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review 2017-07-21 15:04
A fairy tale with mackaws
The Rocker and the Bird Girl - Rod Raglin

Ever read a self-published book and thought: "Wow, I want to read more by this author"? Get this book and you will.


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text 2017-06-06 03:46
Experiments in Self-Publishing with The Rocker and the Bird Girl

The Rocker and the Bird Girl (RBG) is a novella I wrote on Inkitt, more as an experiment than a serious piece of writing. I wanted to see if I wrote something YA oriented if it would generate for me any of the response this site boasts about. I'd have been happy with comments and criticism, but wouldn't have turned down a publishing deal.


Here's the blurb for the story.


If someone called Mattie a bird brain she'd take it as a compliment. She loves birds, has spent her entire twenty years surrounded by them and believes they are more intelligent, loving and loyal than, well, most anything else in this world.


Mattie's grandfather spent all his retirement, time and funds, establishing a sanctuary for homeless, imported, exotic birds. Now granddad was gone and so was the money to support the sanctuary. In her desperate search for funding to keep the refuge open


Mattie had read that lead guitarist and lyricist Bodine, of the notorious rock band, Seditious, owned a Macaw as a pet. The guy was obviously fabulously wealthy. Maybe he'd like to spend some of that money saving these beautiful, precious creatures instead of on drugs and expensive toys?


He wasn't answering her emails so she guessed she'd have to try to get his attention at the Seditious concert that was coming to town. She'd never been to a rock concert and wasn't looking forward to it, but desperate times called for desperate measures.



Sex, drugs and rock 'n roll have taken their toll on Bodine, lead guitarist and songwriter for Seditious, the chart topping, outrageous rock band. He's just playing the part until something better comes along. The problem is what's better than being a rich and famous rock idol? Certainly not helping some over zealous young woman save exotic birds, even if his best friend is a Blue and Gold Macaw.


I'd knock off a chapter about once every three days and upload it to the site then promote it on Twitter and Facebook. I kind of got caught up with the characters and the plot and before I knew it they were having their way with me.


Once completed, it's a novella, only 20,000 words, I left it up for awhile but had become too attached to it to let it languish among all the dreck. Besides after four months it had received no comments or criticisms and accumulated only about two hundred and fifty reads and eleven downloads. I'm not sure what that means in terms of success on Inkitt, but it was obvious to me nothing was happening.


And so, more or less to keep my hand in, and as an offering to my ART members (Advance Reading Team) I've self-published it and even have some ideas about developing it into a series. It was fun, easy to write and I got to addressed some issues. You can become an ART member and receive a free copy of The Rocker and the Bird Girl by clicking this link http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj


I'm seriously considering turning RBG into a series. Apparently, novellas are very popular (easily read on your cell phone during a commute), and the characters and story ideas are still resonating with me.


All the while I'm still waiting for a traditional publisher to pickup East Van Saturday Night - four short stories and a novella. So far not a peep, one way or another.


When it came to self-publishing the e-book edition of RBG I went with Smashwords and Kindle Direct (Amazon) and this time added Draft2Digital (D2D), more so I could pass along the experience to you and the participants of my workshops and creative writing circles since D2D has limited distribution which is more than duplicated by the coverage Smashwords offers.


If you think making it even easier to self-publish is a good thing (I'm not sure it is) than you'll love Draft2Digital (D2D). I found uploading my manuscript along with the pertinent details extremely user friendly. They'll even provide front and back matter for your e-book from the information you provide.


However, after uploading RBG I received an error message via email from D2D. My book was blocked from being distributed because I inadvertently hit the public domain button when uploading my file. I followed the instructions, went back and made the correction - nothing changed. My book was still blocked.


I sent an email message explaining my dilemma on June 1. Two days later after receiving no response I tried to de-list my book. It wouldn't go away. I then decided to reload my book making sure to not hit the public domain button and bingo it went through and got distributed.


Now two listings for The Rocker and the Bird Girl appear on my D2D dashboard - one blocked and one published. Compare this to Amazon's Create Space and Kindle Direct who always resolve my issues within twenty-four hours.


