J.L. Sheppard

*** I TOTALLY agree with J.L.’s article below and, after bouncing ideas off of several ABA authors, I’ve come up with a NOVEL SOLUTION, but I need your participation to make this work. All TWRP or ABA authors who want a 4-star or 5-star review on a book, just click here: https://casimclean.com/aba-review-interchange/

AFTER YOU READ THIS AWESOME POST:

CASI

Want Reviews? Be careful What You Wish For!

I’m all for reviews. Reviews are great. They give you a preview of what’s to come. What you may like or dislike, etc. Don’t know about you, but I don’t have much time on my hands. I have a toddler. Enough said. For those of you who don’t have kids, maybe you’ve been around some. Multiply that child’s activity by ten maybe twenty, and that’s my boy. He’s special. I love him to death, beyond imaginable, but the kid is work.

DSC_6799With the little time I have, I’ve learned to appreciate reviews. Honestly, before baby, I appreciated reviews. I hated spending hours reading to be let down. We all have our preferences, after all. Reading is a form of escapism. I read to escape, to relax. I read because I love it. And I loved reading before I decided to write books. I’ll always love it.

Life’s imperfect, uncertain, and as beautiful as it is, it can also be devastating. We work so hard, love too much, and sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. There are too many things in life we cannot control, except how we escape, how we for a moment take ourselves away from our lives and do something we love. My beautiful boy is work, and I love him, but mommies need breaks too. For me, that’s reading.

What do I prefer to read? HEA’s all the way! I love happily-ever-afters. But I love them with conditions. The hero’s a jerk, borderline abusive to the heroine, and she ends up with him? No. Cliffhangers? Ugh.

What can I say? I’m human. I like to read what I like to read. And everyone is different. We all have our preferences: what we like, what we don’t.

Bringing me back to the point—reviews are helpful. I read them. Sometimes, they let me know if I’d like a book before I buy it and spend hours reading. Over the years, I’ve noticed reviews have become sort of like an art form. There are even graphics, and distinct tone.

From the cover and blurb, you should be able to tell what you’re getting into. Why choose to review a book you won’t like? Yet, we still see a wide range of reviews: the helpful, the stellar, the mocking, and the nasty, distasteful, and the down right mean.

And then there are the 1-star reviews with no comments at all. Why?

I have read books from authors I LOVE and did not like one of their books. I have left reviews explaining why I did not like this particular book, but I did’t feel the need to leave a nasty review. I’ve never felt that need, even if the book was by a new author and I really didn’t like the book. Maybe I have too much empathy and realize that a book is a form of expression, a story the author spent countless hours writing, editing, rereading. Not my cup of tea, but it still has merit.

There will be people who will like it, love it, just not me, so there’s no need to bash an author, a person, and their work because I didn’t enjoy a book they spent countless hours writing, editing, and rereading. If it were a song, I’d delete it or not listen to it––not write the station, artist, producer, or writer. Maybe I’m too compassionate, or just polite. But there are ways to express your opinions without being nasty, rude or completely unaware that words hurt, and what’s the point of hurting each other when life hands us a bunch of hurt already?

What do you think?

Running Wild:

She runs from her perfect life into his—a life of bikers who play and ride by their own rules.

Hard as it is, he keeps his distance. But when she kisses him, all bets are off.Whose rules would she play by…his or hers.

instaquote-28-04-2016-17-47-36 - Copy

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J.L.’s Links:

http://wildcatalog.thewildrosepress.com/paperback-books/4402-running-wild-paperback.html

https://www.amazon.com/Running-Wild-Hell-Ryders-Book-ebook/dp/B01FG5QG7E

www.barnesandnoble.com/w/running-wild-jl-sheppard/1123775328

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-runningwild-2040619-149.html

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/running-wild-30

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30168823-running-wild

 

M. S. Spencer

Which Comes First, The Story or the Research?

Research is key to a novel, but diving into background can also inspire the writer’s muse. M. S. Spencer should know. She’s lived in Chicago, Boston, New York, France, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, and England, and the last 30 years were spent primarily in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and “domestic engineer”, aka parent. Once she escaped academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Whew! Here’s her take on the topic:

M. S. Spencer Author (2)Authors must do quite a bit of research for their books even when they know the subject well. The Mason’s Mark, my newest release, is set in my former home town of Alexandria, Virginia at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial. A landmark of the Washington skyline, the building is not only a Masonic lodge, but a memorial to our first president. I began with the idea that my heroine would find a dead body on the ninth floor observation platform, with no rational explanation of how it got there.

To ensure authenticity I set about Googling both freemasonry and George Washington, but my search soon led me into a strange world of global intrigue and crime. I followed one thread to a remarkable Italian scam artist named Licio Gelli.

Starting in the 1940s Gelli embarked on a lifetime of bizarre scams and crimes. Alternately linked to rightists and leftists, he bilked or used people from Italian politicians, to the Nazis, the Communists, the CIA, even to Juan Peron, dictator of Argentina. His exploits cross the globe and spanned four decades. He was still alive in December 2015, in his nineties and writing poetry from prison. In 1996 he was even nominated for the Nobel prize in literature.Licio Gelli 1

Note: He died December 15, 2015.

 

Here is a link to an obituary: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/12054716/Licio-Gelli-financier-obituary.html

Gelli is most famous for founding a Masonic lodge called Propaganda Due, a renegade group that was first dissolved, then reinstated, then erased by the Grand Orient de Italia. He had ensnared many prominent Italians into P2, which ultimately led to several huge scandals.

How could I resist? I added him to the mysterious corpse. Further Googling on George Washington tossed up lots of fascinating scandal rumors. So now I had a body, a renegade Mason and scam artist, and long-lost George Washington letters. Voila! The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower, a contemporary tale about old scandals. And a dynamite love story.

 

TheMasonsMarkLoveandDeathintheTower_M. S. Spencer

Sneak peek of The Mason’s Mark:

In both the best and worst first day at work ever, docent Claire Wilding meets the man of her dreams, but her carefully rehearsed guided tour of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial collapses when she discovers a body and is drawn into a dark world of black ops and Italian renegade masons, of secret cabals and hidden treasure. Also cloaked in mystery is handsome Gideon Bliss, a George Washington expert who haunts the Memorial, his manner evasive. What is his secret? Claire fears she’ll fall in love with him only to learn he’s a thief or even a murderer. Juggling two eccentric mothers, an inquisitive sister, and an increasingly smitten detective, Claire must find answers to a complex web of intrigue, including who to trust and who to love.

 

The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower (an Old Town Romance)

Wild Rose Press, May 6, 2016 (Crimson Rose imprint)
Mystery/Cozy Mystery, Romantic suspense
ebook 79,000 words; print 322 pp.

M/F; 3 flames
Buy Links:

TWRP: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=6805

ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/masons-mark-love-death-in/id1104823156?mt=11

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-masons-mark-m-s-spencer/1118052638?ean=2940157863760

AllRomanceEBooks (pre-order): https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-themason039smarkloveanddeathinthetower-2017038-149.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Masons-Mark-Love-Death-Tower-ebook/dp/B01DHAJXWK

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/the-masons-mark-love-and-death-in-the-tower-0

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-mason-s-mark-love-and-death-in-the-tower-2

If you like the Mason’s Mark, you might want to check out The Penhallow Train Incident, also from the Wild Rose Press.

Penhallow Train Incident by M. S. Spencer

 

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