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review 2018-11-07 12:46
Crazy Fox Ranch (Paige MacKenzie mystery) by Deborah Garner
Crazy Fox Ranch - Deborah Garner

I have read Deborah’s Moonglow Novellas but this is my first time reading a full Paige MacKenzie mystery, and you do not need to have read any of the previous books in order to read this as it works well as a stand alone.

 

Paige has left Manhattan and moved to Jackson Hole to be closer to her cowboy boyfriend Jake Norris. In the previous books their love has blossomed and she has made the decision to move closer to him and start a fresh but still do her journalism which she will freelance stories from Jackson Hole back to her old newspaper. As she starts to delve into the Hollywood connection that Jackson Hole has with old Western movies, Paige discovers much more than just a movie. When strange things start to happen at Jake’s ranch and a persistent gentleman named Percy who is very keen to buy the property despite it not being for sale, Paige gets her investigation hat on and uncovers a bigger mystery going on with regards to the ranch and Jackson Hole in a whole.

 

Paige discovers a series of hole on the property which Jake puts down to being a fox digging, but she discovers more dug up holes when she visits parts of Jackson Hole that were used in the movie Shane. She discovers some metallic items near some holes, surely its not the same fox digging all over the place? and if not a fox who is doing all the digging and for what reasons? 

 

This was a good little mystery and I really enjoyed my first foray with Paige and cant wait to go back and read the previous book (i am desperate to get her connection to Mist from the Moonglow Cafe novellas)

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text 2018-10-09 05:17
The case for not having your manuscript professionally edited
East Van Saturday Night - Rod Raglin

I want to thank Artsy Ally for pointing out a typo on page 15 in my new release East Van Saturday Night - Four Short Stories and a Novella (EVSN). It has since been corrected on all digital platforms and in paperback. Unfortunately, if you purchased the book in either form before September 28, 2018, you’ve got one with the error in it and maybe a few others that have yet to be discovered.

 

 Artsy Ally, a.k.a. Ally Robertson, is content producer and social media director of Access Television, a non-profit organization that airs “community stories from Vancouver, BC, with a focus on marginalized voices. Produced by volunteers and neighbours.”

 

 I reached out to her to see if she’d be interested in reviewing the above mentioned new release.

 

 The response was interesting.

 

 Robertson asked for a digital copy and said she would “hand it off to someone who may read and review it. If they decide to do a review, we will have you come into the studio for a short interview.”

 

That sounded encouraging, and I sent an e-pub version immediately. The following day I received her response.

 

She began by saying “Your stories have merit and I enjoyed the memories they stirred in me. I really enjoyed the chapters with Chris’s attempt at crossing Canada. ... I found East Van Saturday Night to be more like a one story novella with chapters, as the stories are of the same character.”

 

Robertson then proceeded to tell me she too was a self-published author “at the moment,” and she would “highly recommend you have people proofread your work before you publish. I am trying not to be highly critical, but as a former book publisher who published over 60 authors, I have some experienced suggestions for you. I found there were some issues with the book I just couldn’t overlook.”

 

Robertson said the book contained “plenty of grammatical errors” as well as “simple spelling mistakes.” Other issues she “just couldn’t overlook” included “un-announced dialogue switching” and “proper scene changes” which the book “desperately needs.”

Her suggestion was to have “a good proofreader go over it and you re-edit.”

 

I have an incredibly thick skin. I look at constructive criticism as a way to improve my writing. Accordingly, I sent the following response to Artsy.

 

Dear Ally,

 

No offence taken, in fact, thank you for your suggestions.

 

Scene changes can also be indicated by adding an additional blank line space, which I prefer over asterisks. However, I realize this style works better in print than in digital as the formatting may diminish it or eliminate the space altogether. I plan to take your suggestion and revise the manuscript inserting asterisks to indicate scene changes.

 

When errors are pointed out, I fix them and upload the corrected manuscript to all my digital and print publishing platforms. New readers will find one less mistake, though unfortunately, that doesn’t help those who have purchased my book with the typo.

 

When I write, I have two computer programs (Grammarly and ProWritingAid) filter the work. After a minimum of three revisions, I send the manuscript to three beta readers. Despite this rather thorough process errors are still overlooked.

 

Excuses and expenses aside, I will endeavour to do better.

 

Rod

 

Robertson replied saying I might be able to “find a student willing to do it (proofread) for $1.00 per page.” She was lucky enough to have her novel, Epic Crazy Love “go through 3 editors and a proofreader long before I re-published it myself.”

