ROBYN ROZE

Fall Break Kindle Countdown Deals!

Want a hot read for Fall Break?  How about 4 for $4 … (ends 10/24)

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Giveaway, Kindle Countdown Deal and More!

Fall Break Giveaway!

Want to know about my Kindle Fire HD Giveaway? 

How about the $50 Amazon Gift Cards? 

Interested in my upcoming Kindle Countdown Deals?

Kindle Fire HD$50 Amazon GC

My newsletter subscribers just received advanced notice about all of this.  Plus, I gave them an update about my current project, HellKat.

If you’d like more information, sign up for my mailing list and I’ll send the current newsletter to you!

 

Newsletter Sign Up

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I have decided to include a newsletter sign up on my website, and I already have some early subscribers!  The newsletter will focus strictly on my books (past, present, and future), and I will be sending out teasers, excerpts, early alerts for giveaways, and that sort of thing.

As you are a current subscriber to my blog, I’m announcing this new opportunity to you.  Perhaps you’d rather receive the newsletter only.  Or maybe you want to subscribe to the newsletter and the blog.  The decision is entirely yours.  I plan to have very little overlap between these two communication tools.  My blog will remain broad with book reviews, posts on self-publishing, writing, and just life in general.  Whereas my newsletter will be much more narrow in focus. 

I promise not to overwhelm your inbox or share or sell your information.  Since you already follow my blog, you know this to be true.  So, think about it. 

And if you decide to give it a try, here’s your easiest opportunity to do so: 

 

Amazon Verified Purchase Review. What Does It Really Mean?

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I love Amazon.  I really do.  They have a seemingly infinite supply of products, great prices, efficient distribution, and speedy delivery.  As an author, I also enjoy the benefits of their KDP Select program.  They have made self-publishing easier and more profitable than ever.  And Amazon continues to roll out innovative programs for authors who choose exclusivity with the online Goliath’s KDP Select program.  These marketing programs, such as FREE days, Kindle Countdown Deals, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL), and now Kindle Unlimited (KU), all provide authors a variety of avenues for promotion and exposure, while giving readers additional ways to find new authors.  It’s a win-win.

Take the new Kindle Unlimited program.  A member pays $9.99 per month and can download as many books offered under KU as she wants, each and every month from KDP Select authors.  Then there are the Amazon PRIME members who pay $99.99 annually and, as one of their perks, can use the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library to download one book per month, free, from scores of authors.  Who, again, participate in the KDP Select program.

I personally love the new Kindle Unlimited initiative.  I have seen a nice spike in downloads of my books, which in turn boosts my sales rankings and makes my books more visible to even more readers.  Thank you, Amazon!  I really mean that.

Do you hear the ‘but’ coming?

If you’ve ever left a review on Amazon, you already know that if you purchased the product from them, you can choose to leave a Verified Purchase review.  This means that Amazon can assure future readers of your review that you did, in fact, purchase the item from them.  I have absolutely no idea what the point-of-sale has to do with the veracity, quality, or relevance of a review.  However, a lot of emphasis is placed on the Verified Purchase review label:

“The Amazon Verified Review label offers one more way to help gauge the quality and relevance of a product review.”

That language is from Amazon.  You can read it for yourself here:  Amazon Verified Purchase Review

Now, I don’t know about you, but that statement makes me think a review without a Verified Purchase label is somehow inferior, lesser in ‘quality and relevance’.  Why?  Why does it matter where a consumer purchased a good?  If they have experience with it, or have read it, they should be able to leave a review that carries the same weight as anyone else.  And I’m sure those Amazon subscribers to PRIME and Kindle Unlimited have the option of clicking Verified Purchase…

BUT they don’t.  Again, these consumers are purchasing a service from Amazon, but apparently their reviews don’t have the same ‘quality and relevance’ when using Amazon’s subscriber-only services.  Why?  And I’d like an answer other than:  Because Amazon says so.  I think if I’m paying $9.99 a month to download and read as many books as I want, I should be able to leave Verified Purchase reviews for those books.  Amazon knows what I’ve downloaded from them to my kindle.  It shouldn’t matter that I didn’t pay a separate amount for it, because I’m already paying Amazon monthly, or annually.

