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text 2015-02-08 21:51
Review Haute de L'Amour
Haute de L'amour: Ashamed to Love - Beneath the covered bridge. - Willow Fae von Wicken

The description of this "book" from GR:


"On the day Mary Beniot was engaged to Rheal Chaisson, she did what any girl of 15 in 1942 would do; faint, in St. Luc’s Cathedral. It served her papa right! Mary was not insane of joy that her papa chose a rotten cabbage for a husband.

Le Père de Curee Fitzpatrick called Mary Benoit forward. She faced the congregation along side Monsieur Chaisson. Jean-Claude, her papa, was invited next. A bewildered Mary was gauchely bumped, as her papa and Rheal shook hands across her front. The Priest, blessed the union announcing their engagement to Saint Agnies, the etiquette society of the front pews, the humble Saint Antonie of the back pews, and to the horrified shock of Mary, and her beloved Michèle Papineau.

Mary was traded for hogs. What a generosity, hein? Rheal bartered with Jean-Claude the local bootlegger. Jean-Claude was pleased. His daughter Mary would run the household of a porc farm, he’d have one less mouth to feed. Rheal gave him steady work.

Rheal in mid 40s was a papa of seven. He reeked of ode-to-hog, his shirt oozed of chewing tobacco, and they say he lost his second wife of thirty during childbirth. The women of the villages knew better. It was not a big secret that he was twice a widower by his own drunkard hand. The heat of the Grand Cathedral was suffocating. Mary felt her body sway. Her knees went weak beneath her. That’s when it all went blank.



My review:




A few poor words I'll use to flog
my admiration for the hog.

If you had to choose between the two,
this book or hog what should you do?

Here's a clue, the hog's not fakin'
forget the book and buy the bacon.



I wouldn't feed this "book" to the hogs.

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text 2015-02-04 22:40
Amy Spalding Meets the Pigeon

[reblogged from 38 Caliber Reviews]


Screenshot (4483)This is my little pigeon friend, I think he’s quite handsome, don’t you? He made his first appearance for that now absent Snowflake Princess, Raani York. I wanted something to visually express my – distaste-, I guess you could say, for her all too obvious manipulation of people and situations to her advantage.


The pigeon sprang to mind because, well, of what springs to mind when you think of or see a pigeon. What has this to do with author Amy Spalding you ask? Wellllll, Spalding is just the latest author who has jumped on the “let me make a total ass of myself” promotion bandwagon.


Now let me be clear, Spalding has some excellent and some not so excellent company. I don’t fault her, in a way, for believing she has picked a winning strategy. In case you have been offline or on a deadline or just totally absorbed in a really good book, here’s what little Amy tweeted yesterday.


How- precious. Now, if you aren’t an author or if you aren’t an author with an intelligence deficit, you might be wondering whatever possessed her. Did she not consider what might happen when she blithely tweeted this? I think she not only considered it, she was counting on it.


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OMG, dear readers, all seven of you, we took hours, hours to get mad at her. I feel like I should apologize, could someone tell me if being late for a reaction to a tweet by an author that none of my friends or myself recognize is worse than being late for a dinner at the White House? I feel positively guilty for not finding this little gem sooner. My only excuse has to be that my little feathered friend and his friends found it first.


Screenshot (4482)


Ye-ah, it’s hard to see it through all that, uh, pigeon poop. And it’s hard to separate her poop from the pigeons’, because poop (being polite here) is what this is. So I had to wonder why an author who had two books already on the market would resort to this poopy ploy (say it fast three times).


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Look, she’s got a book coming out in April. Got to get her name out there somehow. I would say she’s a little on the early side but maybe she’s hoping to generate some sympathy buys for her two previous books.


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Her first book has 47 reviews with an average of 4.0 and her second, oops, only 17 reviews with a 3.6 average on Amazon. Now over on GR


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we see what really is Spalding’s problem. Her first book, TRML (initials, not giving her any more promotion than necessary to make my point), has 282 reviews with a 3.88 rating. Most of the complaints are about her lead character(s). Readers didn’t like her/them much. Her second book, ITTW, has 81 reviews, big drop there, and a 3.66 rating and readers are still not liking her main characters(s).


Something went wrong for Spalding, a significant drop in reviews between books and a lot of the same complaints about what readers didn’t like. Still, her books are above the midpoint and I know a lot of authors that would pay good money for, kill, appreciate having that many reviews.


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Whatever her reasons Spalding has chosen the public, reviewer/blogger chastising, no-really it’s all in fun potential career killer approach. So many reviewers, so not amused. Spalding’s books go on our “not now, not ever” lists or shelves because there are so many authors who want and deserve reviews so why should we waste our time with the ones that feel our time is worth nothing more than being used for a cheap laugh and bonding moment between authors who feel we don’t appreciate them and if it makes the author/reviewer situation worse, or at least not any better, I’m sure that Spalding and her friends just don’t give a pigeon poop.


