Sunday, March 17, 2013

Big Cocks and Shamrocks (It's a Blog Hop)

Somehow, with a blog hop named “Big Cocks and Shamrocks,” shouldn’t the grand prize be a giant green vibrator?

Oh, wait.  It kind of is!

The grand prize is a Basket Full of Naughty

It contains the following in a Cabal of Hotness tote:

·         Two-sided Tickler/Flogger
·         Penis-shaped sour candies
·         Flask that reads, “Girls with Class Don’t Need a Glass”
·         G-spot vibe
·         Oral Sex “Essentials” Kit
·         Glow-in-the-dark erotic dice

We'll also include a $30 gift card and a Cabal of Hotness t-shirt. Wow! 

All you have to do is leave a comment and your email in the comment section of this blog.  That will give you an entry for the grand prize as well as one for my individual giveaway.  Here's the Rafflecopter contest form for the Basket of Naughty!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And what is the giveaway prize on this site?  A pair of handcrafted, St. Patrick's Day inspired lampwork-glass bead and Swarovski crystal earrings made just for this hop by me!  

Note:  If the selected winner is from somewhere other than the US, they will receive a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card instead of the earrings unless they would like to pay for the shipping.  If I send out the gift card, I will choose another winner (in the US, natch) to receive the earrings.  You can increase your chances of winning my personal giveaway by using the Rafflecopter form below.

And the winner is...Joy! Joy chose the gift card, so I will pick another winner for the earrings. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But here's the best part!  You can enter at all the hop sites and increase your chance to win the Basket Full of Naughty.  Just go to 
for all the sites.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lucky in Love Blog Hop

Welcome to the Lucky in Love St. Patrick’s Day Blog Hop!

I have been incredibly lucky in love.  I met my husband at the pre-opening gala of a friend’s new restaurant.  I had an invite, he crashed the party.  Everyone else at the shindig seemed to be either married or gay, and as the only single, straight people there, we ended up talking near the bar.  He claims he was immediately attracted to me, but what else is he going to say, “You looked like you were alone and I’d struck out with all the other women I hit on?”  In any case, aside from the single and straight connection, we actually had a lot in common — we were both graduate students, loved college basketball and had strange senses of humor.  A love match!  And had he not been there, I probably never would have met him.  We’ve been married almost 23 years and I thank my friend every time I see her for having the party.  For me, that date is more important than our actual wedding anniversary.  The wedding  was planned, but the night we met was fate.


Here’s the scoop on the fabulous hop — over 300 bloggers have individual giveaways and posts about the men we love.  Just leave a comment and your email in the comments section of each blog and have a chance to win a prize. 

That alone would be fantastic enough.  But there are also 2 grand prizes.  Each time you comment and leave your email, you are entered to win not only the individual blog’s giveaway, but also a

$100 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card
or a
Giant Swag Pack
Full of bookmarks, paperbacks, eBooks and more!
(Swag pack available only to entrants from the U.S.)

I’m giving away another hand-crafted pair of lampwork-glass bead earrings designed and made by me especially for this blog hop! 

And the winner of the earrings is...Lysette, from California!

You’ll get one entry for the gift card and swag pack when you leave your comment and email here (or on the other hop sites), but for my giveaway you can have extra entries by using the rafflecopter entries below.  (If you live anywhere other than the US and you win my giveaway, you will receive a $10 Amazon gift card instead of the earrings unless you would like to foot the bill for shipping.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Is BookRooster A Good Marketing Investment?

I decided to give BookRooster a try last month. For $67, they guarantee at least 10 reviews from their list of over 3,000 reviewers.  

From their website: 

We charge an administrative fee of $67 per book to invite suitable reviewers to review your book, to distribute your book to those who have agreed to review it and to track to make sure at least ten reviews are submitted by reviewers.

They don't guarantee favorable reviews, I figured it's an easier way of getting my book in the hands of people who are willing to write a review.   They may like it, they may hate it, but at least I wouldn't have to send out a gazillion more emails to potential reviewers, most of which will never respond.  