Who cares?  Right?  Well, here’s the problem.  Amazon makes a big deal out of Verified Purchase reviews just by offering it as an option and now by allowing reviews to be filtered using that same label.  And authors know that readers like to see this label on reviews, especially if it’s a new-to-them author.  And even though I’ve seen a spike in downloads for my books since the start of Kindle Unlimited, I will never see the all-important Verified Purchase review label for any of them, which makes those reviews seem suspicious in some way, less ‘quality and relevance’…  Doesn’t it?  And readers could download a great book from a competing vendor and love it so much they want to shout it from rooftops, and leave a review at every book-selling site possible.  But those reviews are suspect, too.  Right?  After all, it’s the point-of-sale that’s relevant when it comes to reviews.  Agreed?  Without the Verified Purchase label, you can never really be sure it’s a legitimate Amazon purchase?  And that’s important, because…? 

Other than the obvious digital purchase trail, what does a Verified Purchase review really mean?  Nothing.  Since I understand how this works from an author’s perspective, I no longer, as a consumer, give any credence to that little label when I’m deciding on a purchase at Amazon.  I get it now.  I’ve seen how the game is played from the inside.  However, as an author, I know that readers feel it’s important.  And because of that, I’m not happy that Amazon doesn’t allow the Verified Purchase review as an option for PRIME (KOLL) and Kindle Unlimited members.

In my opinion, Amazon either needs to get rid of the Verified Purchase review option (my preference), or offer it to ALL paying customers.  And that includes their very own PRIME and Kindle Unlimited subscribers. 

Emotional Writing

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I just read a fantastic article about emotional writing and the importance of it to readers.  That statement may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds.  I know I love a story that pulls my emotions into the mix and invests me personally in not only the ultimate conclusion of the story, but also the progression of each scene, the words spoken and unspoken, and even physical reactions.  Those kinds of reads are always the ones that stick with me well after I’ve closed my kindle.  I have a hard time releasing the characters and moving on to the next book, because my emotions are still intertwined with the characters in the world that a great writer builds.  The clinical term for these symptoms is book hangover.   

And let’s be clear, emotional writing doesn’t mean that it must always be angst-driven, although it certainly can be.  There are genres and styles for every mood and taste.  And there are authors who weave into their stories a wide variety of emotions from the spectrum.  There is something for everyone.  I’ve even been fortunate enough to have readers contact me to say that a story I wrote sucked them in to the point that they couldn’t put the book down.  That is a high compliment indeed and always encourages me to keep pushing forward, keep working harder to do even better emotional writing.

I have included Romance University’s guest post from author Cindy Nord discussing this topic.  I think it’s worth your time, and she even includes a well-written, emotional excerpt from one of her books.  You never know, she might just be your next favorite author.

Emotional Writing by Cindy Nord

 

Chain Gang Street Team

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Did you read CHAIN of TITLE? Did you love it?

Do you want to be the first to know when there will be a sequel? Do you want to talk about Sean Parker and put your two cents in about what you’d like to see in a sequel?

Would you be willing to post promos on your wall, in Facebook groups, and anywhere else you can think of to recommend it?

Would you like the opportunity to be selected as a beta reader or receive an ARC of HELLKAT?

If you have five minutes to spare here and there, or more, and would like to become a member, please visit and consider joining the CHAIN GANG Street Team.

The more the merrier and I promise to make it worth your while.

Review of Follow by JA Huss

Follow (Social Media, #1)Follow by J.A. Huss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you’ve never read a JA Huss book, one-click this one right now! I am not even joking!

The pithy description made this an easy one-click for me. It sounded fun. And boy was it ever! The whole infamous filthy tweeter meets the movie-star object of her filthy tweets intrigued me immediately and had me chomping at the bit to read it right away–which I did.  The writing was smooth, fluid, and drew me in from the first page. I wouldn’t change a thing.