I’ve read the posters who can’t believe that any reviewer could be offended by Spalding’s tweet, the ones that agree with her bingo card, the ones that try to persuade  me it was all in good fun.


You know what, I’ve had enough “fun” from authors in the past year, and I know I’m not the only one. How could any author, any author, look at the uncertain and at times downright hostile and sometimes (and sometimes is too many times) frightening relationships between themselves and bloggers/reviewers and believe that posting something like this anywhere public is just so damned cute?


I wish that authors who feel that this is the best way to generate buzz and sales would suffer from permanent writer’s block, they all seem to want the same things – good reviews for usually bad or indifferent writing, admiration and recognition for their slightest effort, veto power over critical reviews, reviewers as beta readers and editors.


You don’t want to read another review that criticizes your unlikeable or unbelievable characters, your weak plots, the Texas-sizes plot holes, the grammar and spelling? Then spend your lunch hours or your evenings improving your skills.

Some readers/reviewers/ bloggers are going to be thinking just like this


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Until that time, here’s what I think of your “something great”.


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text 2015-01-14 04:14
Kiss That Wish Goodbye, Princess

[reblogged from 38 Caliber Reviews]


"You take my money, you get my opinion."- Ridley


Screenshot (4483)Author Raani York has written a blog about how authors would like reviewers to review their books. I held out hope for a scant few minutes that she wasn't serious but, alas, she was.


All italicized quotes from York's blog.


"Dear Reviewers,

While every Author loves reviewers and is happy and grateful to every single person who takes the time and effort to write and publish a review, maybe it is time at this moment to let you know how some of us feel about reviews."


I'm wondering in view of recent events why on earth she would think this was a good time to lecture.


"Authors, and in particular new Authors, whom are unknown, hopeful and a tiny bit scared, are thankful to every single Reader who buys their book and invests time to read the story entirely, write and publish a review to recommend our books to more readers."


Notice that she acknowledges that we have bought the book but then she veers off and insists that we read the entire book. First of all, no one needs to read the entire book if it is, well, crap. If the first few chapters are full of bad spelling, bad grammar, inconsistent pacing, and wretched plotting it isn't going to improve. No one needs to read an entire book if it is badly crafted.


"Of course we are well aware that our book might not be for everyone." " I am sure I’m not the only Author hoping that my “Masterpiece” is for everyone who opens it, but I do of course accept that this will hardly be realistic."


Mmm, that's right, cookie, very few books appeal to everyone so you could leave out the "might" and "hoping" for the universal approval of all and sundry. That ain't gonna happen.


"...write and publish a review to recommend our books to more readers." " And we are nearly dancing with excitement to find the respective Reader has loved our work!" " But to us new and unknown Authors, every single review is an important support and is well needed."


Besides trying to make the idea of a universally appealing book twice, she also tries to reinforce the idea of positive, and only positive, reviews three times in eight short paragraphs.


"We are handing our work out, for everyone to see, and it does take courage to do so, you must know. the keep in mind that we have not just thought of some story and “poof” it was there. There is so much involved…"


Screenshot (4485)Wait, wait! I thought we had bought the book, yes, there it is in the second paragraph but now the author has handed out his/her book? No, this is a paragraph filled with wrong and not so subtle manipulation. "Handed out"- implying the author has given a copy to the reviewer who is too poor or cheap to buy it. "Takes courage"- lately accepting any book by any new author and reviewing it calls upon bloggers/reviewers for a level of faith and courage that a lot of authors seem to conveniently to ignore. Kathleen Hale, anyone?  "You must know", yeah, we know, do you? "...we have not just thought of some story and “poof” ", please, tell us all about it because, you know, we have absolutely no freaking idea, we just stand around with our hands out waiting for some "courageous" author to drop a book into them. Other than that we live in a positive vacuum and have no contact with authors, agents, publishers, or anyone else connected to industry. Yes, Virginia, that is sarcasm.


In case we really have no idea she includes a helpful but incomplete little list.

"It would be realistic to think that our first book has involved years of our time, effort and of course heart and soul!"




"Our books are our “babies” and of course we would love to see you as a Reader, enjoy our work!"


Barf yet again. Lady, either we have just bought your baby or you gave it away and what sort of parent does that and stays out of jail? Okay, bad sentence- hers, not mine. Is that book your baby or your work? Make up your mind but let me help you, a lot of reviewers curl their lip in disgust and back away from the wild-eyed author insisting that a 300 page book is their "baby".


We want those authors to keep their babies at home or pass them around only to family and a few close friends and not let them loose where the general public can find them. It's just safer for all involved.


