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text 2015-07-29 16:20
Ruminating On: Requesting Reviews from Strangers

After having a zombie/fantasy indie author send me a review request with the opener "Someone who reviewed something of mine thought you would love my book!", I thought I would post a list of instructions for indies who feel the need to send review requests to people they do not know. Namely, me.


1. Be polite. If someone sent you, don't be vague. I'm sure they wouldn't mind you dropping their online persona or first name in the email. When you don't, I automatically believe that you've made up this "someone" in an attempt to guilt trip me into reading your book. Since I literally do not know anyone who has read your books (at least not on Goodreads, because I checked), I'm assuming this is the case.


2. Do your research. I don't read fantasy or zombie books on the reg. Not a fan, sorry. I even stopped watching Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead over a year ago. When I do read zombie and/or fantasy fiction, I usually hate it. I'm not the guy you want reviewing your undead hunt for the one ring beyond the north wall of Narnia.


3. I don't take review requests. I request books for review from websites like Netgalley, Edelweiss, and Blogging for Books. There is a subtle difference. Mainly, I go looking for books to read. They are not thrust upon me. This is a good thing for both the author and myself. This way, I don't feel obligated to read your book. When that happens, I usually dislike the book because I feel like I'm being forced to read it.


4. This one goes out specifically to the chap that emailed me this morning. For the love of the blood of sweet baby Tom Cruise, get some better cover art. Those covers, man... they're a crime against humanity. 


5. And I feel this is the most important number, the one number to rule them all! (so to speak), so listen up: I'm an author. Had you given my Goodreads account even a cursory glance, you would have seen that. If I did review your book, Amazon would likely take it down. If I love your book and review it on Goodreads, many reviewers will think I was review-swapping, or doing a friend a favor. If I review your book and don't like it, I'd be seen as elitist. You and your gaggle of besties would likely clanfuck my books with your one-star boners. 


Review etiquette isn't hard. It mainly involves research so as not to bug your potential reviewer. There are literally hundreds (maybe even thousands) of reviewers who love fantasy, zombies, and/or fantasy with zombies. Why would you even consider approaching me?


This has been a public service announcement from the letter E.


*hugs and high fives* 


(Note: This post can be shared wherever you chose as long as the original creator (Edward Lorn, that's me!) is mentioned. Reblogging is fine, as well.)



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review 2014-08-30 14:36
Another player bites the dust
Tamed - Emma Chase

All I've known about Matthew Fisher is that he's Drew's best friend and he was seeing Dee Dee. I assumed he was a player given Drew's history. He is somewhere in that zone but I contend that he was just waiting for "the one" after having been once burned.


Matthew is a lot more interesting than what I'd "assumed" about him. Shame on me. He's a nice guy who likes a good time but he's smart, talented and respectful of women.


When he meets Dee Dee, he sees her inner spirit and is drawn to her like the proverbial moth to flame. She's the one skittish about any whiff of relationship so Matthew tries to keep it light until it becomes impossible to do. If there's any taming to be done, I think it was Matthew trying to lasso Dee Dee.


The narration was great as all of the others were. Deacon Lee managed to put a little smirk in his performance while keeping Matthew just plain likable. I loved his interpretation of the character.


I'm not only in serious like of this series but also in serious love with the narrators. They've nailed the men in the stories and made their journey from players to committed men a fun one. I enjoyed Matthew's story and highly recommend the audiobook format, though the book will be entertaining no matter the format.

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review 2014-08-26 13:15
Nobody's perfect here
Kissing in the Dark - Wendy Lindstrom

Originally posted on The Book Nympho


Quick summary
Duke Grayson, the third brother in this series, meets widow Faith Wilkins when her brother is caught stealing from the general store. He's immediately attracted to this beautiful woman who is understands the healing, medicinal properties of plants and, together with her three "aunts," has a murky past.


What I liked
The characters all exhibited some serious flaws and, at times, behaved pretty badly. Faith's secrets were explosive, adding intrigue and presenting what appeared to be a no-win situation. Even stalwart Radford, the oldest brother, showed some unattractive sides of himself. Even the children had some challenging moments. In spite of this, they were all very likable people who you rooted for and felt the pain of their circumstances.


The narration
Julie Motyka may not have the most distinctive voice but she's a strong storyteller and I never had issues distinguishing characters. For me, she's become synonymous with the series.


The bottom line
I really liked this story, probably my most favorite of the series so far. There are moments that will rip your heart apart and times when you'll laugh out loud. I never wanted to stop listening and loved how the issues were rough and the resolutions not always wrapped with a neat bow. Well done. 


(I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review)

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review 2014-08-26 13:03
Red, white & definitely screwed!
Red, White & Screwed - Holly Bush

Originally posted on The Book Nympho


Quick summary
Glenda Nelson is a political strategist trying to manage a candidate who's now in free fall. Her politician ex-husband seems to still be up to his old cheating ways with the new wife and dragging their two teenagers into the middle of it. There's a crisis brewing with her parents and, oh, did I mention that there's a hot artist who really wants to get to know her better in the biblical way?


What I loved
Glenda. She's smart, attractive and really good at what she does...in her career. She's a lousy cook and her house wouldn't come close to getting the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. But, her daughter and son are two amazing teenagers that prove she's gotten parenting right. Glenda doesn't manage everything perfectly and that's what makes her interesting.


The romance. Chris is so different from Glenda and the contrasts provide evenness in the relationship. He's such a great guy, loves her kids and appreciates what's special about Glenda.


The humor. There are truly so many laugh-out-loud moments, which helps balance the heartbreaking ones. The ending is just priceless.


And one more thing...
Glenda's therapy. I loved how the sessions were used as a device to revisit moments in her past that gave insight to the present. They were skillfully done.


The bottom line
I loved the story, the characters, the humor and the romance. The cover and the title delivered everything they promised so there really is truth in advertising:) Here's hoping Holly turns this into a series or at least writes a sequel because I'm really not done with these people.


(I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review)

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review 2014-08-08 21:05
Chilling story, great narration
Those Who Wish Me Dead - Michael Koryta

Originally posted on The Book Nympho


Quick summary
Jace Wilson, 14-years old, unwittingly witnesses a murder and has the good sense to get away but left his ID behind. The killers are two cold-blooded brothers, Jack and Patrick Blackwell, and they never leave anyone behind. Jace is in a unique witness protection location, a wilderness skills program in the mountains of Montana. His instructor, Ethan Serbin, knows he's there but doesn't know which of his students is Jace.


What works
This is one of those books that hooks you from the first sentence. Knowing that a young teenager is the hunted prey just elevated the suspense level to almost unbearable proportions. The Blackwells are two of the scariest villains I've read in fiction and, trust me, I've encountered some monsters. The beautiful but isolated Montana setting provided a surreal contrast to the nightmare created by the Blackwells search.


The characters who come to Jace's aid...Ethan, his wife, Hannah the fire tower lookout among others...added even more depth to the story. Jace was also an extraordinary young boy who made this more interesting. The journey was just as important as the outcome. Plus, there was a twist at the end that blindsided me hugely. NEVER saw it coming, not even a hint. The climax was bittersweet but an appropriate ending for the characters and the story.


The narration
Absolutely superb! Michael Petkoff made a suspenseful story even more riveting. Everything was perfect...character distinctions, perfectly pitched voice elevation, pacing. This was my first time listening to Michael Petkoff and when I discovered he narrates the Immortals After Dark series, I got the next book in audio format.


The bottom line
This is my first book by Koryta and I'm adding more to my shelf. It's a perfect blend of mystery, suspense and thrills. If you can listen to the book, you'll enjoy this story even more. 


(I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)

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