 

So now that you’ve got context let’s draw some conclusions.

 

Apparently, Robertson doesn’t think three beta readers, two computer editing/grammar programs and the author have the editing prowess of a student paid a dollar a page. Maybe she’s right.

 

More importantly, though, I’m interested in how well her novel is doing considering it went “through 3 editors and a proofreader” before it was self-published.

 

Epic Crazy Love was published in April 2017. Here’s the blurb accompanying the book.

 

Can two reunited soul mates conquer deceit, begrudged malice, extortion, multiple mental and physical traumas and maintain an intense, lasting, abiding love?

 

To date, Epic Crazy Love has one, five-star review. Here are its rankings on Amazon.

  • #18011 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Westerns
  • #27965 in Books > Romance > Western
  • #159502 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Contemporary
  • #3,393,001 overall on Amazon’s Paid in Kindle Store

“I did love the story (East Van Saturday Night) itself,” Robertson writes, “but reading it, it was difficult to overlook all of the little things that threw me off as a reader. Paying someone to proofread will really kick it up a notch and make your work great.”

 

Or maybe not.

 

But here’s the kicker, Artsy Ally, didn’t pass along my book to the reviewer saying, “Due to the adult content I don’t think it’s a good match for us to review for you, I don’t think it would be something Susan would enjoy reading so I won’t pass it along.”

 

Add censor to Robertson’s list of accomplishments.

 

Some days...

 

Stay calm. Be brave. Watch for the signs.

 

 

Access Television https://www.facebook.com/ACCESSCOMMUNITYTV/

Ally Robertson

 

http://ArtzyAlly.com

 

Epic Crazy Love

https://www.amazon.com/Epic-Crazy-Love-Ally-Robertson/dp/1770650717/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1538433910&sr=1-2&keywords=crazy+epic+love

 

Author Amazon Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-09-20 21:46
Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan

Ah, the lives of the obscenely rich and famous! The wealth described in this book was sure to make even the most content of us wonder what it would be like to be THAT stupidly rich and never have to worry about losing sleep over an unpaid bill. Or maybe it was just me, ha! I really liked Rachel and Astrid, both came across as strong, rational women so I was rooting for them all the way. Okay, Astrid may have been a little naive about somethings but I still liked the light she was painted in. Nick on the other hand...soooooooooo naive! I wanted to reach into the pages and shake him every single time he said money didn't matter. If he had lived a sheltered life, it would have made sense but he lived and worked in NY as a professor, so he must have understood that yatch and jet owning would make a difference to someone who's mum put herself through night school to become an estate agent. I mean, really!? Anyway, overall I really enjoyed this crazy, crazy story of excess and drama. The footnotes annoyed the hell out of me at first, but then I got used to ignoring them, most of the time. I didn't realise this was part of a series so I was a little surprised at the almost abrupt ending but I guess this mean I will be tucking into books 2 and 3 very soon...now time to go watch the movie!

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review 2018-09-10 04:11
Sideways Stories From Wayside School - Louis Sachar,Adam McCauley

Instead of 30 classrooms built NEXT to each other, 30 classrooms were built ON TOP of each other, but without a 19th floor!! Each chapter is a different story about one of the students in the class and of the craziness that happens at the school in Mrs. Jewls class on the 30th floor! I would use this book as a continued lesson, each chapter could be used to identify different traits of the characters or sequence of events and after reading the students could write their own crazy story based on the classroom.

Lexile: 460L

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review 2018-08-19 02:52
Crazy Rich Asians
Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan
I really wanted to see this movie and decided to read the book first (and of course go see the movie!). So, this is safe to say a book review and a little bit of a movie review too. The rating is strictly for the BOOK.
The book:
Oh my, so many characters so much going on. It is not just about Nick and Rachel. Rachel's best friend Peik Lin. It's also about Astrid and her husband Michael. Astrid making a connection with someone from her past (Charlie). I thought there was just too much going on. Too many characters to keep track of. I wish the story has just focused on Nick and Rachel. Rachel's family history is also a lot more complicated.****more in the page break
It's an interesting look at location, wealth, culture. 
The movie:
I loved this and will be owning it when it is available to own. 
The movie did focus on Nick and Rachel, breaking down their trip to a period of a week or so as opposed to a whole summer. I just thought it flowed better. The HEA was also very clear. 
Ripped Bodice Bingo: Book That Is Now a Movie
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