June and July Ebooks Read

Dumping a bunch of books off my phone and wanted to sort of rate them before they disappeared.
Screenshot (1783)Hope(less) 2.5 at best. Intriguing in parts but only in parts it seemingly stretched out like an endless drive on a flat road through =desert. Gabby and Clay’s relationship developes slowly but weirdly.










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Vampires Never Cry Wolf-Fun and fluffy, Sadie fights her attraction to the werewolf prince Killian but Killian is dead set on having a relationship with vampire Sadie. I enjoyed this as the light, fun read it is- 3.5. I did not enjoy hearing the werewolf king be addressed as Your Highness, get a Debrett’s.











Screenshot (1784)Hollywood Homicide- 3.5 again. I liked Kate and her new partner, Ted. This is the first book in this series I’ve read. A good little murder mystery. Kate and her sister find a way to a closer familial relationship.













Screenshot (1786)Firefighter Dragon- Shifters reach a new level of absurdity when a dragon shifter is a firefighter. Also dragons duel by listing their most valuable pieces in their horde. 2.5











Screenshot (1788)Witch Is When It All Began- PI Jill is trying to investigate a possible serial killer and trying to come to grips with the fact she’s a witch. 2.5











Screenshot (1789)In Sickness and In Elf- 3.5 A human wedding planner finds out the family wedding planning business does a brisk business in paranormal wedding planning and someone is trying to sabotage it. I’ll probably read more in this series.










Screenshot (1791)Death with a Cherry on Top- A lackluster mystery too easily solved by two sisters and their large Italian family. 2 at most.











Screenshot (1790)Copper King- A werewolf and a werebear get together for an annual just-between-friends contest and the bear finds his mate. Even after I looked at a few pages I could not remember what this was about. 2










Screenshot (1792)Maggie For Hire- 4 Of all the books listed here this is the one where I will read more from this author.











Screenshot (1793)Hidden:Prequel- Turns out I read another book in this series and they aren’t bad. 3.5











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Smoke and Mirrors:  Blackhollow Academy- 3.5 to 4.  Kimberly just wants to graduate and secure a good position in a coven so she can take care of her non-magical mother but Kimberly doesn’t have the necessary skills and now she needs a really powerful familiar to get her through graduation and into the job of her dreams. If only she can find an obliging dragon. Here is another series I will continue.









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The Aura and Double Blind- Read the first book and got halfway through the second when I realized I didn’t like most of the characters. The plot got me through the first one but I just don’t find the characters, including the heroine, all that interesting. 3






Screenshot (1797)Undercover Gorgon- Episode 1- Patrice is a gorgon who borrows magical objects from her day job at Mt Olympus to help out people in trouble. Short reads, this one was 46 pages, I’v got the second one waiting to be read. 4










Screenshot (1798)Sleuthing for a Living- 2.5 A single mother inherits a building and a PI business from her late uncle and decides to try to continue the business. It sounded more interesting than it turned out- at least to me.











Screenshot (1800)Ondine- Did not connect with this book at all. 2











Screenshot (1801)Deadly Remains- A murder, a clairvoyant, a lot of police. I think in time I will like this series more than I do now. Interesting enough to make me pick up the next book. 3.5











Screenshot (1802)Trinkets, Treasures, and other Bloody Magic- I stopped at 97% I was that annoyed. I could see the “big bad plot” coming a mile away in the dark. 2


This Is Kevin Weinberg

Hello, Dear Readers, this post is for those who are dropping by to read about our favorite basement dweller, Kevin Weinberg.

The Sad, Sad Tale of a Basement Living Mama’s Boy

GoodReads Bans Kevin Weinberg/parogar

Twitter Bans Kevin Weinberg/parogar and then…

He can’t say enough bad things to and about women but when challenged to produce the same level of vitriol about a man, he wimps out.

Limp, Flaccid & Boring: STGRB and Kevin Weinberg Can’t Find Anything Bad to Write About Me (I’m SO Disappointed)

So there you have it, his mama must be sooooooo proud.

Enter Title Here

We interrupt my reading of a ridiculous werewolf romance for a really excellent post by author KJ Charles. I still read the occasional historical romance/mystery/ steampunk/etc. and the one thing that will make me toss the book no matter how interesting the story is if the author has not done the research on proper forms of address.

C’mon, it’s not that difficult to look up the proper form of address for every earl, duke, and prince. Sadly it seems a large number of wannabe writers think research is a dirty word.

So for all those who want to know here is KJ on proper address, and read the comments, some really good info there too.

I am fed up of seeing British-set historical romances that mess up with aristocratic titles. This is fundamental, and while some errors are pretty obscure, others stamp COULDN’T BE BOTHERED across your book. (I’m looking at you, authors who refer to Sir Samuel Smith as ‘Sir Smith’.)