Three things I didn't bother with in this launch were Kindle Select, Kindle Scout, and Smashwords Pre-order. These highly touted services have generated nothing whatsoever in response for me.


My email list continues generate response and I'm getting quite creative with MailChimp about using free copies to increase the membership, like using Instafreebie's one month free introductory offer. Make sure you click the option to have Instafreebie members "opt in" by giving up their email address for a free book.


Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.





Links to websites referenced in this blog.

Link to become an ART member http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj

Draft2Digital http://draft2digital.com/

Inkitt http://inkitt.com/

Instafreebie https://www.instafreebie.com/

Mail Chimp https://mailchimp.com/

Smashwords http://smashwords.com/

Kindle Direct https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/

Create Space http://createspace.com/


Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU


Facebook for writing news, my experience as a writer as well as promotions, contests, giveaways and discounts regarding his books



Video book reviews of self-published authors now at Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews:



Cover Art of books by self-published authors at



More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to: http://www.redbubble.com/people/rodraglin


View my flickr photostream at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78791029@N04/


Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsQVBxJZ7eXkvZmxCm2wRYA



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review 2017-04-28 00:00
Yoga jeden Tag: Energie für Körper, Geist und Seele (German Edition)
Yoga jeden Tag: Energie für Körper, Geis... Yoga jeden Tag: Energie für Körper, Geist und Seele (German Edition) - Anna Elisabeth Röcker Ausführliche Rezension und Leseprobe:
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text 2016-12-19 07:05
Book Blitz - Sylvie & Shandor

Rocker Shenanigans: Sylvie + Shandor Alyson Santos & Sunniva Dee Publication date: December 19th 2016 Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

They rock hard, play hard, and live life freaking hard. So when it comes to love it’s no surprise they screw up just as hard. Join an amusing cast of characters from Sunniva Dee’s and Alyson Santos’ rock star novels as they meet and pursue each other amidst the backstage chaos of their world. Rocker Shenanigans is a romantic comedy series of novellas that will toss you into the fun, sexy, and hilarious side of rocker life.


Rocker Shenanigans I: Sylvie Drake is ecstatic when her rock-goddess sister invites her to a charity event in the Bahamas. With a lineup featuring legends like Night Shifts Black, Clown Irruption, and Tracing Holland, how could this weekend not be totally epic? One word: Shandor. Smoldering gaze, cocky smile, and passionate hands that dominate a guitar. Everything about this mysterious stranger screams out-of-her-league. Shandor Xodyar is here to work. And keep his fiery cousin out of trouble with the threat of former flames breathing down their necks. What he didn’t count on is a three-word bombshell disrupting his mission: Holland’s teen sister. Unassumingly sexy, raw, and barely legal, there’s no way entertaining the forbidden electricity can end well. Then again, some ignored warnings are worth the consequences.

