Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Prophecy of the Six released yesterday, but I got to read it early. Here’s my review.

Sabrina Front-Cover-FinalHQ

I love this sequel to Alchemy even more than the first book. And that’s saying something.

Imagine that magic is contagious. And causes insanity. Mages who survive the initial infection have to be controlled, sent to special schools that resemble prisons, or locked away in insane asylums.

Now prepare to follow four infected teens as they try to navigate the fine line between magic and madness—and determine who they can really trust. And just what part they have in the Prophecy of the Six. For that matter, what is the prophecy? Because no one will tell them.

Suspicious Seb, super senses and healing, for whom odors, sounds, bright colors, and rough textures are torture and who lives and breathes conspiracy theories.

Alternately fragile and daredevil Ana, alchemy and prophecy, who possesses the rare ability to invest inanimate objects with magic. Sometimes stolen magic. Sometimes her own. But whose sanity is threatened whenever such an object is used.

Confident Sam, temp and pushing, maybe the sanest of the four—if love doesn’t destroy him and take one or more of the others with him.

Snarky Juliette, alchemy and pushing, whose infection has robbed her of everything she loved or wanted. Her anger and fear could take them all down, but her magic may be the most powerful of all.

You’re in for a great roller-coaster ride with this book.

I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review. I honestly loved it.

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The Voice of Prophecy


only became available three days ago and it’s already got four reviews. Good ones, too.

This makes me very happy. It’s really hard to overestimate the importance of reviews to a writer–especially an indie author. Reviews act as a kind of social validation for new readers that other people have read this and liked it. It makes it just that bit more likely that they’ll buy it.

They might help the book get onto certain lists at Amazon, which increases visibility. (The Voice of Prophecy has been doing well on both the Top 100 and Hot New Releases lists for Sword and Sorcery and Epic Fantasy, too.)

Reviews also help to make certain types of ads possible. Most of the better performing sites won’t even consider a book without a minimum number of reviews. Again, visibility.

The less-good reviews and even a (hopefully) few bad reviews will come, too. I try to take those philosophically. No story works for everyone. And the bad reviews serve to validate the good ones–or so they say.

These reviews are a great early Christmas gift. So, thank you to everyone who takes the time to leave a review.

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I’ve received (some time ago, actually) a three-star review for “Becoming Lioness”. The story is perma-free, so it’s not like this review has a major effect on sales. However, the reason “Becoming Lioness” is free is to provide an easy introduction into the world of the Dual Magics series. There will be more short stories (also, hopefully, free) in this series between releases of the novels. In fact, I’ve got one that will hopefully be ready in November and two more on deck.


The review complains of inconsistencies between “Becoming Lioness” and THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. They tell you to never respond to a review–good or bad. And they’re right. So this isn’t a response. This reader’s experience is perfectly valid and right for them. It’s just not–from my point of view–complete. But, then, you see, there are things I know about this world that readers don’t–yet.

What this reader sees as inconsistencies come from two sources, I think.

The first is just that this is a short story. In order to make that work without bogging the story down, some things are simplified. Characters who would normally be present, aren’t there because each additional character adds approximately 1,000 words. In a short story that should be in the range of 7,500 words, that comes with quite a premium. (“Becoming Lioness” is technically a novelette and closer to 11,000 words.) So this plot is narrowed down to just the two characters who matter for this story. Some of the finer points of the magic system that don’t really matter for the plot are reduced, too, for the sake of brevity.

But the main “inconsistencies” I think come from the fact that the events of “Becoming Lioness” take place in the time frame of the fourth (as-yet untitled) book in the series. So, for example, Kiara is aged 7 – 10 in THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. She’ll be several years older–about 17–by the time we get to Book 4. That alone accounts for some significant differences.

So, I hope you do enjoy “Becoming Lioness”–and “Modgud Gold” when it becomes available. If you’ve read THE SHAMAN’S CURSE, “Modgud Gold” takes place in the same time frame and focuses on what Arcas was doing while Vatar was an apprentice blacksmith.

Fire And Earth Cover (Provisional)

Speaking of bargains, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE and FIRE AND EARTH will both be part of Clean Indie Reads Fall Sale from October 5th thru the 11th. They’ll both be $0.99.

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Based on David Gaughran’s LET’S GET VISIBLE, I tried something different with THE SHAMAN’S CURSE–a direct request for requests along with a link to the book’s page on Amazon. It’s working.


In a little over a month, I’ve gotten more reviews on THE SHAMAN’S CURSE than on any other of my books. And most of them are overwhelmingly positive–which never fails to make my day.

That’s not all it does. It serves as validation for other potential purchasers, of course. It also means that as sales inevitably start to slow some marketing paths will be open to me that otherwise wouldn’t.

That’s one bit of marketing that definitely works. And, best of all, it’s free for all concerned. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to leave a review–especially on indie books.