I also want to add, my hat is off to JA Huss and her ability to describe a location, situation, and characters without it being information overload. She keeps the characters at the forefront, everything else is secondary. Her descriptions were always just enough and kept me present in the moment, focused on Grace and Asher instead of slowing me up on unnecessary details. There were also many times I laughed out loud at things Grace was thinking, as well as the smart banter between her and Asher. Their dialogue was some of the best I’ve read in this genre. It never felt stilted or contrived to me. I felt as though I was eavesdropping on real conversations, as well as a voyeur to their wacky weekend hook-up.

I thoroughly enjoyed Grace’s internal struggle over what she wants and what Asher wants. I like her spunkiness and the fact that she speaks her mind. Even more, I like that it all puts Vaughn Asher off his game.  The chemistry between these two characters is palpable, gets the blood pumping, and that’s just the dialogue! The steam is OFF THE CHARTS! The ending was FANTASTIC and I have already pre-ordered the second book in this series.

To JA Huss: You nailed it! Thank you for a fun, flirty, fantastic read!

View all my reviews

The Sassy Summer Book Party

I’m going to keep this short and sweet.  There’s a great giveaway going on at The Sassy Summer Book Party.  Lots of great prizes from 61 authors.  You can’t win anything if you don’t enter.  So, what do you have to lose!  You can enter from now until August 17th.  Check out the link and select the Prize Packs you’re interested in winning.  Of course, the more you enter, the more chances you have to win.  Good luck!  :)

http://www.melissapetreshock.com/sassy-sisters-event-zone/

Coming Distractions

I’ve neglected my blog for a while.  I should feel bad, but I don’t have time for that.  My life is so full of distractions right now, I feel lucky to squeeze in any writing time on HellKat, let alone maintain my blog.  Actually, I put HellKat aside for a few months while I reworked my first book, Keeper, and then republished it on July 4th.  Okay, so some of my distractions are obviously of my own making.  I didn’t have to rework and republish my first book.  I just felt I could do it better.  So, that recognition alone sent my brain in an obsessive loop I had to address in order to be able to progress with my current work in process.  Yes, I can be my own worst enemy and create unnecessary work for myself.  Trust me.  It’s too late to change now.

822c2e300260c6e4eafd2b9278779aa9[1]And without warning, my family life is changing at a dizzying speed with my teenage son who is suddenly brandishing a Learner’s Permit.  Where’d that come from?  Wasn’t I just sending him to time-out and dropping him off at preschool last week?  My son is the oldest, the first born, the test case, the guinea pig, the one who broke me in, made me a better mother, and made the road ahead smoother for his sister.  Although if her eye rolling and deep sighs are any indication, I have a lot of room for improvement.  But back to my reality and his driving:  there’s nothing like your life flashing before your eyes to get your creative juices flowing, and your affairs in order.  I tried my best not to look like the guy in the photo on the left the first time my son drove wild and free on our city streets.  He did a good job, but that didn’t stop me from earning a few more gray hairs and pushing on my imaginary brakes like Fred Flintstone.  Any parent who has handed over their car keys to a person whose diapers they once changed knows the feeling.

Add to this already bustling mix my job as an accountant with a company that has just transitioned their operating and accounting systems.  Don’t get me wrong, I love change.  Out with the old in with the new keeps my mind flexible and out of the deep ditch of mundane routine.  It’s just that I thought I was almost at the point where I could switch to autopilot for a bit.  I glimpsed an opening to finally get my head back into the story and characters in HellKat.  But since I work from home, which has advantages and disadvantages, I know much of my time in the near future is going to be spent learning new software and procedures.  See that’s the thing about working from home–I’m ALWAYS at work!  It stares me in the face and taunts me like a playground bully until I put it out of my misery.

8f94426ebb6e44cca0184986370fcf1c[1]Then there’s my husband who still wants to spend time with me, even after knowing me for thirty-five years.  Maybe he’s a glutton for punishment, or got kicked in the head by a horse as a kid…  Anyway, we just got back from a wonderful distraction-filled vacation to San Francisco.  We did it all:  Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Lombard Street, Muir Woods, Ghirardelli Square, wine country and even biked across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito.  Don’t know that I’ll revisit Fog City.  It was a bit cold and windy for my liking; not to mention getting knocked off my bicycle by a rude biker trying to make room where there was none between me and the guardrail on that big, not-so-golden, windy bridge.  And to think I could’ve been home writing instead of now feeling twice my age with scrapes, bruises, and a bit of a hitch in my step.

