the top of the paper she scribbled Annie’s Bucket List. “Okay, what’s first?” I chewed on my bottom lip and ran my hand through my damp hair. “Let’s start small. Buy makeup.” Cami nodded and jotted it down, then said, “And some new clothes and shoes. Girly stuff.” She wrote down, buy a dress and heels and I inwardly cringed. Wearing heels seemed a bit unrealistic, but I was determined to do this. Even if I fell out of my shoes and broke my arm in the process. “Get highlights,” I said. Cami giggled while she wrote. “With your hair, I’d get lowlights.” I nodded even though I had no idea what she was talking about. She’d know better than me. Cami looked up and raised an eyebrow. “Get your ears pierced?” “And something else too! Like my nose or my belly button!” I was getting really excited. Bouncing around like Cami. I’d always been intrigued by the way most girls these days glinted under the lights. It was rare, especially in California, to see girls in their teens without multiple piercings. I wanted to be one of those girls. Cami wrote it down before looking back at me. “A tattoo?” I hadn’t even considered that one. Something inside me jumped, but with the painful way it twisted I wasn’t sure if it was fear or excitement. “I don’t know…” “We’ll put that one on the shelf for now. What else? Just fire them off and I’ll write as fast as I can.” I took a deep breath and went for it. She was willing to help, so I shouldn’t be scared about revealing how little I’d done. “Go on a date, go to a formal, go skinny-dipping, get drunk, have a first kiss, stay up all night, take a road trip with a group of friends.” I took a deep breath and peered at her out of the corner of my eye, but she hadn’t even blinked and she was still scribbling away. “Have sex….”

 
╣Teasers╠


╣About the Author╠
Kate L. Mary is a stay-at-home mother of four and an Air Force wife. She grew up in a small town just north of Dayton, Ohio where she and her husband met at the age of twelve. Since their marriage in 2002, they have lived in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and California. Kate enjoys any post-apocalyptic story - especially if zombies are involved - as long as there is a romantic twist to give the story hope. Kate prefers nerdy, non-traditional heroes who can make you laugh to hunky pieces of man-meat, and her love of wine and chocolate is legendary among her friends and family. She currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband and children. Be sure to check out her bestselling BROKEN WORLD series, which is a top 100 book in dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction on Amazon.  

 
╣Social Media╠
   

Monday, April 13, 2015

Excerpt of ADAM'S LIST

Man have I been bad about blogging or what?? Incase you missed the news, Adam's List is now available on Kindle Unlimited and Chloe's Dream (NYC LOVE Book 3) was released April 3rd! In lieu of booze, streamers, and party hats, I'm going to share an excerpt from Adam's List. This is one of my favorite scenes in which Adam and Jewels are still trying to define their complicated relationship despite their undeniable attraction to each other. They're in the back of the pickup truck in a grassy field outside of Toledo, a couple of days into their road trip.

Chris Martin launches into his old line about stars shining “just for you.” I grab my phone, desperate for him to stop. This thing can’t be about romance. Doesn’t he understand by now he can destroy me with just one of his sexy looks?


I flip through my playlist until I come across Nine Inch Nails’s “Closer.”



“Hey. Go back.” Adam eyes me with suspicion. “New favorite band, remember?”


“Trust me, this song is more fitting.” I flip over to lay above him with one hand holding me up and the other trailing down his stomach, headed for his pants. I dance around on top of him, mouthing the words to the song. Adam’s eyes grow wider when the song breaks into the chorus.


“Whoa!” he yells, nearly shoving me over. “I thought we agreed to take this slow.” He springs for my phone, eagerly stopping the song like it’s making his ears bleed. After a few clicks, the members of Typhoon are crooning into the night, discussing the perils of love of all goddamned things.


I brush off the relevant fact that he chose to play the mix I named “romance,” and frown. “I thought we agreed we were coming back to drink champagne and get it on. You’re becoming the reversed version of a cock block.”


“Come here.” He pulls on my hips, his expression suddenly serious.


And, holy shit, now they’re singing about strangers in the dark...and stars...I should stop this right now. The music, the relationship, whatever game we’re playing. But one look into Adam’s eyes, and I’m a total goner.


I dip my head down, reluctant and cautious. He kisses me with a fire unmatched by anything, hints of champagne and the cheese balls we broke out for our makeshift dinner on his tongue. I breathe deeply through my nose, catching his musky scent mixed in with the outdoors. His lips, both benevolent and eager, stroke and brush around mine, giving room for his tongue to press its way in. When I reach down to tug at his shirt, wanting to finally feel the muscles of his stomach without fabric getting in the way, his hand wraps around my fingers. 