I paid my money, and within a couple of weeks, I started seeing reviews for Special Offers posted on Amazon.  I think I ended up with 12 reviews (it might have been more, it's hard to tell sometimes if a reviewer got the book through BookRooster).   All but one were very complimentary.  The not-so-good review gave Special Offers one star, but explained why they hated it.  That's fine; I don't expect everyone to like the book and they had reasons why they wanted to blow their brains out after they read it. I don't agree with the assessment, obviously, but they made their case and that's all anyone can ask from a reviewer.

You might assume that the experiment was a success and I wouldn't hesitate to pay another $67 to have the second book - Special Rewards - sent out to their stable of eager reviewers.  That would be the case if not for one glitch.  One of the reviewers posted a 4-star review, but some of the write-up was obviously not for Special Offers.

"I received a copy of this book for review. very good book, i read it in two sittings,(then got the book prior to it Spirit Binder. i suggest that spirit binder should be read first.) the characters were interesting and felt sort of real, or on the edge. I love scfi, romance, intrique,mystery this book has it all."

Special Offers is part sci-fi, part romance, part mystery but Spirit Binder is neither the previous book in the series (Special Offers is book one) nor did I write Spirit Binder. Okay, no biggie.  Maybe the reviewer just mixed something up, or was writing two reviews at the same time, or had a temporary brain fart.  

I emailed BookRooster, and asked if they could have the reviewer fix it, even if the 4-stars weren't meant for my book and I ended up with another low review.  

I never heard back from them, and the review wasn't altered.

That lack of follow up makes me hesitant to use their services again.  If they can't be bothered to respond to a concern, why should I fork out more money?  It wasn't like I was complaining about the 1-star review.  I wasn't expecting all fantastic, glowing comments.  I wasn't paying for good reviews of Special Offers, I was paying for reviews of Special Offers.  And that review seems like it isn't for my book.  

For BookRooster to let such a blunder go without remedy indicates they aren't really paying too much attention to details.  They take your money, send out the book, maybe make sure you get at least 10 reviews and that’s it. 

Technically, I suppose that’s all they say they’ll do.  Their Terms of Service state: 

While we do our best to ensure that your book goes to unbiased, competent reviewers, we are not liable for the content of any customer review posted by a reviewer, whether at or elsewhere. Our liability to you for anything related to the services provides is limited to the service fee you pay us for our services. Please double check the formatting of your ebook file before you send it.

They’re not liable for the content, but shouldn’t they encourage an obvious screw-up to be amended? And is doing their best include never answering their emails?

That’s my story.  Is BookRooster a good deal to get some unbiased reviews or just a guy's hands painted to look like a rooster?  You can decide if it’s worth the cash or not.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sequestration and Self-Publishing

Today is the day — barring some miraculous, last minute complete personality shifts by everyone in the White House and Congress — mandatory, across-the-board budget cuts will begin for pretty much everything that the federal government funds. 

I’m fairly certain the “sequester”, as it is called, will occur because our elected officials have been so busy posturing and trying to look tough, their chests are too puffed out to see the cluster fuck right in front of them that will affect us all.  Well, except them.  I’m betting that the folks in Washington D.C. that came up with this idiocy and then did nothing to prevent it aren’t going to feel the pinch.  Federal employees will be forced to take furlough — as much a day a week — which means their pay will be cut accordingly.  That will affect millions of workers.  Of course, a 20% pay cut is way better than losing your job completely.  But their decrease in take-home pay will affect businesses because they won’t spend as much.  Which will mean layoffs in all sorts of places.  This doesn’t take into account all the federally-funded programs that will suddenly have less money.  Some of these are, undoubtedly, bloated and should be cut.  But what about those that are just making do with what they have now?

So what does this have to do with independent authors?  For indies, the sequestration is both good and bad.  Those of us that very likely will end up unemployed as a result of this madness will have all kinds of time to write.  Of course, no one will have any discretionary money to buy books; they will have to prioritize and spend on stuff like, you know, food.  So eventually there will be a glut of books (good) but no one to buy them (bad).  Or, another way to look at it is there will be more people with a lot of free time  — when they aren’t looking for work or standing in the unemployment line — to read (good).  Unless there are no unemployment benefits because that has been cut (bad).  The only entity I see benefiting is the Kindle Select Program.  Everyone will want free books, right?