In spite of massive interruptions over the last few days, I’m making good progress on the third draft of THE IGNORED PROPHECY, sequel to THE SHAMAN’S CURSE.

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“Even a hero needs to be rescued sometimes.” That perfectly describes this story.

There’s been a price for Olivia to reach the top of her profession as a television host. Crazy stalkers, no privacy, no personal life except online, where she can be anonymous. And still there’s one interview she can’t get–the male model who became a hero when the cruise expedition he was on was attacked by pirates.

Hot model Jori has a deserved reputation as a bad boy when it comes to women. No one knows that his behavior is based on a traumatic event in his childhood. That is, until he’s adopted almost as a brother by two women on a cruise. Lyn and Elle are the first attractive women in years Jori hasn’t tried to get into bed with.

That’s the first crack in his armor. Then Jori risks himself to save Elle from pirates. The injury he receives ends his modeling career. Everyone wants to hail him as a hero–including the up-and-coming television host, Olivia. But Jori is still haunted by his past. He still considers himself more beast than hero.

It’s going to take one more woman to finally convince Jori that he’s worthy of being loved.

This story is even better than the first (A Change of Plans). And that’s saying a lot. I honestly love this one.

I received an advance copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.


Modern-day pirates took more than Jori Virtanen’s friends; they stole his face. Not only does the twenty-four-year-old former model have to confront months of reconstructive surgery, he discovers his previous life was as superficial as his looks. Jori struggles to make a new life for himself as an artist while evading the press. They expect a hero, but he knows the truth. His beauty masks a beast.

Olivia Howard’s given up a normal life for her job, and the sacrifices are finally paying off. The twenty-six-year-old talk-show host’s ratings are heading to the top of the charts. Her dream is to make a difference in people’s lives, but the studio wants mind fluff—like interviewing hot model Jori Virtanen. When Olivia learns the guy helped rescue passengers on a cruise excursion from kidnappers, she knows this is the story she needs to make her case. The only problem is the hero was injured, and now he’s disappeared.

The more Olivia learns about the man behind the scar, the more intrigued she becomes. But Jori is no girl’s happily ever after. Once she finds him, Olivia has to free his heart and help heal the beast.



Trailer on Youtube


Author Information:

Author of the Safe Harbors series and Second Chances 101, Book 5 in the Ripple Effect series. A wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Army veteran, and karate black belt.

Contact the author: donnakweaver@gmail.com

Find the author on:

Blog | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube | Google+

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And it’s not just because of the season–although that’s part of it.

This post is a day late because life–and my house–got a little crazy on me yesterday. Oddly, most things seem to have returned to normal today. No better explanation so far than poltergeists. And, really, the only ghosts in this house should be friendly ones. Oh well.

I’m also feeling a little scattered–or maybe schizophrenic–because I’m trying to revise three different novels at the same time! I’m just waiting for the time I catch myself typing the name of a character from DREAMER’S ROSE into either THE SHAMAN’S CURSE or MAGIC AND POWER.

I may just have to decide to work on only one thing at a time. Think of that. If so, I’ll probably finish this pass through THE SHAMAN’S CURSE first.

My day was brightened by this very nice review of BLOOD IS THICKER this morning.

Blood Is Thicker Cover

Speaking of BLOOD IS THICKER, there’s a new chapter available on wattpad, too.

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Well, my blog tour arranged by Bewitching Book Tours, starts tomorrow.

Blood Will Tell & Blood is Thicker Button 300 x 225

Here’s the schedule:

November 18 Spotlight and review

Penny For Them…



November 18 Spotlight

Book Reviews by Xunaira J.



November 18 Spotlight

AC James



November 19 Spotlight and review

Diaries of 2 Thick Chicks



November 19 Guest blog 

Mythical Books


Guest Post: The Journey or the ending


November 19 review

Romance with Flavor



November 20 Interview

The Simple Things in life



November 20 Interview

Musings and Ramblings   



November 21 Spotlight and review

Fang Freakin’ Tastic Reviews



November 21 review

trips down imagination road 




November 21 review

Corey’s Book Reviews     



November 22 Guest blog: Character Profiles

Books, Books The Magical Fruit



November 22 review

Crazy Four Books



November 25 Spotlight

My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews



November 25 Spotlight and review

Ramblings of a Book Lunatic



November 25 review

happy tails and tales 


This is my first blog tour. It looks like it’s going to be a busy week.

Also, there will shortly be another new chapter of BLOOD IS THICKER available on wattpad. (Forgot to do it last night. Sorry.)

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First, my books and stories are part of Smashwords’s Summer/Winter Sale this month. All of my shorter stories: “Heart of Oak“, “The Music Box“, and “Becoming Lioness” are free. BLOOD WILL TELL is 75% off, just in time for the launch of the sequel, BLOOD IS THICKER this fall. FIRE AND EARTH is 50% off. If you ever wanted to read one of my stories, here’s your opportunity. If you want to make an author happy, don’t forget to leave a review where it will count, like Amazon or Goodreads.

