What Your Book Review Can Do

You love to read, don’t you? You seek books that will sweep you into another world or time or place. Books with characters you love or love to hate. The rush of reading as fast as you can or the savoring every word can leave you with a thrill. Books that do that for you are precious. And we writers dream of creating that book for you. But do you know what your book review can do for the author, for other readers, and for the book publishing industry? Yes. You, dear reader, have the power to influence a book’s success but only if you review the books you read. What is this power? The Power to Share  You’ve read a great book. Don’t be selfish. Share it.  On sites like Amazon or Goodreads, you can give the book a star-rating.  Your written review spotlights the book for other potential readers. More than 85% of buyers on Amazon check the reviews before they buy.  You’ll not only point readers like you to the book, but you’ll also thrill the author. The Power to Spare You’ve read a not so great book. Don’t be mean about it. Remember how you’d feel […]

A Novel Announcement and the Story Behind the Story

Recently I realized I’ve never made the official novel announcement here. News I shared several weeks ago on Facebook and Twitter, but not here. (For those of you who’ve seen Facebook or Twitter you’ll like the story behind the story.) My novel, My Soul to Keep, went live as an ebook on August 21st. It is now also available as a paperback book on Amazon. Other retailers can order it from Ingram. What’s the Story? This dystopian tale takes place in 1961, but America is not the nation you know. It’s an insular land of righteousness, repression, and fear. Drawn into a maelstrom of political intrigue, familial deception, and social upheaval two women, one peaceful and the other violent, seek truth and justice. To find the truth they will have to make sacrifices. Triumph will free them and the nation. Failure will mean a face-off with the angel-assassin, Azrael. How A Nice Girl Wrote A Dystopian Novel You might wonder how “a nice girl like” me came to write a dystopian novel. I moved seventeen times before I graduated from high school. No, neither parent was in any armed service. Seventeen different homes, seventeen different schools. Can you imagine a […]

Spycraft: Essentials–a Review

Spies, and spooks, and agents, oh, my! Spycraft: Essentials by Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes has the title right. This book is for anyone who writes about spies, loves the history of American intelligence agencies and spycraft, or anyone who enjoys a good and educational read.   Clear definitions give the reader the background she needs to understand American politics as it relates to the spy business. Explanations of the distinctions between American agencies clarify a lot. And there are fascinating examples of events and people in the business.   The sections addressed to writers and how one can use the information included in the book are idea-sparking. Who knew that being color-blind would keep a spook from being good at planting bugs?   What makes the book a sheer delight for me is the humor hits. Piper and Jay have rapier wits and use their humor in unexpected places. “Let’s say someone at the CIA identifies Schmucky Putavich in Bananastan as a person of interest.” There were many times while reading that a chortle escaped me.   This is a book you can sit down and read front to back, or choose a specific topic and only read those sections. Whatever […]