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review 2017-09-09 08:30
Decisions
Rescued - Felice Stevens

Ryder & Jason meet and have immediate attraction.  Among the shared interests, are the cute puppies who need love.  Ryder no longer has the patience for someone who is really not into him.  His last relationship was enough.

 

Jason cannot help how he feels.  He also feels like he never tell anyone how he really feels.  Every time he thinks he can, he chickens out.  Is what he feels for Ryder enough to give him the strength?

 

This story was very entertaining.  It also had moments where it felt kind of slow.  The family aspect was amazing and I hope we see more of this in later series books.  The characters were an interesting mix and felt like opposites attract.  I give this story a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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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.

 

30

 

 

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

https://www.facebook.com/Rod-Raglin-337865049886964/

 

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

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45n8K4BVmT248LBTpfARQ

 

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

https://www.pinterest.com/rod_raglin/rod-raglins-reviews-cover-art/

 

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 2016-09-27 14:02
A Gift from Bob: How a Street Cat Helped One Man Learn the Meaning of Christmas - James Bowen

I was trying to save this book for the holidays, but I just couldn't. James Bowen's tales of his life with Bob the Street Cat are just too charming to sit and wait.

In this book, Bowen shares stories of Christmas past as an addict and how the current Christmas of which he was writing was different. He attributes much of his strength and determination to get clean and sober to having Bob to care for, and as usual shares many stories of Bob's antics as the two went busking or sold The Big Issue homeless newspaper.

In the course of reading this series of three books, I learned a great deal about how different the services available to those with addiction or who are homeless are in the UK from the US. I have a great appreciation for how much work it is to survive day-to-day, even with the far greater services available to those in need.

In any event, the stories told are poignant and heart-warming at the same time, and Bowen's love for his ginger cat friend come through in every word.

Highly recommended.

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review 2016-09-16 14:01
The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat - James Bowen

I admit, I am utterly charmed by this series of books.

In the second of his three books (so far) chronicling his adventures with Bob, James Bowen tells more about his efforts in sobriety, his challenges selling The Big Issue newspaper ... and how his book contract came about in the face of his increasing fame. A few newspaper articles and some YouTube videos make him a more noticeable person ... and create many fans for Bob.

This is not without its attendant challenges, as some of the Big Issue sellers don't like how Bowen and Bob are able to sell so many more papers ... and some of them are not very nice about it at all.

The story demonstrates amply something I have known for a while: rescue animals also rescue their people. I look forward to reading the next Bob book.

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review 2016-09-04 00:44
A street cat named Bob - James Bowen

It's hard to say who rescued whom in this book. James Bowen is a recovering heroin addict living in a housing project when Bob shows up at the door. James initially thinks the ginger tomcat belongs to a neighbor, but after asking around he concludes that the cat is a stray and takes him in.

Pretty soon, the two are inseparable ... and Bob starts giving James a reason to not only get out of bed to do his busking but also to finally get clean and sober from heroin.

Bowen talks pretty freely about his life and the challenges he faces, and how important Bob became to him.

The book is absolutely charming, and I can't wait to read the other two Bob stories.

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