I’m currently working through the second draft of MAGIC AND POWER–and I’m way ahead of schedule. I expected to get through about chapter 9 this week. I’m now working on chapter 23 (of 26). I might even finish the second draft this week. Now, the second draft is a long way from a finished draft, especially for a modified discovery writer, like me. But it’s really good progress and I’m pleased.

Then I need to do some additional work on the query and pitches for MAGE STORM. My goal for MAGE STORM is still to have it ready for WriteOnCon. I’m still waiting for some of the critiques on that one, though, so I’ll probably switch back to trying to finish and polish up BLOOD IS THICKER. A finished manuscript would allow me to start taking steps to line up reviews and maybe a blog tour in advance of the launch, for a change. I need to create, at a minimum, an e-book version that I can distribute to reviewers. It would also allow me to set a publication date about three months out. Both good things.

Sometime after that, I’ll be ready to start on my next new project–my weird Oz story. For some reason, August and September do tend to be my most productive period for first drafts. I have no idea why, but I’ll just go with it.

BLOOD IS THICKER is being serialized on wattpad, but since it’s not complete, I’m only updating once a week. You can read the first chapter here.

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Well, not surprisingly, I’ve done things backwards, again. Typical.

What I’ve learned so far from my experience with FIRE AND EARTH:

Fire And Earth Cover (Provisional)

I need to start planning and taking action much earlier. I planned a month in advance with FIRE AND EARTH. Most of that went into formatting and cover art, though, so I hadn’t done a lot of preparation for a launch. With BLOOD IS THICKER, I’m going to start a minimum of three months in advance.

So, I won’t know the date until I have a finished, polished manuscript in hand. Then I’ll pick a date at least three months out from that. I’ll need to go ahead and do the formatting, for Smashwords at a minimum, and then start approaching potential reviewers in the hope that some of the reviews will be up at about the launch date (or even a little earlier).

I also need to do more in the way of a blog tour, cover art reveal, etc. Introvert me has resisted this, but I’m going to have to push myself out of my comfort zone. Well, what else is new? I knew that’d be part of learning this promotion thing, didn’t I? And that was part of the point. Beyond wanting to get my stories out there, I want to start learning the other side of this business that I’ll need no matter what path my writing takes from here.

I still have to figure out how to do my two-for-one offer of BLOOD WILL TELL and BLOOD IS THICKER together. I have a couple of ideas, but nothing’s final yet. I want it to be everywhere, not just one bookseller. And I want it to be wider than just my writing communities. For that, I may have to create an omnibus edition which can temporarily be priced the same as either book separately.

Meanwhile, I have started serializing BLOOD IS THICKER over on wattpad. If you want to see how the story starts (or continues, since this is the sequel to BLOOD WILL TELL), you can check it out for free over there.


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There is so much to say about reviews.

In my continuing quest to figure out this marketing thing, I’ve come to almost a full stop at reviews. They make a huge difference to people actually buying books these days, especially self-published e-books. This, I think, is the next nut I’m going to have to crack. I’m going to have to actually try to get some reviews from independent book bloggers, etc. Eek! Why is that almost as scary as the first time I submitted a query to an agent?

Reviews are so important that some authors have even resorted to paying review mills to put up good reviews of their works. Once again, I’ve lost the link, but this was a big deal on the web–at least among writers–a couple of weeks ago.

The reaction to that is another story I saw in the last few days that Amazon is now deleting reviews by authors of other authors work. That’s unfortunate on so many levels. There’s a long-standing tradition of authors writing blurbs for others’ novels in traditional publishing. Why should it be any different for e-books? 

I’m not even going to mention the trolls who seem to enjoy writing bad reviews just because they can. This new Amazon policy does nothing to address that. How about, instead, blocking people who only seem to write either disproportionately positive or negative reviews? I’m pretty sure their database could handle that.

But that’s only part of what I want to say about reviews today. Some author–and I’m sorry that I’ve lost the link–proposed an alternative to NaNoWrMo this month. Instead of trying to write a novel in a month, help fellow authors out by writing a review for a book every day in November. What a great idea!

I’m not taking part in this mainly for two reasons:

  1. Lately, it’s taking me a lot longer to finish books because I just don’t have the time to devote to reading. I love to read. But sometimes it comes down to reading or writing. I can’t always do both.
  2. Frankly, and unfortunately, I just haven’t loved most of the debut novels I’ve read this year. Not that the only novels worth reviewing are debut novels, but that’s where the reviews probably make the most difference. For the record, the big exception for me this year is SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman. That one I loved. And I wrote a review saying that I loved it on Goodreads.  (As a matter of principle, I’m not going to tell you the ones I didn’t.)

If you want to help an author–and you really did like their work–write a review somewhere that will be seen.

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