I swear his eyes grazed mine before they dismissed me because I’m not famous. Not my sister. But gosh, I want to change his mind. Have to.
I do a quick scan to test my conclusions, but no, only the old cougar with the scandalous miniskirt could have been the other recipient of that smoldering message. Maybe she… no. No! I know nothing about that overload of hotness except he doesn’t need a desperate grandmother to feed his ego. Okay, I don’t know that. Sometimes you just have to have faith, right?
I can’t tell if he wants me to approach or stay the hell away, but I don’t have a choice when the paralysis wears off and my bare legs start guiding me toward his loose-cut jeans. Jeans that hide… I blush. I don’t usually worry about what could be going on in a guy’s jeans.
Say something, Sylvie. And not about his pants.
I like your guitar.” Ugh! WTH?! I might as well have said I liked his subscription to Time Magazine.
He just stares at me for a moment, and I’m praying that slight slip in his expression is because he didn’t hear me.
Uh, thanks.”
He’s so not grateful for my praise, but I can’t stop now that I have his attention. I find myself rising on my toes, hoping the slim muscles in my toned thighs are making a pretty picture beneath my tiny shredded shorts. Yes, it’s December. It’s also the Bahamas at a resort that promised a buffet of hot rockers. Funny, I suddenly only notice one. And he needs to notice me.
I’m Sylvie Drake,” I continue, even though I know that means nothing to him. “My sister is Holland Drake.”
I shoot a thumb toward the opposite corner where my dear sibling is… hanging on Luke. If Luke, then Casey. Thank you grade-nine Algebra, and I’m suddenly annoyed I never got that promised text from Holland. Then again, since my attention zeroed in on this inferno, I haven’t noticed much else. My phone could be replacing the moons of Jupiter with all its flashing and I wouldn’t know it.
Hi, Sylvia.”
His brows knit because that’s what he said, except he didn’t. Still, I don’t know how to correct him with him looking at me like that. Even slanted in confusion, I feel the intensity of those golden embers shaded by dark lashes. Darnit, I’m Sylvia. It’s fine. I can be Sylvia because he’s… my body doesn’t need words as it answers his piercing concentration with all kinds of adult stuff. Holland would kill me if she knew what was going through my head. So much worse than gin and tonics. So much tastier. Tastier? Too adult. The lady with the miniskirt thinks he’s “tasty.” I think he’s… crap. I suck at this. What would Holland say?
What key are you playing in?”

Author Bio:


Sunniva Dee: Between studies, teaching, and advising, Sunniva has spent her entire adult life in a college environment. Most of her novels are new adult romance geared toward smart, passionate readers with a love for eclectic language and engaging their brain as well as their heart while reading.


Born in the Land of the Midnight Sun, the author spent her early twenties making the world her playground. Southern Europe: Spain, Italy, Greece--Argentina: Buenos Aires, in particular. The United States finally kept her interest, and after half a decade in Los Angeles, she now lounges in the beautiful city of Savannah.


Sometimes, Sunniva writes with a paranormal twist (Shattering Halos, Stargazer, and Cat Love). At other times, it's contemporary (Pandora Wild Child, Leon's Way, Adrenaline Crush, Walking Heartbreak, and Dodging Trains, coming in late March 2016). This author is the happiest when her characters let their emotions run off with them, shaping her stories in ways she never foresaw. She loves bad-boys and good-boys run amok, and like in real life, her goal is to keep the reader on her toes until the end of each story.


Sunniva Links:





Alyson Santos:


I’m a writer, musician, and cat lover. I also have an alternative music obsession. Seriously, it's a real problem.


I write what needs to come out, whether it’s pain, tears, or laughter. I write people and relationships, about the beauty and horror of what we do to ourselves and each other. I write Love. Vengeance. Compassion. Cruelty. Trust. Betrayal. Forgiveness. Darkness, and the incredible way humans destroy and heal each other.


I like to eradicate barriers, refusing to be confined by the laws of physics or limitations of reality. I will befriend a vast population of possibilities and introduce them in ways that might surprise you.






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review 2016-11-19 17:01
"Absolute power corrupts absolutely"
The Boat Rocker: A Poetry of Life - Michael Mann