But that’s life:  dealing with the distractions, the scrapes, the bruises, and the hitches along the way; and somehow knitting them all together, learning to enjoy the moments, the time I have right now.  Instead of pining for the past or yearning for a future where I believe I’m going to be distraction free and finally able to do that ‘thing’ I want to do–whatever it is.  Here’s the deal:  it’s not going to happen.  After almost fifty years, I’ve learned that life is short, that there will never be enough time, and that distractions are a good thing, because that’s when life happens.  Distractions keep me from wasting too much time worrying about the future, and instead keep me present, keep me awake, and keep me interested in what’s coming next.  After all, I’ll have plenty of distraction-free time when my ashes are blowing in the wind.

So, here’s the deal:  HellKat may or may not be released in 2014.  It depends on the coming distractions.  I’ll keep you posted.  Also, I’m going to do my best to pay more attention to my blog, review more books, surprise you with a teaser or two from HellKat, and along the way spotlight some indie authors I enjoy.  And I’ll let you know if I’ve eased up on my Fred Flintstone brakes in time to give ‘em a rest before my daughter’s behind the wheel rolling her eyes and honking the horn at me.

However, if none of that happens, you’ll now know why:  I’m enjoying all the distractions life has to offer…while I’m lucky enough to have the time.

HOT-BLOODED Cover Reveal (Kendall Grey)

If Robert Rodriquez (Sin City), Tony Soprano, and David Lynch (Twin Peaks) made sweet love to a Hawaiian version of The Bride (Uma Thurman’s character from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill), the resulting spawn might look like Kendall Grey’s upcoming mystery/suspense/supernatural thriller, HOT-BLOODED.

The first installment in the Ohana series, HOT-BLOODED is set on the island of Maui and is wrapped in the light and dark watercolors of Hawaiian culture, history, and mythology. It’s about guns, drugs, surfing, and tiki monsters. HOT-BLOODED tells the tale of a ballsy, half-Hawaiian angel-turned-demon, the duplicitous assassin who falls for her, and the blessings and curses of family—all wrapped up in freaky, supernatural gift paper.

Here’s the description:

WARNING: HOT-BLOODED does NOT end with a happily ever after. It contains drug use and graphic sex, language, and violence. The story is intended to entertain, not to condone or glorify illegal or immoral activities. This book is unsuitable for sensitive readers and those under the age of 18.

*Written in 3rd person. Contains a massive cliffhanger and multiple POVs.

Ohana is everything…

When an accident claims her mother’s life, Keahilani Alana must take charge of her ohana (family) or risk losing what little they have. With an underage brother to care for and no education, she has few options. The door to a heavenly hellish opportunity opens when she stumbles upon a valuable secret her mother left behind on the slopes of an extinct volcano—a legacy that tempts the family with riches beyond their wildest dreams. But the secret is much bigger and more sinister than they realize. As reality unravels and exposes eerie truths about the ohana that should have remained deep under the mountain, Keahilani must either resist the call of her blood or risk being consumed by its darkness.

Blake Murphy is an assassin working to infiltrate a new Hawaiian cartel. His investigation reveals that Keahilani, the sexy surfing instructor he pegged as an informant, is much closer to the drug ring than he thought. Passion ignites between them in the bedroom, but their ironclad ties to opposing interests pit them against each other everywhere else.

When tensions reach the breaking point and her ohana is threatened, the only cure for Keahilani’s hot-blooded fury is a loaded clip with a body bag chaser.

They don’t call her Pele for nothing.

Here’s the cover, designed by Renee Coffey:

So, are you up for a steamy, violent descent into tropical-island madness with a supernatural twist? If so, you can add HOT-BLOODED to your Goodreads TBR here. The release date hasn’t been announced yet, but Kendall is shooting for the end of June or early July. Stay tuned!

You can stalk Kendall on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, or her web site.

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