He looks up, his eyes filled with so much emotion, it’s as if he’s about to cry. “Just kiss me, Jewels,” he whispers. “Nothing else.”
I fall back into him, wrapping my lips with his, not dwelling on reasons why he’d be upset, not caring that I promised myself I wouldn’t get emotionally attached. I take his probing tongue between my lips and suck hard, rubbing my body against his in sync with our kisses. Adam backs down, pulling away just enough to reclaim his tongue and lightly suck on my bottom lip. Every time I try to kick it up a notch, he’s quick to slow it back down.


I finally give in to his sweet gestures and marginal PG rated intentions. We continue kissing forever and ever under the bright stars, burning through the playlist I created with high hopes for such an occasion. The only stroking and touching of any kind involves heads and faces, and it’s filled with compassion, tenderness. Although I’m still burning for him from head to toe, there’s an intense need to match his pace and prove to him I want this. I want him.


Every time we stop to catch our breaths, Adam studies me closely, as if waiting for me to profess my love for him. As if wanting to tell me he’s in love and doesn’t ever want to let me go.


We’ve entered dangerous territory. You can’t kiss someone with so much emotion if you’re preparing to walk away. Alarms ring through my head, too loud and too obvious to be ignored. There are way too many complex emotions being passed between us.


I already know he’s going to shatter my heart.




GET IT NOW: 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

THE LIST by Kate L. Mary

The List. Twenty things every girl must do before she turns twenty. . .

Body piercing
Get drunk
First kiss


But thanks to her crazy, over-protective father, Annie Roth is way behind schedule. Good thing it’s her first semester of college, because Annie is more than ready to start checking off items. . .

Fake ID
Skinny dipping
Road trip!!!


Where it gets complicated? Ryan and Chris. Best friends. Both sweet, funny, totally hot, and totally into Annie.

But there are some things on The List that Annie only wants to do with Ryan. . .

Lose it
Get Heart Broken
Fall in love
 



I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an ARC of this sweet/steamy/fun novel and couldn't put it down. If you haven't heard me gush about Kate L. Mary's writing before, check out either this excerpt from her adult zombie series or this one. The List is a contemporary romance, proving Ms. Mary can write an amazing story no matter the genre. Now for my review.

Holy sexual frustration, Batman! I can't remember the last time I read a romance in which I so badly wanted the characters to get past their issues and get it on already! This was a great, entertaining read about a girl trying to find her way in college after leading a sheltered life. I love that the characters are flawed and have so many real life issues keeping them apart. I hope the small loose ends are covered when we hear Cami's story in the next book. Literally sat down and read it in one day. This was one of my favorite reads, which is no surprise considering the author. Kate L. Mary has written another emotional masterpiece that will stay with me for a long time!

Preorder The List on Amazon



image

 Kate L. Mary is a stay-at-home mother of four and an Air Force wife. She spent most of her life in a small town just north of Dayton, Ohio where she and her husband met at the age of twelve. Since their marriage in 2002, they have lived in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and California. Kate enjoys any post-apocalyptic story – especially if zombies are involved – as long as there is a romantic twist to give the story hope. Kate prefers nerdy, non-traditional heroes that can make you laugh to hunky pieces of man-meat, and her love of wine and chocolate is legendary among her friends and family. She currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband and children.


Website │ Facebook │ Twitter


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Cover Reveals by Danielle Sibarium

For Always

“There’s nothing you can’t do if you want it bad enough.”

I entered the world with a massive defect. I attracted death. Like a magnet. I could feel it all around me. It wrapped its icy fingers tight around my chest, leaving me no room for escape.  That was my life before I met Jordan Brewer, the boy I became infatuated with. Obsessed with. The boy that became my everything.

I knew he wanted me, too. I saw it. I felt it. But he was older, and wouldn’t act on his feelings. I knew in time I’d make him mine. Just as he promised me a future together, his life was torn apart. He turned away from me and shut me out of his life. Could I convince him to let go of his past and hold on to me? Or would he continue to punish us both for something he couldn’t control?

For Always purchase links:

And Forever

Sometimes being with the one you love hurts more than being without them.”

“There’s nothing you can’t do if you want it bad enough.” This is the mantra Jordan Brewer drilled
into my head since the day I met him. He convinced me nothing is out of my reach, not even him.

I love Jordan, and Jordan loves me, but something always gets in the way. I had to fight tooth and nail to convince him we belong together. Now he’s mine, but I’m not sure our love is strong enough to survive.

I’m away at school and Jordan’s playing drums for a local band. We hardly see each other, and when we do, he’s haunted by demons from his past. I’m struggling to fit in and he’s struggling with his ever-growing mountain of guilt. Will we be able to hold on to each other through the tough times, or will it all come tumbling down around us? 


Danielle Sibarium Online