The Boat Rocker, Ha Jin, author; Edoardo Ballerini, narrator Feng Danlin and Yan Haili, were married in China. He was an unsophisticated, aspiring author, and she turned out to be a scheming young woman who also imagined herself as a writer, He loved her and believed her love for him was sincere. Since both partners in a marriage were not allowed to leave China together, she left for America first. After a couple of years, he insisted she bring him over. In China, his superior at work was inferior to him and therefore feared Danlin would replace him. He relentlessly harassed him. Danlin was ready to go to America. When Danlin arrived in New York, exhausted from the journey, Yan Haili did not want to have a romantic reunion. Instead, she took him to a seedy inn, in Chinatown, gave him some cash and left saying she would return the following day. She did return, but not to reunite. She returned with divorce papers. Danlin was devastated. She had changed; she had moved on and abandoned him. Regardless of his pleas, she turned his own words against him. If he still loved her, how could he not want her happiness? These were the kinds of “inside-out” arguments that pervaded the book as Yan Haili, and those deceitful operatives she had become involved with, began to manipulate the system for their own benefit through lies, intimidation and corruption. Danlin landed a job as an investigative journalist with GNA, (Global News Agency), known for exposing the truth about the corruption in the Chinese government as well as the media. When it became known to his boss that Danlin’s ex-wife, Haili, was publishing a non-fiction book purporting to be about her own experiences on 9/11, which was totally false, he assigned Danlin, the one who knew her best, to expose his wife and whoever was backing her. At first, he objected. He believed the public would think he was simply being vindictive. Still, his boss, Kaiming, insisted that he take the assignment. Her book, “Love and Death in September”, needed to be exposed for what it was, a lie. When Danlin discovered that Haili had promoted still more lies, like George Bush was endorsing her book and a major publishing house had already agreed to publish her book, and there was also a major movie contract waiting for her, he exposed her in an article and received great acclaim. No one that she had named had corroborated her claims. Danlin’s fifteen minutes of fame was short-lived and came with huge consequences. When their crimes were revealed, those unsavory characters associated with and backing his wife, those strong arms who were in league with the Chinese government, retaliated against him with more false statements aimed to shame him and blacken his name. The fact that the charges they made against him were false was immaterial. The compatriots of his ex-wife were powerful back in China, and China was promoting this corrupt effort to influence the media and control information. If they controlled information, they could brainwash the public; they could control their knowledge. Danlin was fighting an unknown establishment with great power to do him harm, yet he innocently seemed to forge ahead, with the encouragement of his boss. He expected to win because he believed that, in America, he had rights, and he was doing honorable work by exposing dishonesty. He believed he would be supported because he was righting a wrong. He believed in freedom; he believed in independence. He believed, that in the end, he would win. America and Americans would be behind him. Did he underestimate the dishonesty that existed even in America? Did he underestimate the idea that everyone was subject to a bribe for the right price? Slowly and subtly, the deceitful and malicious behavior of Haili and her cohorts revealed that the snake oil salesmen were aligned against him with powerful people supporting them. Job-like, he followed truth and justice, but his honesty was paid back with betrayals. The underhanded, secret tactics were revealed, but Danlin seemed to be the only one who cared, the only one who held high values and refused to recant his claims. His life was being turned upside down by his enemies, and he was being betrayed by his friends and fellow workers, yet he stayed the course. The more lies he exposed, the bigger the lies they told. Misinformation was running rampant and giving truth to the theory that a lie told often enough, indeed, does become the truth. Danlin was maligned by the media and the Chinese government, the same government that had at first praised his efforts. Those with the least scruples were succeeding. Perhaps, he was naïve and honest to a fault, believing in the “goodness” of his new country, without reservation. It seemed that neither America nor China were what they were presented as, instead they conducted underhanded, devious deals, in back rooms, that skirted the law, without the public ever learning about them; if they did learn, it was too late to do anything about it. The truth in this book is stranger than fiction as evidenced by a recent deal between China and J. P. Morgan that has just become public. In order to obtain financially favorable deals from the Chinese Government, they hired unqualified family members of the ruling class. In much the same way, this book’s plot is about the promotion of an unqualified author in order to gain control of the media industry in America. The Chinese knew if they controlled the media, they could control information; if they could control information, they could certainly control the people. Since all concerned in the power bases of both countries generally wanted to protect the relationship between them, many injustices were often overlooked. This book surely exposed a clash of cultures in which one pretended to be perfectly high minded while the other blatantly played the game of manipulation. Both get away with their deceptions. However, in America, it is actually possible to expose corruption. I believe that one truth is exposed, in this book, above all others. The media does control the dispensation of information. Whoever is in charge of the media, will ultimately control the ideas that are published, and the people’s view and understanding of those ideas will be influenced by whatever they choose to cover. The book removed the mask from the face of the government and the fourth estate. Corruption is everywhere. Still, in America, when one fails, one is able to start again, to renew efforts to succeed in a different direction. In China, however, one might be punished in some way, and that mark against them would keep them on the blacklist forever.

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