Granted this is intricate and fussy stuff but if you’re writing aristos, it matters. The people inside the system care about the system, therefore if you’re writing characters inside the system, you have to care for the duration of the book. You cannot write about a society if you don’t understand its rules; you can’t write a book about a heroine constrained by social stratification if you have no idea what the social strata even are; you can’t do a faux pas scene of the out-group heroine getting it wrong if none of the in-group are getting it right.

Click here to continue.


Rogue Alpha- Not The Pick of the Litter

Hello to you all, Dear Readers, I have a very special treat for you. We’ll file this under If I Have To Suffer So Do You.

I’ve been reading a lot of totally forgettable ebooks lately and by forgettable I mean in 24 hrs I can’t remember a single thing about the book forgettable. The great thing about self publishing means that a lot of good, solid books that traditional publishers would pass by can get published and the bad thing is a lot of books that should languish in locked desk drawers also get published. This book is one for the locked desk drawer.

Screenshot (1589)Here it is. This one falls into that “I’m going to write the kind of book that I want to read” category. I can understand that except once written do they have to foist them on the rest of us? And worse than the foisting is the number of readers who think someone’s personal fantasy is the bestest book evah.

Even more depressing is that this is not her first book and it won’t be her last. At least she seems able to spell.

Meet our heroine, Laura Prince, she’s spending the summer deep in the woods of my home state of Michigan (the reason I bought this). She’s working on her degree and studying an illness in whitetail deer.

She’s out late one evening chasing down a microchipped deer when she meets a big, black wolf. He walks towards her, she walks towards him.

“I moved toward him. I don’t know why I did it. Some rational part of my brain told me to scream, to run, to find the biggest stick I could and throw it at him. But, the wolf kept coming toward me. Something seemed familiar about him, absurd as I knew that was. He bared his teeth and let out a low, vibrating sound that seemed to penetrate my skin and warm my blood.

I put a hand out. …”

Ooooo-kay. You are in the woods. A big wolf appears. He walks towards you. He bares his teeth and makes a “low, vibrating sound”. Of course the most natural thing in the world is to walk towards him and stick out your hand. Not. But this is White’s personal masturbatory fantasy book she wants a heroine that’s TSTL and insta-lurve.

Don’t get me wrong, insta-lurve does not always have my eyes rolling but it has to be done with a certain amount of, well, something that’s missing from White’s writing. But I guess since the wolf seems familiar and that low, vibrating sound makes her blood warm instead of freezing it in her veins it makes it totally fine to- wait for it- pet the wolf.

This tender first meeting of Our Hero and Our Heroine is rudely interrupted by gunfire. Awwww. Enter a villain, the professor running the study Laura is participating in. You know he’s a villain because White seems to lack much subtlety or nuance in her writing. I will give her credit for not equipping him with a cape and a mustache that he constantly twirls but that is the end of it. Professor Flood is a smirking, condescending, arrogant asshole who tries to tell Laura the wolf was really a coyote. Don’t worry, Dear Readers, he gets worse.

And we are at 6% read. More to follow.

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Taboogasm on sale now

Screenshot (1488)Bill likes booze. He likes women. But he doesn’t like to work. Luckily for Bill, if he plays the lottery, he wins.

Every single time.

What happens when a low-life starts living the high life?

What happens when a deadbeat loser becomes the luckiest man alive?

He draws some unwanted attention, naturally, from dark and powerful forces, and before he knows what’s what, his days on Earth are numbered.

Bill’s luck just ran out.


Kindle edition $1.99 until July 26, 2015.

New Release- The Looking-Glass Portrait

Screenshot (1413)New release by Authors We Like author Linda Hilton.

When Thomasina Ryder inherits her grandmother’s house, she expects to quickly arrange for the sale of the estate. She soon learns the disposal of her legacy will be a more complicated process than she expected. And nothing could complicate matters more than the return into Thomasina’s life of a forbidden love from the past.

The further she delves into the secrets of that past, the more she is made aware of something sinister and hidden, never to be spoken of even in whispers. She begins to suspect this secret is connected to the silent forms she has seen moving in the old house, from the corner of her eye or in the distorted reflection of a mirror. Then, as her investigations bear fruit, the shadows in the mirrors become more threatening.

For sale now on Amazon and free on Kindleunlimited.



Whatever Became of Laura (Harner)?

We’re going to talk a little bit about plagiarism, no, we’re going to talk about Laura (L.E.) Harner. I think for a very long time to talk about one will be to talk about the other. Last October Harner made a name for herself not for her prolific writing, she already had that, but for her blatant theft from two other well known authors, Becky McGraw and Opal Carew.

Yes, I posted a blog and two heads-ups about the situation, here, here, and here. Beyond the plagiarism itself was the way Harner acted, or didn’t act, once she was exposed. First, there was nothing, then I heard a series of excuses from second hand sources, then more nothing, her sites went silent, then this showed up about two weeks later (I think).