"as an Author" " that Authors" What the hell? As a Blogger, and the Notorious Blogger at that, I can tell you that capitalizing the A doesn't make you something more than an author.   An author you are, no caps. Unless, maybe, it's because Authors have feelings and are sensitive and vulnerable as opposed to authors who are professional and don't spend time trying to lecture Bloggers on how to write only 4 or 5 star reviews.


Screenshot (4484)"To some reviewers we are handing our work, hopeful to get good reviews." Edit, please.


"A good review is a 4- or 5-Star review. And as new upcoming Authors we do need every possible star, the more the better! I therefore hope you will forgive me if I’d list a few wishes I have, as an Author, when it comes to reviews:"


The only good review is a 4 or 5 star review. Reinforce that every chance you get, cookie. Leave off the caps, you are still only an author. And no, not going to forgive you for this piece of tripe.


"1. If you aren’t convinced of our work, and you don’t feel it deserves a 4- or 5-Star review, please contact us in private and let us know why you are not the biggest fan of our book. When you find constructive criticisms we understand, but still have good words about our writing, we can decide together, whether or not a quite positive 3-Star review can be published."


1. I bought your book, I get to review your book. Without you. For 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 stars- without you. You don't get to decide squat. Are you high, drunk, or just that damn arrogant? And fix that second sentence.


"2. Make sure you REALLY read the entire book before reviewing it. I was given a review by a person who has clearly “jumped” half the book before telling me it was extremely bad(how can anyone judge a book who hasn’t actually read it?). Thank God that review was never published!"


2. If I don't want to wade through your badly written book, I don't have to and you don't want me to because the more I have to suffer through, the more I have to criticize in my review. I'm certain that you and some other authors believe that any critical review means that the reviewer hasn't read your book correctly or completely or at all but, you know, all too often they have indeed read it and, surprise, they didn't like it. Suck it up, snowflake.


"4. Before criticizing my grammar and typos, please make sure your review is impeccable, otherwise you might not be taken seriously. Keep in mind that a self-published 1st edition still might have a few flaws. I don’t say that’s how it should be – but it happens. Every Author who is permanently working on getting better is going through it again to correct these mistakes in a second edition. So am I, together with my editor."


Screenshot (4482)3. First of all, 3 follows 2 not 4. Learn to count. Second of all, stuff it. I'm not selling a review, my grammar and spelling don't have to be perfect but good try to silence some reviewers who feel shaky about their skills. Good try. Your blog has a few flaws, and I'm not taking it seriously. I'm taking it apart. I'm having fun, I hope you're not.


"5. Don’t rip us to shreds just because “you can”! It seems there are a handful of Readers out there who like to read books and write reviews – but apparently not even one book is “good enough” for them to give it more than 1 or 2 stars and their reviews are written in a very rude way and a very poor grammar and spelling. Seriously: if books are so bad – you might want to consider finding another hobby?"


4. 5 should be 4. Oh dear, would you like to pick out the books we read as well as tell us how to review them? No. If the review offends you- good. I get the feeling most of my reviews would offend you and I don't care. If reviewers are so terrible, why don't you stop writing?


Then she blathers about reviewers rewriting the book in their review, maybe a few but most of us haven't the time to improve on a bad book and we have no financial incentive to do so, we are already reading the next book. Guess someone must have really criticized her plotting skills.


She writes she knows she won't get only 4 and 5 star reviews, and after this will be lucky to get half the reviews she did before, but she writes again about authors and their feelings and sensitivity. What about MY feelings? What about MY sensitivity? Stop laughing. She orders us to show some manners because a whole blog telling us how to write a review and alluding to our shortcomings is oh, so polite.


If I don't like your book, I don't like your book- and I get to say so whatever the reason. You don't get to pull sad puppy eyes, shake your finger, and lecture me about how to write an acceptable review. I'm not working for you. We are not working for you.


"And when you don’t think it was the perfect story for you, then this doesn’t mean the book is bad! You still can show some respect for our efforts try to entertain you."


About as much respect as you extended to me.


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text 2014-12-14 20:16
Because I can or want to doesn't even work for 2 year olds

More notes on Margo Howard's book of personal disasters. I'm surprised FEMA isn't camped out on her doorstep.

Source: 38caliberreviews.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/eat-drink-remarry-the-part-where-margo-howard-shows-herself-to-be-so-screwed-up-the-kathleen-hale-looks-almost-normal
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text 2014-11-13 04:20
Margoing, or the adventures of a 15 watt bulb in a 75 watt world

Trying to finish this infuriating piece of self admiration.

Source: 38caliberreviews.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/margoing-or-the-adventures-of-a-15-watt-bulb-in-a-75-watt-world
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