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I remember people wondering how long it takes to say, “I’m sorry,” or how long it took to consult with legal counsel before saying, “I plagiarized”. I guess the better part of forever. On the 28th of October The Guardian posted an article about Harner/McGraw/Carew and Herner again took care to avoid actually owning her bad actions.

“Made mistakes”, “might have crossed a line”, “working to address concerns raised by two authors who have accused me of plagiarism”, are not really admitting you outright ripped off the work of two fellow authors. This avoidance by Harner pretty much guaranteed that she wouldn’t be given much sympathy especially after she asked,  “please do not judge me too harshly”, in the same statement. The book community following this mess reserved their sympathy for McGraw and Carew.

In November the RWA gave Harner a lifetime expulsion.And then there was the sound of crickets for months.

Then on February 13 Harner broke her silence and posted on her website and FB page:

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This screenshot is from her repeat posting. The original is on my other laptop and we aren’t communicating well at the moment. The apology, which has disappeared from both sites raised a lot of questions:

Why did it take so long?

Why didn’t Harner apologize to Carew?

Was this part of some agreement made with McGraw?

Why was it so much about Harner and her feelings?

Is she really sorry or just sorry she got caught?

And my answers are:

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

Right about now, I’m pretty certain she is very sorry. At least for herself.

So let’s talk about now, what is Laura doing now? Turns out Harner released a new book in April. Not having read Harner before this I do not know how well her other books have shown at this point but Broken SEAL is rated 3.3 stars on Amazon (3.87 on Goodreads) at the moment.

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I checked her the rest of her books on Amazon and while most of them never rise above double digit numbers of reviews almost all of them are rated better. I would say not too bad considering.

I am sure we have all seen a book listed or a post by an author stating that the book has been revised, maybe lengthened, maybe a different title, maybe under the author’s other pseudonym. Maybe an author revisits a sort story and realizes that now that short is a book. If the book moves from one publisher to another the content might undergo some changes. No one has a problem with that.

There is usually an announcement and a “Previously published as” in the front of the book.

On June 21 A Perfect Storm by Annalise Alexander, a “new”, “unknown” author,  was released. You have to ask yourself is Harner learned nothing from her foray into plagiarism. On the 28th Jenny Trout posted a new Don’t Do This Ever because a reader had sent her her concerns about the very similar content of A Perfect Storm to Harner’s Whiteout. Had the plagiarist been plagiarized?


Harner has a new pseudonym, Annalise Alexander, but sadly not a new book. With a change in the weather- from a blizzard to a hurricane, new names, a few other details, about ten more pages, Harner/Alexander published Whiteout as A Perfect Storm and charged $2.00 more for it.

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Ummm, no. This did not go over at all well. Harner self publishes under her own Hot Corner Press.

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Notice the publisher? Now on Smashwords:

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You have to ask, would one author publish another author who has plagiarized them? But then on Barnes & Noble:

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A different publisher and on Amazon:

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Still another. Not sure what is going on. Harner has been in the business long enough to know that there is a large number of readers/reviewers/bloggers that will ferret out all the discrepancies. Harner can’t afford discrepancies. Harner can’t afford to be anything but transparent.

There’s nothing wrong with being a formulaic author, we all know and read at least one, well I do. And there is nothing wrong with rewriting a previously published story. If you don’t tell your readers what you’ve done you can be sure they will tell you. Some of them might use profanity when they do.

But there is something wrong with what Harner has done. And I have to ask, is there no one close to her who can stop her? A family member, an editor, a beta reader? Anyone? Someone to say, “No, Laura, that is not a good idea, your readers won’t like that.”

Once again she isn’t giving any explanation for her decisions,

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there is another strong wave of disgust,

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and I have to wonder if Harner can be saved from herself.

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Please, no.







Analysis of 7 million Amazon reviews: customers who receive free or discounted item much more likely to write positive review

[reblogged from ReviewMeta]


If you’ve read reviews on Amazon within the last few years, you’ve surely noticed a disclaimer at the bottom of many that look like this:

“I received this product for free or at a discount in exchange for my honest, unbiased review”


At ReviewMeta, we call these “Incentivized Reviews”.

Consumers have growing distrust and even disdain for incentivized reviews, especially when it seems every single one is a glowing 5-star review.  We wanted to confirm or deny this seemingly anecdotal opinion, so we analyzed 7 million reviews.

After looking at over 7 million reviews, here’s what we see

We found that reviews containing language that would indicate the reviewer received the item for free or at a discount in exchange for a review (incentivized reviews) on average rate the product .38 stars higher than reviews that did not contain this disclosure (non-incentivized reviews).


5,071,232 reviews (70%), 4.36 average rating



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